Let me tell you a story.
This story isn't just a story. It's a true story about the day I was rescued from darkness, heartache, pain, and depression. You see, I've endured the worst type of pain. Heartache one couldn't imagine, unless they've experienced it, too! This type of heartache is meant to destroy. It will shatter your soul if you let it.
This time in my life was supposed to be one of the most joyful times of my life. However, it turned my world into chaos and pain; in an instant. Any and all securities I had within the world instantly vanished and was replaced with uncertainty and anxiety. I truly felt as if I were free-falling from the sky and at any moment I would hit the hard, merciless ground with a thud.
I lived life day by day, without a care in the world. I was numb. I didn't feel as deeply as I once did. I allowed nothing to move my soul. I glided through life with no joy, hope, or remorse. My care was stolen and others saw me suffer. Many times I was asked, "why" but I had no answer for them. Sorrow flooded my soul.
I had reached the point in my life where nothing mattered. Not a care in the world crossed my heart.
I let go! I slowly faded over time. Things that once meant a lot to me no longer mattered. This included me. The day my world shattered, part of my soul died. Those who love me tried, oh how they tried. They tried to get me free from this darkness, but they didn't succeed. It was hopeless because, up to this point, only one thing mattered and that was to get through life so I could find my joy waiting for me at the gates of Heaven.
Little did I know, I had to do a lot more while I was here on earth to make it to the gate and walk through. I didn't realize this until much later.
Against my better wishes, I packed my bags and headed off. I was in search of my joy. I needed to care again. I needed to truly love again. But...how?
I climbed to the back of the SUV with a fake smile. Those who were around me lived life with joy. The entire trip was full of singing and worshipping of the Lord. The love I saw flowing from them caused my heart to soften a bit from its stone-like state. Oh, to live as they did once again!
By the time we reached our destination, I had one thing in mind, which was to get away. My heart couldn't handle all the happiness and joy that flooded the car. It was too much. How and why did they expect me to be happy and hopeful again?
Several hours passed and it was time for worship. Don't get me wrong, I took part and hoped that something would reveal itself so I would know what I needed to be free. I was in so deep that I needed out of this world power to be set free. However, I sang my heart out and felt nothing.
Then, I heard a voice, "Let go."
I chose to ignore it because, even the thought of letting go was absurd. If I let go then I risked forgetting and I never wanted to forget.
A message was shared and more songs were sung, but I stood there unmoved. How could these women be so happy when I was forced into this darkness? Where was their compassion? Their love? The joyful laughs stung.
One woman came to me with sadness in her eyes and said, "Rae-Beth, I don't really know you, but I'm so sorry." Then she grabbed me, held me tight, and cried. Oh, how she cried! Her tears did something to me. My heart softened a bit more. A strange but known feeling came into my heart. For the first time in months, I felt a bit of compassion for her as she did with me. I, then, realized as this woman hugged me that her compassion moved through me and I felt it. This was when I realized I wasn't a lost cause.
Time passed. I experienced no new feelings. I felt defeated. I believed that my life wasn't meant for joy again. I cried. I begged. However, nothing changed.
I heard the voice again, "Let go."
"No, I can't," I pushed back. I couldn't and refused to forget.
The voice pushed further, "Trust me."
I had a difficult time with trust. I hadn't trusted anyone or anything since that horrible day. In addition to losing my joy, peace, and happiness; my trust in everything (including me) disappeared. I told the voice, "I can't."
A sad voice responded, "I love you." Then I didn't hear it again for some time.
I continued to join in with the music and worship. I sang my heart out but still couldn't understand why God hadn't heard my cries. I needed him and it seemed like He left me.
After an exhausting weekend, I laid down on our last night of the retreat. I felt empty but most of all, I felt disappointed. I was almost certain that the Lord would have heard me over the weekend, especially with so many prayers that had been said.
I tossed and turned until exhaustion claimed me and I fell into a restless sleep. My dreams weren't relaxed and refreshing. Normally, they were filled with violence, pain, and chaos. They seemed to reflect the internal war that had been going on inside of me. I was numb to them.
