Tonight is the Selah benefit concert, and it’ss a rainy morning here in Nashville (raise your hand if you’re surprised….).
I couldn’t sleep last night. I had an awful, weighty day yesterday that involved making arrangements for my daughter’s body to be moved, doing a bunch of useless real estate stuff that involved me getting lost and forgetting to bring cash, and sitting in my car crying.
Oh wait, let me start at the beginning.
I awoke to an email suggesting that I track down some nasty comments that had been left on my blog (I will not mention her name, as it is fake and was created to pull this stunt). I found them, and well, she got the reaction she desired. I started shaking and fell out of my bed onto my face crying over the hatred that spewed from her mouth. I won’t repeat exactly what she said, and I have deleted the comments. They were, without question, well over the line. If you read them, I apologize on her behalf. I am crying just remembering….Oh Lord, are you certain you chose the right woman for all of this?….I am such a weak vessel…
She made mention of my “beautiful” life and how many children I could feed if I wasn’t so selfish in moving my daughter’s body. She questioned what I did with the donations sent to me (and said that she believed I kept them all-forgive me if I don’t dignify this with an answer), and that essentially, this blog was for my gain, and who am I, this beautiful, talented writer to “pretend” to believe I was surprised by my success.
I am paraphrasing, and you should be glad. The originals were ummm, not so kind.
I am going to be honest with you here. I composed several “fake” responses in my mind (have you picked up on the fact that I am a “self-talker?”), and some of them included words I probably shouldn’t mention here. But all I could see through the tears and the hurt was my baby, and I wanted (humanly) for her to get her payback. See? I’m not so perfect, am I? Or, maybe I am just a mother who raises up when someone brings up her child. There was no way to contact her directly because it was an invented profile, so I sat in tears. Todd had a photo shoot, and I was so paralyzed that my sweet father came and took Kate to school and then came back to sit with me.
I want to say this to you, because as inappropriate as her words were, it also brought up a battle that rages within me daily. I am the woman who encourages people to read scripture and yet snaps at my husband for leaving his clothes on the floor. I am great at teaching how to “feel” God, and then there are moments where I lay awake in my bed and can’t find His presence anywhere. I can’t feel Him….
I am the one who asks you to give to the poor (and I have and do sponsor children, I just don’t talk about it) and yet I do wear nice jeans and live a comfortable life. I am caught in the in between. The Lord knows what we do with our money, and I don’t feel the need to defend it, but still. I don’t want to have to live up to this “perfect woman” image, because quite frankly, I CAN’T.
I like nice things (in moderation). I like my jeans, my purse, my scarves, my house, my…..you get the picture. And yet I am flying to Calcutta (must interject here that my itunes is on shuffle and it just started playing David Crowder….thank you, Lord, for caring about the details) because my heart longs to help the poor. I spend hours responding to emails, trying to help others, trying to bless God.
I am in between, I guess.
Have you ever felt that way?
All of this may sound like a jumbled mess to you, but there is beauty when God urges you to face things in your life that are troubling. They may not bother some people (for example, I couldn’t care less if you live in a mansion or drive a nice car…it’s not how I pick my friends, nor how I sense people’s hearts, and if I know WHO they are, it doesn’t cause me to judge. It is not my place to do so…this is MY opinion), but I felt that the Lord wanted me to take something away from it.
What satan intended for evil in her words, God used for good. He made Himself so real to me yesterday, I would have sworn I felt His breath on my cheek as I wept. He whispered as softly as He could…
Would You give Me everything if I asked?
I didn’t even blink.
Yes Lord, every bit of it. It is Yours.
I think God loves the in between because He gets to show you things you can’t show yourself. I don’t think thoughts like that…He does. He was with me.
And He is with you, no matter what you are battling.
I didn’t compose a nasty email to the woman who wrote, in fact, later in the day, I revisited her words and asked for the Lord for wisdom. I started scrolling and saw the comments left shortly after hers by other Sundays, and to say that I wept with gratitude would be a drastic understatement.
EVERY SINGLE ONE was either a scripture or a combination of kind words. They were loving, and recognizing the fact that above all else, this is a woman who the Lord loves the SAME way He loves them.
If you were one of those women, I want to personally thank you for being Christ to her (and to me) yesterday. It is what this blog has always meant to be about. There was no room left for battle, only love, and they did not allow the devil to get a foothold. You all mean more to me than I can possible express, and I am so proud to have you sharing life with me.
If you have been following me on Twitter (it shows up on the right side of the blog if you scroll down far enough), you will know that there is a woman who needs our prayers this morning. Will you join me in asking for a miracle?
And I couldn’t resist posting this….I think you will understand why. It was left yesterday by someone who I admire, who took the time to reach out….how very blessed I feel to have her prayer. I may or may not have screamed when I read it, depending on which side of me you would like to see of me today…here goes….
My Dear, Dear Angie, I am so moved, so blessed over what God, in His infinite grace and wisdom, is doing with your life and powerful story. I know this isn’t a new thought but, far more often than not, our passion is born from pain. It does us no good to wish it were not so. There is nothing, however, that awes us with His goodness and His fathomless plan like watching Him do it. Our hearts are often slain by His love for life. It’s all so odd and so beautiful.
Angie, my darling little sister, I will be praying for you. I would love some time to pray over you in person, just the two of us, if God would give us that opportunity. I know you have many mentors and they can give you so much that I cannot – so weak in my natural self – but, in the words of Peter in Acts 3, “that which I have give I thee.”
PS. Can I get my picture taken with you?
Beth, if you are still reading, thank you. I am honored that a woman who has walked me through more emotional terrain than most of my best friends would take the time to write. You have taught me what it is like to be an ordinary woman who loves an extraordinary God. And also, I am very glad that your daughter is going with me on this trip, because there is NO way God is taking out a Moore. I may hide behind her for two weeks and request “close proximity seating” on our flights:)
Back to you all.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you all, from the VERY beginning, have loved me for who I am, and I am humbled by it. More than that, it makes me want to be better (did anyone just picture Jack Nicholson?)
And if you come to the concert tonight, I just want to give you a heads-up.
I love Jesus, but I may be wearing nice jeans….