But this was personal. I was not looking on in curiosity at someone else's monument. I was viewing myself hanging there clinging to life.
And I didn't like what I saw . . . or felt. The pain of it all still exists.
I once again questioned the Lord about the circumstances behind the despair. Not the "Why me?" or "How could you allow this?" questions, but "Are you really able to use my disability for your honor and your glory?" is what I asked. Frankly, if the answer is "no" I might as well just climb over the edge right now.
I don't have my answer yet.
Last night our study group was discussing a segment of the Bible study I wrote of I John. It was one of those nights when it was difficult keeping everyone's attention focused upon the path ahead. I really needed a shepherd's hook instead of a Strong's Concordance in my tool box. Sometimes in these circumstances the "somewhat related" topic where we stray is not so far removed as to be ignored and often is serious enough to warrant attention. Such was the case here.
The premise presented by someone in the group was that there are people who
- A. Either will not accept Christ, or
- B. Will not serve God
because they are angry over circumstances that God has allowed in their life. The corollary - as I understood it - was that this is somehow justified, or at least understandable when it affects people of certain demographics.
I'll grant the premise. There are people who either will not trust God or will not serve Him because they are angry over something "horrible" that He has allowed in their lives, but I WILL NOT agree that it is ever justifiable for anyone to continually use their circumstances as an excuse to be angry with God!
And that's when I unwittingly found myself standing on the edge of the precipice. I alluded to my own personal affliction (without actually going into detail about what that affliction entails) and emphasized the severity of my battle all those years ago by using the "S" word. (Suicide)
I heard the gasps. I saw the wide eyes of some of the ladies and the lowered heads of others.
I felt my face grow red.
The clarification was made that I had contemplated it in those days I shut myself in my room while suffering deep depression but I had never attempted it then or at any other time. Never. Somehow, it didn't seem to help the situation. At least it didn't help mine.
Comments were made about how hard it is to carry the burdens of a pastor's wife. Perhaps true, but totally irrelevant. Being a pastor's wife is not as hard as carrying a personal burden laid upon me with the permission of God Himself.
Today, the morning after, I am weary and worn. I've revisited a place I never wanted to see again and the trip has left me exhausted.
I may not know yet if God is using my affliction for His honor and glory, although I truly hope He is, but I was reminded once again why I felt the leading of the Lord when writing my study. Chapter one makes it clear that I am to enjoy personal fellowship with others. In fact, God Himself wants to fellowship with me!
If my true appearance were manifested to the world many would consider me a freak. But God does not care about my physical appearance. Jesus was manifested to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. (I John 3:5) He became a social outcast and accursed of God for me. He was separated from both men and God so that I could have fellowship with humanity and Deity.
So pray that my eyes will be drawn away from the cliff and its focus on my physical appearance and placed upon that hill called Calvary where my spiritual beauty was assured. And pray that I don't make it a regular habit of using "shock therapy" to prove my point unless it will somehow be used for God's honor and glory.