Lenten Devotion, Tuesday, March 16, 2021: By Kristy Wade-Carroll

Published March 16, 2021 by SMBC


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Prayer for Healing
By Kristy Wade-Carroll

Psalm 77
?4 You kept my eyes from closing;?
I was too troubled to speak.?
5 I thought about the former days,?
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.?
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 ?Will the Lord reject forever??
Will he never show his favor again?

What do you do when you can't sleep? Well, I confess: If I've told you I'll pray for you, that act is most likely to happen during sleepless moments in the middle of the night. When my thoughts lead to more thoughts, my worries to more worries, I start praying. I pray not in any traditional form of prayer, but a sort of stream of consciousness; thinking not merely about what I've been obsessing over, but about concerns I've observed or which other people have expressed to me. I consider these songs in the night.

Almost exactly 11 years ago, late January to early March felt like an endless yet fleeting portion of time consumed by the juxtaposition of life at its start and end. It involved two infants, many visits to MDAnderson Cancer Center, and all the logistics that came with the waning days of cancer treatment and then end-of-life care for my husband, Bruce. Retrospectively, that time blurs together, yet is punctuated by vibrant memories. One is the moment when it became evident that it was time to begin letting go instead of digging in. I clearly remember saying to God, ?But I don't want this. And I don't want to be that person: the young widow, the only parent, the person whose life didn't stick to ?the Plan.? God, I don't want to be an ANOMALY.? And the still, small voice said, ?This is not about choosing. Be who you are.? Honestly, that didn't feel like an answer or any sort of comfort. At the time, I could only see what I was losing. That was a time of surviving each moment. However, through all the moments, a healing plan unfolded - through travel, seminary, and service. In fact, it's a continual unfurling of discerning my witness.

A little less than five years ago, I was again having a serious, impassioned conversation with God. It had been 6 years of growing into that new identity I hadn't wanted and embracing its peace. Then I met Larry. One sleepless night, I prayed, ?What IS this?? and was simply told, ?My gift.? Several weeks later, my prayer was an exasperated, ?Why can't I just have ?normal??? God's (perhaps more exasperated) reply: ?Do you want ?normal? or do you want happy?? I chose happy.

Overwhelmed by pain, we learn to accept help. It is both humbling and healing to know that we have support.

So in the night, I pray that God will put in your path those who can best offer you what God knows you need.

Even as we long for what was, we can also become mindful of our present blessings. So in the night, I pray that you are able to recognize good things.

As we seek connection or search inwardly for solutions, we often find clarity when we turn our energy toward others.

So in the night, I pray for God to lead you to others who can benefit from what you are uniquely equipped to offer.

We cry out to God, shout our dissatisfaction, frustration, and doubts, and we are heard.
So in the night, I pray that you feel the freedom God offers you to question Him, and the patience to listen for and to His response.

When we are fearful of change, we can recall and examine our previous experiences of walking unfamiliar pathways.

So in the night, I pray for you to feel God's presence supporting you as you work on accepting and embracing new things.

We remember all we have lost, but can also consider all we have had.

So in the night, I pray that as you reflect upon the past, you will see the wonders God has provided before and thus trust that He will continue to guide your life.

God grasps our troubles, even when we don't know what to say. God grasps our troubles, even when we wail our complaints, bombard God with our own solutions, and unleash a barrage of questions and doubts. God grasps our troubles through a vast history of faithfully grasping troubles. God is the expert at bringing forth blessing from pain. To me, that is healing - learning that we can live through both.

About the Author
Kristy Wade-Carroll is married to Larry Carroll, mom to Christian and John, and earned a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Truett Seminary. At South Main, she currently serves on the Outreach Committee, is a member of the Graceland class, and leads the ?Walking Through Grief? support ministry. She enjoys traveling, singing, reading, writing, and finding creative ways of using up all the leftovers.