Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Flexible Blessing Pt. III

Shayla and I sat next to each other in the waiting room. I watched as one by one, the nurses whispered to each other and then looked at us with sad eyes. They walked back and forth between the nurses station and her room, but no one said a word. Shayla started to cry. I reached for the next nurse I saw and asked her--begged her--to tell me what was going on.

Tears started falling. "It's not good."

February 11, 1999 is a date that is forever stamped on my heart. On that unseasonably warm day, I said goodbye to my big sister, partner in crime, mentor and friend.

I didn't understand. For over a year, everyone I knew was praying for her healing. We had special prayer services and even fasted, pleading with God to do what the doctors could not. On an intellectual level, I knew her body was just worn out. But my heart was not ready to let go. I wanted her to get up, walk out of the hospital and never look back.

This sure didn't feel like a blessing.

As Christians, we are taught from the earliest moments of our journey to pray that God's will be done. In theory, it sounds so easy. God knows us better than we know ourselves and everything is a part of His greater plans for our lives. But that's in theory. In practice, there are times when God's will seems like God's punishment.

Many of you have heard me say I am grateful for my storms, for those were the moments when I really met God. See, I had been in church all my life. I could quote Scriptures with the best of 'em. I took good notes on sermons and I went to Sunday School. I knew Him....but I met Him in the valley. I was introduced to God, the comforter; God, the burden-bearer; God, the mender of broken of hearts. But more than that, I learned how to trust Him. I learned how to admit that I could not do this on my own; I needed Him more than I needed air, food and water. And He came through for me.

As I type this, tears are streaming down my face...not for myself, but for those who are where I was twelve years ago. I remember what it feels like. I remember the continuous dull ache in your heart. I remember waking up at three in the morning, covered in sweat and crying out from the depths of my soul. I remember watching the world move forward while I seemed to be stuck in neutral. I remember when I wondered if I would ever smile again.

Dear hearts, let God meet you in the valley. Even though you may not be able to see it right now, there is a blessing in the storm, tailor-made just for you.


A few months after Tracee died, I was cleaning out my car and I found an old cassette from a church service. I started to toss it, but something told me to listen. At the very end of the tape, I heard a familiar voice. Tracee was singing a John P. Kee song entitled "I Shall See Him For Myself." The whole song is beautiful, but these lyrics in particular pulled at my heartstrings:

That is where I shall take my rest
In the beauty of His holiness
I shall see Him for myself...

Of course I cried, but this time they were tears of understanding. Tracee had taken the time to tell us where she was going and how it was going to be when she got there. She was finally free from surgery, hospital stays and pain medication.

She was blessed. And that blessed me.

Be encouraged.



  1. Wow K! Im so glad I read this! You write beautifully. That was so well said! I know that pain myself. I even started tearing up as I read this. But it was much needed and something I constantly have to be reminded of! God is a healer! Thank you


  2. Awwww....thank you, cousin. I know you know all too well. But I have seen you grow in the midst of your storms, and that has been encouraging to me as well. Love you!