Hitting rock bottom is sometimes what we need to rebuild our life on the Rock.
Sometimes God must still a body before He can still a mind, and sometimes He must still a life in-order to restore it.
That best explains what happened to me on May 1, 2014, while working as an elementary school counselor… I had a stroke. Had you asked me before that day if I were in the will of God, I would have enthusiastically said, “Yes!” After all, not only was I striving to be the perfect wife and mom, but I was also an elementary school counselor, working with under-privileged children, as well as teaching a thriving woman’s Sunday school class at one of Houston’s largest churches. I was even being asked to speak and share my testimony for various events in our area. From the outside, everything looked to be in place.
Yet, as I had wrapped up writing a bible study over Psalm 23, the Shepherd’s Psalm, one in which God promises to, “Lead us beside the still waters, to restore our soul”, I couldn’t help but contrast the pace of my busy life with God’s promises. I knew something did not add up.
There is a prayer I had prayed every day since becoming a follower of Jesus, it goes:
“Father, show me the truth about myself, and about You, and allow Your truth to become my truth.”
These are the words that raced through my head as I sat across the desk from the doctor who explained to me that I would never again be a school counselor, and that I may never be able to work or fully function independently again due to damage the stroke had caused to my brain and nervous system. “Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me, Your rod and staff, they comfort me…” Psalm 23:4.
There is a beauty in hitting rock bottom, for it affords us the opportunity to rebuild on the Rock, and as Jesus said about the house that is built on the Rock
Powerless, that is the word that best describes how I felt. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, it was an amazing gift. Not often do we get the chance to fully experience what is like in our own skin to be weak, incompetent, unable, and utterly dependent upon God and others, even for our basic needs. Perhaps, it was the very first time I was ever to experience the brutal reality of my natural limitations. There is a beauty in hitting rock bottom, for it affords us the opportunity to rebuild on the Rock, and as Jesus said about the house that is built on the Rock in Matthew 7:25, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been built on the rock.” Ultimately allowing Him to love us and truly belong to Him, to be built by Him, IS God’s will for us.
The greatest advice I can give to those who may be dealing with a health crisis from my own life experience is to embrace what God may be doing in this season, and not to compare your life with others. It’s easy to allow life to become about the things you will do when you “someday” get better, instead of embracing the moments you have in the here and now. Seek out the greater wonder God may be doing in our season of weakness.
Some scriptures that have helped me are Hebrews 5:7-8: In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.
All of us are going to suffer in some way, what matters is who we allow ourselves to become in the midst of it.
The real tragedy about these moments isn’t that they happen, but it’s that they happen without accomplishing the purpose for which they were entrusted. Search for what God is doing in your journey, and you will find, just as Corrie ten Boom did, “No matter how deep our darkness, He is deeper still.” Sometimes God allows our bodies or our minds to be stilled to restore them. And, I can add to that, sometimes He allows us to become lost, so that we can discover how to be found in Him.
I pray that, like me, you might find God’s stroke of genius within every single step of your life journey.
Rhonda de la Moriniere
Rhonda de la Moriniere is a wife, mom, grandma, and lifelong learner and teacher of God’s Word. She believes that anything is possible when God’s children find fellowship in His Word. With her M.Ed in counseling, she devotes her life to walking beside others through life’s often difficult journey. Her Bible study, Becoming Ewe, is available wherever books are sold, and her blog can be found at www.perfectmess.org