Friday, May 25, 2012

My Gethsemane

Still down in Seattle and it's another Random Journal Day. I've been praying since last night about whether to post this entry because AGAIN I'm away from my bookcase full of journals. This morning God kind of punched me in the gut with the sense that I must post this, though it's pretty intimate and very raw. But I keep it in my Bible. I keep it there to remind myself...well,to remind myself of my Gethsemane.

August 23, 1997
In Pullman, sitting by Dad's hospital bed, who is still trying to conduct university business though he bleeds and has tubes running in and out. I drove out to [RE's] Wednesday night and screamed out loud to God, "Please don't let my Daddy die!" and suddenly, there in the car with me, right there in my shrieking tears, was God. 
"I know exactly how you feel," I heard, as if He was sitting beside me, speaking in the quiet, though I didn't feel quiet at all. And then I was, quiet, that is, because He was there and reminding me that He knows what it is to lose to death someone beloved, to be unable to stop that death from coming. Then I felt frozen, though I was speeding through the night, and a scream rose in my throat because I am sure now, sure of all that He was saying. Not only that He understands, though that comforts, but that Dad will die of this. 
It's what I dare not say, but I know it and hate knowing it. I sit by Dad, laughing with him, being teased by him, and know it. It's a terrible, hard word. But God spoke to me, and when God speaks, even if it's such a word as this, there's purpose in it...if I can only bear to listen. 
Lord, please tell me something else. Not this. Please, anything but this. Just a little longer. Rationally I know that there will never be enough time, but I can't help asking for it because it's Dad's Dad...and so I ask it.
And here I understand finally. Gethsemane. Praying in the garden. Knowing what lies ahead. "Please take this cup from me, take this cup from Dad." And yet, side by side with that bleeding, sweating depths of my soul plea, I whisper in the dark of this room, where he sleeps so close I can put my hand on his arm. Oh, I don't want to say it, but I must. I must. The core of obedience. "Not my will, but done."

My father died 4 days later. And just so you know--I wasn't ready. Even though God had whispered this, I was caught off guard, plunged into grief. But it didn't change the fact that God had spoken. And I still believe that there is a special gift given ANY time God speaks, no matter how hard the word. And fifteen years later I can look back at it with enough objectivity to be awed by the gift of His word to me. His teaching about death and Gethsemane in that car and Dad's hospital room a couple days later. So I keep a copy of this journal entry in my Bible to remember that He speaks. Not always what we want to hear, but what He wants us to learn. And that is His gift.


Recovering Church Lady said...

Thank you for this powerful and truth-flled post. My mom passed exactly one year ago and I was not ready and still find it hard to believe she is gone.
The voice of God is an amazing love gift that he shares when we need it the most. Even though you still suffered, it is a beautiful thing to cling to, isn't it?
Bless you,
Susie, the Recovering Church Lady

Modern Day Disciple said...

Not always what we want to hear, but what He wants us to learn. And that is His gift...yes. I understand and relate. Raw and real. I appreciate your courage to share this. Of course I flashed back to my own moment- pleading the cup, knowing the cup will not pass and yet somehow grasping -He is in it. Beautiful sharing as always. Thank you.

jeskmom said...

Thanks--both of you--for your words. I think each of us faces such moments sooner or later. Maybe more than once. And we don't always respond in obedience. Still He loves us enough to keep speaking.
And...I love that you created this opportunity to discover treasures (even in the form of difficulties--if He was in them!) in earlier days. I've loved seeing how others journal differently than I do.

quietspirit said...

This speaks to me in so many ways. We lost my dad almost three years ago. Then almost two years ago,we lost Hubby's sister. I love the way you state God's words to you."Not always what we want to hear, but what He wants us to learn."

A friend of mine lost her second child to Cancer two weeks ago. This was their only son. I hope to share part of this with her.