Be Near


This trial is different. I have a confidence going forward. I know it will only be a season. Trials don't last forever. I can trust God. All things I tell myself all day long.

I know this, but it doesn't stop the heaviness that can fall upon you in an instant.

I spent the majority of the day reading a book. The first book I have read in a long time. Once I get into a book, I have trouble putting it down. I'm just like my Gramie that way.

I had no anxiety or worry really floating around in my mind. I was just trying to finish my book between episodes of my children bursting through my bedroom door.

Then suddenly it was there. What was that? Why did it suddenly come on me? Where is this coming from? 

I felt the weight of it. All of a sudden I wasn't normal. All of a sudden I didn't want this life with a child diagnosed with pre-leukemia. I wasn't like everyone else. I was alone.

The darkness enveloped me and I tried pushing it away to no avail.

Kissing the boys goodbye, I grabbed my car keys and went to meet a friend. I admitted the haunting heaviness that I was carrying. I didn't want it. I wanted to be light and free and not heavy laden.

Why was my life full of trials? Why me, Lord? 

In the 7 years we have been married, we have experienced what many don't experience in a lifetime. One year of newlywed bliss, then a little one surprisingly coming 9 months later. Financial burdens, cars without A/C in SC heat, one car family, past health trials, struggles through fostering while simultaneously growing life inside of me. Second son born, then hospital life and a diagnosis we thought was the end.

It's felt like one string after another, yet there has always been joy and blessing in the middle of it all. All of it has melded our family together and closer to the Lord, even when he has felt distant.

I finished my book and grabbed my journal. I knew what was wrong.

"Lord, I want to know you CLOSE in the midst of this trial with Judah's health. I don't want to question what you are doing or why. I just want you to be near to me. I don't want to be complacent. I want to be moved by your spirit & love you deep. Please don't be distant. Let me know more of you. Help me to hunger for you, Lord, to feast in your Word. Draw me in Lord & cradle me now. I need you Lord. Be near." 

I was tempted to put it aside and turn off the light. But, I grabbed my Bible instead. I flipped it open to the Psalms and read exactly what I saw first. Psalm 73.

This Psalm starts out by saying, "Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." 

That was it. I was envious. I wanted normal. I wanted to not be the mom of the child that would die if we didn't go through a bone marrow transplant. I wanted to be able to have an easy life, free of trial and coast right on through, enjoying whatever riches we could achieve and live right on however we desired.

Without Jesus. My feet had almost stumbled.

God brought me to this exact Psalm to show me what that life would be like apart from him. It was not worth being envious over. Their life seems easy and best, but it brings death. There is no pain and everything appears to be perfect. They are normal. Nothing appears to be wrong on the surface. But it is far from desirable.

"Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory." v. 24 

"Oh, Lord, you are holding my right hand. Even now reading this exact passage. You led me here. You are guiding me with your counsel. Thank you, Lord!" 

"Whom have I in heaven, but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you." v. 25

Straight up conviction like an arrow to my heart. I wrote in my journal, "...there is nothing on earth I desire besides YOU."

How I fall short of this! Forgive me Lord! Be in front of me. Let me desire only you on this Earth.

Only Jesus.

I can't be normal, because God loves me. He wants me near and He wants me to inherit more than anything on this Earth could give. He wants to give me himself.

Heaviness gone. God was near right now leading me to himself.

"But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works." Psalm 73:28

God is promising to be near to me. That is where it is good. He is my refuge. And I have to make it that way. All this is happening in my life, so that I may tell of all His works!

Who am I to doubt that? 
Stephanie Middaugh @stephmiddaugh Instagram photos | Websta:
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