This is the second draft of this post. In the first draft I wasn’t very honest. In fact, I was doing exactly what the post was talking against. I was hiding my tears, not letting anyone see inside of me.
This week my step mom, a woman who has been a mom to me for many years, was diagnosed with cancer, advanced cancer. It will require nothing short of a miracle for her to be spared.
Instead of sharing this in my first post, I decided to just share a vague lesson. In reality, I just didn’t want to have two sad posts in a row. I didn’t want to sound needy or to sound too despairing. In Christendom this seems to be a big no-no. I didn’t want to again write and say my heart is breaking but it is. It feels smashed to pieces.
I reread my first draft and realized how bland and lifeless it sounded. My husband read it and concurred. It was safe and said nothing of my heart. Friends, I just don’t want to live like that anymore. I really do want others to know that I am who I am because of my Savior. I want others to know that in the midst of deep sadness I cling to hope only because of who He is.
As I said in my last post, I am a frightened child, but Jesus is my Jesus. I don’t want to waste any more of my life acting like I am self sufficient and self maintained. I am not.
This week my dad, when hearing the word cancer spoken in the same sentence as his dear wife’s name, said to me, “Jessica, I am scared and I have never had a sadder day but God is still on the throne.” He said these words with great grief and through tears. He said them while his shoulders shook and his face had fallen, but when he said them he meant them. And when he said them, he had never looked more like a warrior!
Now onto the post.
Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight.
People say that I’m amazing, strong beyond my years
but they don’t see inside of me, I’m hiding all my tears
They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for his smile
For deep inside this armour, the warrior is a child.”
The other day I found myself singing these words from the Twila Paris song, The Warrior is a Child. Those of us who grew up in the 80′s are familiar with them. It’s a great song to sing when you feel down, overwhelmed, or just plain emotional. The song has always held a special place in my heart because when I hear it I swell with pride. Yep, good old fashioned, “Aren’t I special,” pride.
You see about a decade ago my friend told me she thinks of me whenever she hears the song. She was able to observe me through a particularly hard season of life and she commented how I just kept going through it. Well, did that ever swell my head. How strong I am, how spiritual, how beautifully tragic. After all isn’t that the mark of a mature believer, someone who smiles through tragedy, someone who stays strong and lifts up their sword.
Life has changed me over the past years and I am no longer proud of this. In fact, I’m a bit repulsed by it and this week as I sang the words, I was struck with the line, “They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around.” Well, mid measure I stopped singing and out loud said, ‘Why the heck not?” Why don’t they know who picks me up when no one is around? Why don’t they know that I go running home when I fall down? Even more important, why in the world aren’t I telling them?
If they think I am doing this on my own what hope will it bring? I am powerless to save. All warriors are, alone, powerless to save (Jer. 14:9) Why, because we are all just children. In the light of the Almighty God, we are all like David wearing Saul’s over-sized armour.
I want people to know that God is the one I run to when I fall down, even before I fall down. I want them to know that the sign of a “strong” believer is not always a stiff upper lip. Sometimes it is a quivering one, a trembling voice calling out to God, begging for comfort and courage.
I want people to see my tears, I want them to see me laying my sword down at the feet of the real Warrior, the one who will fight my battle for me, the one who strips kings of their armour (Isa 45:1), but the one who gently says, “Come to me all who are weary, tired, exhausted and I will give you rest. I will place my hands on either side of you, I will place my hands on top of you and I will keep you as mine (Psalm 139).
Yes, deep inside this armour the warrior is a child, but to be honest, right underneath this armour, directly underneath it, the warrior is a child. You don’t have to dig deep to find the child. In fact, when the wind blows my armour lifts and you can easily see the child. You can see my trembling, you can see my fear, but praise Jesus, you can see my Warrior God.
No matter how old I get, no matter how many times I put on His armour, no matter how much I grow in my faith, I am still a child, I am His Child! Goodness, that I would live like it!