I found myself standing in a beautiful field of Gerber daisies of all colors. They were bright and calming. The warm wind gently blew and their lovely fragrance filled the air around me. For the first time in months, I felt peace. The sun shined warm against my face, as the birds sang their amazing grace.
Off in the distance, a figure appeared to me in a burst of glory and caught my attention. The person gracefully walked toward me. As the person got closer, my heart raced until He was completely in view. He wore a cloth garment that went all the way down to the tops of His feet. A gold chest band hugged his mid-section. His hair was white, like freshly fallen snow, and his feet had bronze sandals on them.
It wasn't until He was standing in front of me that I noticed His eyes. I couldn't take mine off of them. His gaze penetrated me, as His eyes burned into my soul. They looked like fire.
Then He spoke, "My daughter, how I have longed for this! Please sit," He finished as He gestured to a bench I didn't notice before.
I stood in amazement. I didn't need Him to tell me who He was because I already knew. "Lord," I started, "Why haven't you answered my cries? I've spent hours pouring my hurts and pains out to you. I needed you, but you weren't there." I cried.
"Yes, Rae-Beth. I know. I've heard you all along. It has been you who has chosen to not hear me." He explained.
I was surprised because I had spent many hours waiting. I never once heard Him.
"But Lord, I tried to listen for you. I waited and waited, but nothing happened." I told Him.
"My precious child, do you remember when you were in your living room, on your knees, screaming while you were crying?" He asked me.
"I do," I replied, wondering what that moment had to do with where He was when everything happened.
"Do you remember how you had music playing in the background?"
"I'm the reason why the song didn't play out to the end, but instead it skipped mid-song to a different one on your list," He explained.
I thought about this moment a lot since it happened. I was at a loss. My heart felt broken and my soul was shattered. I was home alone on this particular day. I held a piece of paper in my hands while I prayed in my chair. This certain chair, I had intended on using as my breastfeeding chair, but the sudden death of my daughter stopped that one.
I really thought Jesus didn't care or chose not to hear me. I went to the center of my living room and fell to my knees as I cried. In the background, my music stopped in mid-song and skipped to "You'll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins".
"I remember," I said.
"I made the song come on so you'd know I was there. Like I have told you, I've been here since her heart stopped beating and always," He explained.
"I never thought that Jesus was trying to get my attention, especially through that kind of music."
"I had been trying to get you to hear my voice and heed to my words. I tried reaching you in your dreams, through the clouds, butterflies, and music. I created dreams to tell you that I was with you. I shaped the clouds just for you. I sent many butterflies of color. However, you didn't seem to notice it was me." He said as he hung His head.
How could I have been so blind? The Man who I cried to, the Man who I needed had been here this entire time. I began to cry.
"I'm sorry, Lord," I wept, "I didn't know."
"It was me who spoke to you this weekend. I have been trying to tell you to let go of the pain, anxiety, fear, and heartache. All of these feeling at one time for how intense they are; is too much for your soul. My daughter, hand them to me. I carried them for you the day I carried the cross. The day I was lifted into Heaven was the day I promised that you wouldn't ever have to carry them. This burden is too much. I love you and it pains me to see my daughter in so much turmoil." He said.
I had no words. I didn't realize just how much I meant to Him. They 'ole me was and is loved by the glorious King of Kings!
"Rae-Beth, open your right hand," He instructed.
I did. A ball of emotions circulated in the center of my palm.
"Hand it to me," He demanded. "It's no longer yours to bare!"
I did as I was told. The Lord took a hold of it and as He did, I instantly felt relief. My shoulders didn't feel as heavy. I could breathe once again.
"Thank you, Lord," I said and smiled.
I felt wonderful. I never imagined I'd ever feel this way again.
"I must go now. It's time for you to wake. Remember, I love you. Listen for my voice and I will always be here."
"I love you, too."
I woke with joy and peace. As I was worshipping that morning, I truly believed the words I sang. I believed that Jesus was with me always.
This was the day I let go.
This was the day I fully let Jesus take control of my life.
This was the day I felt His amazing grace.
This was the day I started to fully believe!
(c) 2015 by Rae-Beth McGee-Buda
All Rights Reserved