Just a small disclaimer before I proceed, this is not the cheeriest of posts ever, but I have my friends blessings and permission to share. She believes, through her pain, perhaps a life can be saved. I pray I can do her story justice. I will try (to the best of my ability) and let God Himself convey the rest.
“In deciding upon my best course of action for my untimely demise, I discovered that I had never recovered from the tragedy fourteen years ago!” My friend blasted, point blank.
Her statement caught me completely off guard, and I nearly spit my tea. I think I sat wide-eyed, jaw agape for what seemed like an eternity. My brain was a whirlpool. As thoughts floated by, I grasped at what I could.
The need to tread lightly was imperative.
I could react, freak out, and think she was just as crazy as the other nuts. I could try to talk her out of such nonsense. Or, I could hear past my reactions to the truth of her statement.
First off, I knew she wasn’t crazy. I had seen this lady in action. She could pray the bark of a tree, for others. She could hold the world on her shoulders, for others. That was the key, for others. Never for herself. She could cheer the world with a smile, but never herself. She wasn’t crazy, just deeply hurt. I knew that.
Secondly, if I tried to reason with her, telling her how precious she was, how the absence of her presence would leave a gaping hole, she would not hear me. My words would be last week’s garbage. However, that was not the point of her statement.
Option three: I could hear what my friend was saying to me.
Yes, she was talking about death, again. But it was the second statement that held the weight. Here was a woman who was beyond amazing, but tragedy had befallen her at her hands and she just could not move on.
I think part of the real tragedy was the fact she could not talk about it.
I knew her well enough to know she was searching for a friend, some place she felt safe. She needed someone she could trust. Judgment was harsh, and she refused to put herself in that situation again. She was far beyond reserved in these matters.
She tried previously. Well-meaning people, she thought she could trust, always dashed away. I felt her pain. I didn’t even know if I had what it took to hear her out. “God give me the strength I need to be a friend. Give me the stamina to stay. Give me wisdom when to speak and when to be silent.” I prayed.
She sat there, across my kitchen table from me, eyes cutting directly into my soul daring me to speak. This soul-cutting stare was her “can I trust you?” test. My next words were not my own.
“You may be right,” I said.
“I’m caught in between my cave and the surface. This is not a safe place for me.” She said next.
Here was someone I trusted. Someone I looked up to. Someone I depended upon; our roles reversed.
Her “cave” was the walls beyond walls that she built to keep the world away from her heart. Hurt had pierced her heart; those walls kept it just her and Jesus.
The “surface” as she called it, was when she glossed everything over, put on her smile, and held tight. On the surface, she prayed for others, was an encourager to others, and felt as normal and happy as a sad person could. No one was aware. She kept it that way. Jesus knew.
Being “caught in between” meant she felt trapped in some seriously real emotions that demanded attention that she could not give. She fought for survival like a raccoon falsely accused in a trap.
“God, help! What can I do? I can barely manage my life let alone be a friend to such sadness. What do I do?” I prayed fervently.
This woman was MY prayer shield. She had MY back at every turn. I’m not half the prayer warrior she is. Why couldn’t she just pray this one through on her own? I’m cruel, honest, but harsh.
Here is where the big thought comes into play.
Who prays for the prayer warriors when they cannot pray for themselves?
Who lifts the arms of those who raise their arms in battle, especially when no one knows they struggle?
I’ve always viewed the prayer warriors as invincible. I figured they never had issues.
“I need prayer. Fighting down on your knees, sword in hand, ready to fight, type of prayer.” She was drop-dead serious.
Here’s what I know–if the enemy, seeking to kill, steal, and destroy, can take away those who are willing to fight on behalf of others, he finds himself victorious.
Here’s the truth. Even the strongest get wounded. They get back up and continue fighting. Those that keep standing up in battle have a huge target on their backs. The enemy prefers them to stay down, wallow in self-pity, rolling in the muck of defeat.
Christ died to make us more than conquerors, overcomes in this life.
My friend has a long journey ahead of her. This war is not against flesh and blood. The path to healing is rough. It will hurt. Bad. She’s a prayer warrior, though, and those called to pray are tough as nails.
Right now we are praying against the chains of fear that have her vocal chords strangled. A spirit of fear is not an option!