Stay with Me

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He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. Isaiah 53:3-4 Amplified Version

 

It feels strange to be typing again, after these last two weeks of being almost bed-ridden. I had not seen this coming, even though I knew there might be some side effects to the RA infusion that was scheduled for me.  “I’ve had so many different medications, God will get me through” I told myself.  But I should have listened to the whispered urging that Jesus had spoken to me the week before. . . .

 

I was part of Bonnie Gray’s Lenten Study, offered at her website by clicking here.  The Scripture passage for pondering that week was from Matthew chapter 26, as Jesus was agonizing over the burden that had been placed upon Him:

 

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38 NIV

 

As Bonnie asked us to imagine ourselves there, and to listen to Jesus as if He were asking us to stay with Him then, I realized that my soul was resisting the thought of where He was asking me to stay.

 

Hadn’t I already faced enough sorrow on this journey? 

How could He ask me to face more?

 

Oh, but He did.  The sorrows multiplied, and the darkness threatened to overtake me as the side effects of the infusion embroiled through my body.  As the physical pain and dizziness became unbearable, deep depressive thoughts, deeper than I had ever faced, threatened to overwhelm me.  But into the very midst of those thoughts, precious family and friends were praying over me, and a fog of peace held me fast. The days were a blur, even as my sweet grandchildren cuddled me softly and read aloud when my own voice was too weak to read to them.

 

And as the fog began to part, the voice of my Lord spoke thoughts gentle to my ears– thoughts that I had just begun to glimpse during the weeks prior to the trial’s surging:

 

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“Stay with Me here.”

I heard the words chasing

me down the path

I had tried to follow

 

I saw the chores piled up.

I heard the clock ticking

my heart matched its

tick-tocking rhythm

 

Just give me a minute.

I heard the bells warning

sounding in that moment

before I stumbled

 

Still the words came

“Stay with Me here”

 

“I would rather not.”

I heard my words stiffly

scruffling and scratching

from wistful gazings unfurled

 

But the path was halted.

And I heard only silence

when my pain engulfed

a world spinning in fog

 

Ugly words found voice.

I heard their screaming

within to join their running

to race to an awful end

 

But HIS hands held me fast.

I heard my voice urging

outside of the fray

“Jesus, come save me!”

 

“Stay with Me here”

I heard His voice wooing

His staying became mine

His heart woven over

 

His love for me now

Stay with me here.

–bg

 

Jesus knew His disciples had no power to stay on their own.

And yet He asked them.

Jesus knew I had no power of my own to stay with Him there.

And yet He asked me.

He knew that HIS own staying would become the power we each need,

when we have none left.

 

 

You might remember the post from a few months ago, when I had told a dear friend that it felt like my own body had become the enemy. It was then she posed the question:

 

“Can you love your enemies, even if it feels like your own body has become the enemy?”

 

Jesus brought the answer to that question in the midst of these foggy painful days. I would never be able to love my enemies until I could speak as He did hanging upon the cross:

 

And Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34 Amplified Version

 

Those enemies who seek to harm us? They are not the real enemy. And my body’s own immune system that seems to keep harming me? It is not the real enemy.  Of course I know that sin and this darkened evil sent from the enemy of our souls is the real enemy. But I have not embraced the deep love that Jesus has there for my body, as well as my heart.

Our Lord loved us when we were so broken. When it was our sin that put Him on that cross, He still saw the beauty in us.  And He is asking if I can forgive my own body for doing what it doesn’t understand. Can I forgive my body when it doesn’t respond as I think it should, when I don’t understand?

 

Can I forgive and see the beauty that He does?

He carries me to the place of staying, the place of loving, and holds me fast in His heart.

