“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” – Psalm 66:10
“Your son has Cerebral Palsy, it’s going to be okay,” the Doctor said. “Do you have any questions?.”
“No questions.” I said. I mean yes but I couldn’t say it. Saying it would mean that I would have to walk through all of my questions and then I would not be able to make it through the appointment because I would be sobbing by the end of it. “Stay strong, stay strong, stay strong,” I told myself. I felt like I could not hear anything. All the blood was rushing to my head and I felt like I was hearing rushing water in my ears.
“Ma’am, we have to admit him into the hospital to test for seizures, we need to set that up.”
“Okay.” No not okay, nothing is okay. Oh God, help! I was all alone. My husband and I were missionaries in Belize at the time. Only one of us could make the trip to the states to have our son, Malachi, examined because he had met no milestones and was 9 months old. Belize did not have the capability to do such testing. God had worked a handful of small miracles for me to be in that doctors waiting room; but all I could do was numbly go through the motions. Pick up the baby, walk down the hall, schedule the hospital stay, go to the car. Driving back to my in-laws, where we were staying, I just kept thinking, “I don’t know what to do.” I wish I could say that in that moment I had full faith in the Lord and was able to encourage myself through scripture, but I was too numb.
Looking for God in the midst of trials
I shut myself down from God and everyone around me. I could not cry. That night after speaking with my husband, I was bone-weary, and as I climbed into my bed and lay my head on the pillow, I said to God, “I’m so disappointed in you.” I was, and I did not know how I was going to reconcile with the Lord.
You see, Belize was our first missionary term and it was, in the words of our supervisor “one of the worst terms I have ever heard of missionaries having.” We had almost finished our term, just six more months and the tough stuff would be behind us, and then this. This unwelcome diagnosis; this hardship that would never end on this side of heaven.
When I returned to Belize, the next day was Sunday. I stood in the small village church and sang with the congregation, “Blessed be your name when I’m found in the dessert place, though I walk through the wilderness, blessed be your name…You give and take away, you give and take away.” My eyes welled with tears and yet, I willed them not to spill over. I was broken on the inside but would not show it on the outside. I had too much pride and I had to stay strong, I thought. More than those things, I refused to acknowledge God. “How could He?” I thought, “After everything, how could He?” I was forgetting the goodness of the Lord.
God uses trials to strengthen my faith and shape my life.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was walking down the sandy path through the village alone, that God met me. “Melissa.” “Yes God?” “Remember, you promised.” I remembered, it was not but a month before Malachi’s diagnosis that I was walking the same path alone and talking to God. I was lamenting my lack of faith in a certain situation. I repented to God and said “O Lord, I am so very sorry. The next time great faith is required of me, I will show it. Test me God so I can show you that I will remain faithful.”
Here I was, walking the same path but this time, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart gently reminding me of my promise to God. “I remember.” I said “Then look at me. Have faith.” “I will, I do, thank you for reminding me.” It is not often when I feel I can audibly hear the voice of God, but in that circumstance I knew that His Spirit was talking to me directly, and for the first time in a month, I acknowledged God.
The most comforting part of my entire story is that God never left my side. I could feel His presence even when I rejected Him. All I had to do was turn. I think part of the verse in 2 Tim. 2:13 that says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” God cannot be unfaithful. Praise God! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!
Now, my heart chooses to say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
Melissa Bjorgen is the creator of “Mel’s Minute” on Facebook where you get “passionate biblical teaching for faithful living.” She is passionate about sharing what the Lord has taught her through His word and lessons learned while on the mission field for 11 years and raising three kids.
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