Written By: Tanya Glanzman
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12
I sat next to her hospital bed, holding her little hand, working hard to hold back the tears that refused to be held.
“I’m so sorry I’m crying baby.”
She looked at me with a glint of a smile in her eyes and a teasing tone in her voice.
“Oh mama, if you weren’t crying, something would be wrong.”
And then, with her bald head, too thin frame and wisdom and peace beyond her years she said, “It’s okay Mama, Jesus is here.” Having now been given permission, I let go, held her as tight as I could without hurting her or disrupting the many cords that stretched between her little body and the incessantly beeping machines, laid my head next to her and sobbed.
We were over a year into our cancer journey. We were weary. We were told at the beginning that the course of treatment for my daughter who was diagnosed at 13 would be about 2.5 years depending on how things went.
This hospital stay took us by surprise, a result of an allergic reaction to one of the many chemo-therapy treatments she was given. On this day it just seemed more than I could tolerate. Did we really need one more thing?
This medication was created in a way that it re-released in her system every few hours, which meant that every few hours she was once again hit hard with an allergic reaction that was difficult for her to experience and difficult for me to watch. She could feel it coming on each time, I sat feeling helpless and out of control pressing the button for the nurse who would rush in and inject the appropriate medication into her line.
For the most part I worked hard to stay cheerful for her sake. She was already going through enough and the last thing I wanted to do was to lay my emotional baggage at her feet. We did our best to find humor and distract during the long days at the chemo clinic and long nights in the emergency room and hospital. Surgeries…bone marrow biopsies…spinal taps…. meetings with the medical team.
She is about to turn 24. Our cancer journey has long been over. I’m still recovering. Those were, hands down, the longest and most traumatic two and a half years of my life.
I wish I could tell you that I was a prayer warrior during this season. That I fought the good fight, that I didn’t fear. That having done all to stand, I stood firm on the truths of God’s Word to get through.
The truth, however, is that I struggled, and I struggled big. In fact, the first 3 months after her diagnoses, I didn’t even talk to God. I was angry. I felt betrayed. I couldn’t believe that we were faced with this. That this child, that I was told I would never even be able to have, was now fighting for her life. It all seemed so unfair.
I had prayed.
I had prayed that I would be able to conceive and give birth.
I had prayed that I would be able to be a good mom- better than the one I’d had.
I had prayed that God would keep my children safe from harm.
I had prayed.
The enemy of our soul desires nothing more than to convince us through whatever means necessary that our prayer is pointless. Convincing us that that which is pointless is powerless is a tremendous and often effective scheme.
His goals are clearly unveiled in John 10:10 where we are told “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” His motives revolve around working to steal your peace, kill your joy and destroy your intimacy with your Heavenly Father.
He wants you to believe that you are abandoned, forsaken, and left to your own devices when it comes to navigating your way through this journey of life. Often, he will remind you of all the reasons you are in this mess to begin with and how it’s your fault. Above all, he would like you to believe that you are alone. And yet, we know that this could never be, for the Word of God is very clear “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8)
At times, however, it can seem like we are not being heard and it can feel like we are alone. Our circumstances seem to remain the same no matter how much we pour our hearts out to the Father. Fear begins to strangle out our faith and the enemy takes full advantage of our trials, struggles and weaknesses to shoot the fiery darts of doubt and insecurity deep within our hearts. The lies that He screams into our ears begin to become louder than the small still voice within reminding us to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
When the enemy, in the sly way that he does, attempts to convince us of anything other than truth regarding prayer, we can effectively combat those lies of deception by wielding the sword of the spirit. The truth contained within God’s word assures us that, without a doubt, he does hear us when we pray. When the enemy whispers lies that contradict this truth, we must choose to fight back by “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5).
Any thought that does not align itself with the truth of God needs to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
He loves us.
He died for us.
He promises to never leave us.
He dwells within us.
He cares deeply about every single piece of our lives.
He hears us.
Each thought that comes can influence our beliefs, attitude and behaviors. As we fill ourselves with the truth of God’s word, we will more easily be able to identify those thoughts that come which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, which is His truth. As we identify those thoughts, we then bring them into the obedience of Christ by countering with that truth within us.
I eventually started talking to God again. When I came to the end of myself and realized that without intimacy with Him, I surely would never survive what lay before us. Where else do I have to go but into the arms of the one who knows me best and loves me most? And, like always, His arms were opened wide, waiting to be the comfort and peace that my soul longed for. And although we still journeyed long and hard days, I allowed Him to journey close beside me, where He wanted to be all along, and together…we made it through.
Daughter of God, run to Him today. Amid your mess, struggle, and storm. He’s waiting.
Pray with me-
Father, help me, as I face the difficult journeys in life to never stop running to you. When the cry of my heart roars pain and sorrow, fear, and doubt, help me to cling to what is true. Carry me when I’m too tired to run into your arms. Hold me close when I struggle to push away. Remind me always that you hear me, you listen to me and that you will never stop loving me. No matter what. I can’t and don’t want to do life without you.
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