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My Rough Edges

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

(Trigger warning for photo below)

Journal entry 1/23/15

So where did God go when Robert was admitted to BAMC tonight? All alone as he fights me for hours trying to pull out his IV.

Why am I here again?

What's the damn purpose?

If he hits me in the face one more time! So where did You go?

I have some rough edges, so please forgive the raw, tired thoughts on that January night. Looking back over my written words, it is not pretty. This journal entry was written 15 days before Robert passed. I had no idea we were that close.

My kids tell me that I really do not know how to curse the “right” way. (Like there is a class on this for the late bloomers?) I rarely use “bad” language because I didn’t grow up around it, and I can almost always find a better word to use. Obviously on this evening, I could not.

You know you are at the very end of your rope when you start asking God the hard questions out loud. It may seem quite foreign to some of you. But many who have walked a road full of disappointment and potholes know all too well that questioning God’s faithfulness does not surprise Him or make us any less loved. It is a very real part of the process. I have a hard time trusting a faith that has not yet been tested by fire.

My journal entry was quick and to the point that day. I didn’t have time to think of beautiful words to pen. I needed answers—real, tangible answers. I didn’t hear a voice or see writing on the hospital wall. I just wrote down the screams in the deepest part of my soul and went right back to holding my 18-year-old Robert through the night. That position of sleeping next to him in his hospital bed was familiar and often accompanied by hours of praying. Some prayers were sweet, while others felt like a wrestling match against a mighty opponent too big for my little hands. You know—too short to box with God.

Robert, however, was known for thinking he could box with anyone! And that night, his target was my face. Have you ever tried to hold it together when a child hits you in the face because you are aware that others are watching, and you don’t want to appear too angry? Well, some of you know exactly what I am talking about. All eyes are not only on your child in the Pediatric ICU, but also on you. Believe me, I have been there a few times. I know that most medical staff get it. They know most parents are just trying to hold it together and not cry when their face burns and lips start to swell. I bet they have also heard stories about the cries for help shouted at the ceiling during those moments. I have verbally torn open a few ceilings in a silent rage while lying still in a Pediatric ICU hospital bed. (Let’s not even mention the times when I was doing it solo while Chris was deployed.… I digress.)

”If he hits me one more time,...”

It was really a break in reasoning. I would never harm Robert. I would have done anything for him. So, what exactly would I do if he hit me one more time? Absolutely nothing. It was a cry for help. But to whom was I crying?

That’s right. To the One who was too big for me to fight against—the One who I believed was big enough to make sense of it all. My rough edges didn’t suddenly disappear once I shouted silently. I didn’t find peace in that moment. Honestly, I was just hurt and angry. I didn’t want to be in that hospital that night, but I had no choice. Robert needed to be there, so I was there.

You may know these feelings and have cried out like I did. You may still be doing so. I know it is rough. You may not even recognize yourself. You can do this. You can provide the care your loved one needs. And when you can no longer do so, cry out loud. There is no shame in having rough edges. There is only pain when you can’t admit that you have them and that you need a little help.

Rough edges don’t scare me. Rough edges don’t scare God. Let this be the community you turn to when your arms feel too short and too tired to box.

You are not alone.

Listening Library: Lean On Me (CeCe Winans & Tauren Wells)

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5 NIV)

Lean On Me

Sometimes in our lives We all have pain We all have sorrow

But if we are wise We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me When you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on...

For it won't be long Till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride If I have things you need to borrow

For no one can fill Those of your needs that you won't let show

You just call on me brother when you need a hand We all need somebody to lean on

I just might have a problem that you'll understand We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me When you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on...

For it won't be long Till I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call me (When you need me) Call me (Cause I’m your sister)

Call me (Call me)

Call me (You’re my brother)

Call me (You can lean on me)

Call me (You can depend on me)

Call me (Just call me)

Call me

Songwriters: Bill Withers

Lean on Me lyrics © Songs Of Universal Inc.


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