 

 

I have been offered so many prayers these past few weeks, and my soul is overflowing with longing to pray for and with each one who would read these words:

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for seeing right inside of our weakened places and loving us right there. Thank You for each one of these my friends who have offered their love and prayers for me over these many weeks. Lord, would You show them just how precious they are to You, how beautiful their eyes are, how lovely their hearts beat? I ask for a special flowing of Your mercy to cover their own weak places, and a power from Your Spirit to hold them fast when they feel they are crumbling. I ask for the gift of forgiveness for things spoken or committed against them, things that are so hard to understand. Would You cover us all with Your gentle balm and Your strong arms. We are so in love with You.

In Your Precious Name we pray,

Amen

 

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What is Jesus whispering to your heart today?

I am seeking to listen to HIS word for me as I discuss medication failures with my Rheumatologist today. I am so thankful that Jesus is still my Great Physician, holding me safe in His hands.

 

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#Teaandword

#Tellhisstory

 

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “Stay with Me

  1. Bettie, thank you for sharing again from the deep places of your heart and out of your pain. You are such an inspiration to keep trusting in our Lord, for He is with us through it all. Your poem is just beautiful and your prayer so meaningful. Thank you! I’m so glad God made our paths cross nearly 3 years ago. What a blessing you have been to me! Much love! Blessings and hugs to you, dear sister! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Gayl, Thank you so much for your prayers and encouraging words. I am so very grateful that God led our paths to cross also, during that #Write31Days challenge. He just has such beautiful ways to show us that He is with us through every step. You and your precious family are in my prayers today, Dear Friend! Love & Hugs! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are just so amazing…, a beacon of His Light and Hope when we feel hopeless.

    I pray for a miracle for you each day.
    Your love for Jesus makes me weep.

    Be blessed this day. May the Holy Spirit guide your doctors.

    All is Grace,
    Colleen

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Colleen, Oh truly, “All is Grace” for sure. If you see any beauty here, I know it is all because of Him. I am so grateful that He would allow us to lift up each other’s broken places to Him, to be held and loved in such precious ways. Thank you for the sweet gift of encouragement that you have brought to me today also, Dear Sister! I pray for a miracle for you today, too, and for all Glory to be given to our precious Jesus. Love and Hugs!

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    1. Oh Melissa, I am so glad that you commented here today! I wanted so much to tell you that one of the books that my Granddaughters read aloud with me was your own book, Licky the Lizard. These are the ones who just returned from outreach in the Caribbean, so they were well acquainted with the very thing you wrote about. It felt like a part of you was here with me on that day. What a special gift from the Lord to share. I am so thankful for you too! Blessings, love, and hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will continue to pray for you. I am seeing a new rheumatologist who is trying to decide my treatment; so, I fully understand the pain of medication reactions. If you could, would you mind telling me which medicine you reacted to? I am waiting to see which one my rheumatologist recommends. I don’t want to face the same pain and could avoid that medicine. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Oh, I am glad that you are able to see a new Rheumatologist and look for new solutions! I have had bad reactions to so many of the meds, but I know that every person’s body reacts so differently. This last one that was the worst for me, though, was a Remicade infusion. I pray that they will be able to find a good treatment for you, Dear Sister! And I pray for relief in the meantime. I know you carry so many burdens for your whole family. May Jesus give you extra strength!

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    1. Thank you so much for your compassion and understanding Mary. Your prayers and support mean so much to me! I hope to have energy to get over and link-up at your site sometime later today.

