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It was 2:42 a.m. and I was getting up once again (third time) to see what my girls were up to.  Kaitlin almost always goes to bed at a decent hour, that blessed child.  Krissy was finally in bed but had fallen asleep with her lights on.  I turned them off and closed her door.  I was tempted to hug her while she lay there sleeping.  If I can’t get hugs from her when she’s awake maybe I can steal some.  I didn’t.  Kimmi was finally home but was doing laundry and taking things to her car!  Today, she and her sister are moving to their apartment for the summer.   Why is it a mom can’t sleep unless she knows all the girls are settled and resting?  It wears me out!  I laid back down unable to go back to sleep, my mind racing through concerns, thoughts, questions, frustrations, more questions, and just plain exhaustion.  Fatigue always intensifies emotion for me, too.

When I’m tired, the lying voice of the enemy is so much harder to ignore.  My heart strained to hear God’s voice instead.  I called out through quiet tears for some peace, some relief from hurt, a sense of His love.  The room seemed completely empty.  I felt empty, my stomach still tight in a knot.  I laid on my side looking at the clock.  3:51 a.m.  I listened to the fan whirring and the quiet sound of John’s restful breathing behind me.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I felt angry, almost as if God was toying with me to see how long I could hold out without a break.  I heard an awful whisper, “Do you really think God is there?  Does it seem like He’s doing anything to help you?  Where is that peace He always promised, that Fatherly attention and love?  Some love.”

Do you ever feel that the last little shred of faith you have is so small that leaning on it too hard might cause it to unravel and disintegrate, letting you fall through…  It was as if I was reaching for a hug, pressing in farther and farther, walking in the dim gray nighttime light with hands outstretched but not finding God, my Papa.  I wanted more than anything to tangibly feel His arms wrapped tightly around me, telling me it was all going to be okay.  I couldn’t feel it.  I eventually quieted, finished wiping my runny eyes and nose and fell asleep.

On the way to work this morning I heard a song by Lincoln Brewster on my iPod that has these lyrics:

You’re with me surely
closer than I can say
I know it well
I’m hidden shadowed
under your wings always

Oh where else can I turn
but to the love of God?

In brokenness
I know you hold me
safe in redemption’s arms
and I confess you alone restore me
leading me to your heart

Oh where else can I turn
but to the love of God?

One thing is true: prolonged struggle makes me desperate for God, to feel His presence, to stay close to Him.  I know He’s there.  I don’t understand all His ways, but where else can I go but to Him?  I want to be hidden today – hidden in His shadow, quiet, apart.   I wish I could actually feel the tight grip of His strong hand around my little one as we stand like stones leaning into gusty winds – me and my anchor, my helper, my friend.  Would He maybe even pick me up and let me ride on His shoulders a while like my daddy used to do?  Up high, out of the everyday, out of fear and striving, at least for a while?  Jesus said to come to Him.   He is God’s love in person.  I’m doing my best to come, Jesus.  Please meet me halfway.  Meet me here.   Speak right in my ear as I huddle closer to you.

Where else can I turn, but to the love of God?

…Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”

Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”  John 6:67-69  The Msg