So, first of all, I’ve spent years finding new ways to write this message on the blog:
Live in this moment.
Wring every drop of glory you can out of your life.
Make each day a John 10:10 kind of day.
(I might have even over-used exclamation points.)
I wrote words like that on my Facebook page yesterday:
Almost immediately, my Facebook page blinked with a woman’s anguished response: “What do you do when you just experienced the worst day if your life??”
My heart dropped into my stomach.
Because really, some days don’t feel worth repeating. In the middle of the brutal days, you’d never dream of DVR’ing them. And if you bought the re-runs off the rack at Target, you’d demand a refund.
Some days, you just want to erase the whole thing, hide under the covers and pretend that the day (or the years) never happened.
I held the iPhone in my hand, reading the woman’s words. A lump rose up in my throat. My mind did some mental gymnastics: what pain unleashed itself on her life?
And right then, I remembered some my worst moments that would be hard to watch on the playback — seasons of betrayal, grief, that out-of-control feeling that makes your anxiety-seized heart race so fast you think it will sprint straight out of your chest.
What do you do, the woman asked, on the worst day of your life?
My hands cradled my iPhone, and at first, a dozen pat answers flooded my mind. I had a bullet-point list ready for her. Had a few Bible verses in mind and everything. I could have tapped them out, like a good Christian robot. I mean, she was looking for a little hope right? A little advice from a friend on the other side of the computer screen? And wasn’t I supposed to have some answers here?
But this is what I did instead. I told her the truth. Because when my world crashes down, this is what I do:
Those are the weak words I typed into the comment box. Because those are the truest words. My default response is to fall completely apart. I do not do “worst days” well. I am a broken, weepy mess.
A few months ago, we suffered a private heartache here that kept me awake long hours, night after night. I didn’t want to get out of bed. And when I did, morning after morning, my eyes were puffy. I had something akin to an anxiety attack several times, where my throat tightened, and I didn’t know if I could breathe. And my husband, he would text me throughout the day from the farm office, just to let me know God’s got it.
Each of those days, broken as I was, I came to this place, and these keys. I wrote anyway — not about the details of something very painful and private. But of hope. I wrote about hope. Not of a false hope, or a detached theological concept, or a two-dimensional Savior figure who could, in theory, save us all from the mess we’re in down here.
Any word of hope that I’ve ever written in this place? Its roots are sunk deep into the rescue of the only real hope that this world has ever known. Jesus Christ is real, people, and He actually loves us. <—– That’s the only thing I know for sure. It’s simple, and true, and utterly life-changing.
Truth be told, I’m most malleable in the posture of the crumble. The seasons of pain have been the opening places for seeing God. No, I don’t do “worst days” well. But God does.
So, then, how does a person get through her very worst day?
She simply falls down.
In my weakest, I fall head-first and heart-first into my Strong.
And maybe, someday, I’ll wish I could have DVR’d it after all. Maybe then, on the playback, I’ll see all what I could not have seen in my pain-blinded state–
How, in that moment when I didn’t think I could breathe, He was right beside me, exhaling life into my crumbled, crumpled soul.
(Thank you, Jesus.)