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  4. Bettie, I’m so glad to read how God was with you before, during, and now as you journey this time. He’s led you to just what you needed. And those dark times? Well, He knew they were coming too. And loved on You like no other could. Keep well, my friend, staying tuned into His whispers of rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Oh I love that reminder, that “He’s led you to just what you needed.” He has been guiding me all along, to that deeper place of trust in His heart. I am so grateful that He does know about those dark times, and is not surprised by them either. Blessings to you in this journey of Whispers of Rest also, Dear Friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bettie I’m saddened to hear your journey through the Valley of the Shadow of death but what a testimony that Jesus carried you through that darkened valley & you are now triumphant as a living memorial to His support & love in the darkest of times! He truly never leaves us nor let’s His hold go on us 😀 Amen!
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you for your precious words of encouragement here. He truly is our triumphant victory, our memorial in our hearts. Such sweet insights that you have shared here, garnered from your own journey as well. I pray that He will continue to open my heart to see more of His great love and support in this journey. Blessings to you also!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bettie
    I waited so long to read your writings but still there was a proper communication with us that made me happy and you are in my prayers Bettie.
    And thank you for sharing ‘He will hold me fast’ song since its my all time favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Athira,
      Oh I am so thankful that the song “He will hold me fast” was such a blessing for you! I had another song in mind, but on the last day before I sent this out, God reminded me of this song. He knew which song would be such a gift today! I am so grateful for your precious sharing, Dear Friend. May Jesus keep blessing His Word among us. Thank you for your sweet prayers! Love & Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Bettie, the tears flowed just reading this. I can’t even imagine living through the agony. That you could hear and compose a message from such a pain-filled place is a wonder to me. But what a beautiful, powerful message you offer, despite it all. Your faith is a shining beacon. The darker the night, the brighter your faith shines. I’m praying for you even now. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide your doctors and move through your body to bring healing, wholeness and hope. In Jesus’ name, amen. Blessings and love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa,
      Oh your words bring tears to my eyes also. To know that He is shining in the middle of our own dark places is such a hope and comfort. And your prayer for me is so very Heaven-sent: the Lord released me from the Rheumatologist that I have been seeing since the beginning of my diagnosis, and my husband & I are praying for wisdom as we seek guidance for new doctors. Jesus truly is my Great Physician walking me forward when I can’t see the way. Thank you for being such a precious voice from Him today. Blessings, love and hugs to you also!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good morning Bettie, I am pausing to pray again for you right now, as I read this update. May the Holy Spirit send a special touch of comfort, hope and relief from the pain! May He open the doors for your medical care and treatment that He knows are best. May His peace cover you as you continue to walk with Him through all of this. May He use your life, faith and ministry for His glory. Psalm 91:1 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Blessings, love and hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Amen. Thank you for your beautiful prayer, Dear Friend. I love that Psalm, and have been singing a song of “Cover me with Your feathers, Lord” this week. So precious. Blessings, love and hugs to you too!

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  8. Oh, dear friend! I am SO sorry it has taken me so long to get here to read this post. It deeply sorrows me to hear of your horrible suffering and the reaction from that medicine. I know it must have been so terrible to walk through, and it is just precious how Jesus asked you to stay there with Him. Your words are just beautiful and were such a comfort to me tonight. I have been so sick and having some problems, and even though I know my suffering didn’t come close to what you were going through, your words blessed me enormously. I got your sweet email and will answer it as soon as I can. Sending much love and many hugs to you tonight, my dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Cheryl,
      Please don’t feel bad about not getting here to read this post–I sure understand how time and energies get consumed so easily when you are not feeling well. I am so sorry that it has been such a long struggle that you have been going through also. Isn’t our Lord so precious to sit with us through all of these hard days?No matter what we face, He is just so full of mercy towards us! Thank you so much for all of your sweet prayers and encouraging words for me also! I am praying for you this week, my dear friend. May you feel the strength and love of Jesus! Hugs and Blessings to you!

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  9. I am sitting here in gratitude for how God is perfectly present in your life even in the pain. You are asked the hard questions and still, you follow as God says, “stay with me”. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. God is using your story to teach us how to stay the course.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Isn’t the love of God so amazing? He sees what is coming for us, and knows that we need His help so much. I am so grateful that even in the hard places, He has not left us unprotected, but is right there in the middle of it all with us. Your words are such a comfort to me also, Mary! And I have been thinking about your book on “Brave” this week, as He asked me to be brave with my post this coming week. Blessings and love for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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