Talking to God.

Cold rain.
Many Seattl-ites are not fond of the rain, or the coldness... But I am. I love cold rain. I love the feeling of it on your hands, the way it wakes your senses up violently. I love it when it's pouring, when it drenches your hair and soaks through your clothes until you can feel it in your very bones. Awakened is the word- I suppose.

I love it in the dark, in the rain, beneath the moon. I always dance in it, lean my head back, put my arms out- spin. I spin and breathe in the air and for one second- I rise above everything and everyone and I can just think. Just think, freely, clearly.

And then- I can talk to God.

In the rain, he almost always talks back. Usually, the wind blows when I start to hear His voice, the one I recognize. I recognize it because it soothes the senses. Calming, gentle, commanding, truthful, loving, honest- and sometimes it inspires chills. Usually, when I hear Him, his voice is calm. It's like a whisper.

This time I stood there, soaking, and asked him... "Where have you been?"

I knew the answer before I heard his voice, and He knew I knew it. But still, he answered. "I've been here. Right here." I could feel his presence in my heart.

"I am so tired of feeling this way. I am so tired of fighting the same battle." I said. He was silent. "I need joy. What happened to my joy? The one that miraculously kept me going- kept me upbeat through all of this?" He was listening, I think. He's a good listener. "God, I need Your joy. Pour it over me. Give me joy."

Without a word, I felt a warmth cover my whole body. A strength, a newness. I felt a rushing of peace and love and comfort going through my veins.

But His voice spoke softly again. "It's not a fix. You have to lay it down, every day. Ask and you shall receive. I will give you all that you need."

I've always wanted to grow out of this- depression- anxiety. I've had times where it doesn't effect me for months, but it always comes back. Sometimes with a vengence. Usually, it comes back when I have ignored it for so long that I begin to pretend it doesn't exist.

But the fact is, I have to lay it down- constantly.

Nick and I talk about this a lot. About my depression issues, anxiety, and even just past experiences that haunt my mind. But this last bout hit me like a ton of bricks.

Nick and I talked, me crying- and he told me about how people in the Bible struggled too. He talked to me about how Paul had a demon who wouldn't leave him, and how God used it to bring Paul closer to him. Paul had to keep laying it down- every day- and eventually Paul thought it was a blessing... Because in the long run- it drew Paul to where he NEEDED God. Every day.

I wish I didn't have this burden. I wish it would go away. But I know it will be mine to continue to fight, with God. And I know, if I let it, it will bring me closer to Him.

God gives us our struggles so we can learn to draw nearer to him.

What you are going through, it has a purpose. As I've said many times in this blog, when you go through something difficult, you can let it tear you apart and ruin you- or you can let it soften you, grow you, change you- draw you closer to God.

Here's to our struggles, and the deep relationships they give us with God.


Mandy said...

Hi Julia! Thanks for sharing that. "Here's to our struggles, and the deep relationships they give us with God." Great thoughts. :-)

Hey...would you be willing to email me your address? I have something I would like to send you if I could. amanda.pelton at uscm dot org. Does that make sense?

Tammy said...

I'm in love with your ability to write so beautifully Julia. What a God gift. If you have time, take a listen to this song.

"Climb" and "Set a Fire" are really good too.

Shannon said...

You are a terrific writer. Obviously you are an artist and your writing shows it. I believe your pictures will be just as magical.

kim said...

my name is Kim, my husband and I have 5 children. Our youngest was born with Down Syndrome and an unbalanced AV canal (av canal and HRHS). His name is Will, he is pure joy.
He had a bt shunt surgery at 5 weeks. The bi dirrectional glenn at 5 months. We slowly began to learn that the fontan series was not great for kids with DS due to higher pulmonary pressures, and lets face it, a single ventricle is not good for anyone. our hearts broke, as our love grew even stronger day by day.
Not long after Wills glenn, I got an email from a mom named Debbie, in NY, her son (Gabriel!) was then almost 4, he also has DS, ubavc and HLHS....he two had had first 2 surgeries in the fontan surgeries. They too were told of the grim prognosis. They got a second opinion from Boston Childrens Hospital....the top surgeon, head of Harvard Cardio Dept, specializes in ds and single ventricles. He operated on their son and gave him four chambers.
I thought she was nice but nuts, or maybe she had her facts wrong...if this was possible wouldnt our surgeon try it? or tell us to go to Boston?
My husband and I prayed, Debbie gently kept emailing me, leaving messages on our carepage, asking if we contacted Boston for that second opinion.
As you guessed, this in a long story....with a miracle ending. We got that opinion, we went to Boston, Dr Pedro del Nido, created four chambers for our son... Will is now 5, 100% sats for that last 4 years...maybe some day he MIGHT need a valve replacement...might. He has a normal life expectancy for a person with DS.
We have about 10 kids in our happy little pack, from all over the US from NY, to FL, to NE, all who had ds and unbalanced av canal with either hlhs or hrhs, who went to boston and had full repairs...in fact all the kids I know had local surgeons who said it was impossible...including ours.
please get a second opinion. DR Pedro del Nido at Childrens Hospital of Boston.
contact me anytime kknipp@kc.rr.com
www.carepages.com name HeWill
I know God has a full heart in store for your Gabe, I will be praying for him

Deb Johnston said...

I have walked in your shoes. My son's name is also Gabe and he was born with down syndrome and HLHS. He is 8 years old now and his sats are 98-100%

Gabe had the bi-directional glenn in 2004. Then we found a surgeon who believe he could give Gabe a 4 chamber heart . Gabe had the Glenn taken down and a bi-vent repair in June 2007

Check out this video on YouTube: Gabe's Story


I emailed you my contact information if you are interested in talking. I will pray for your sweet Gabe and hope to talk to you soon.

If the link doesn't work you can google you tube Gabes story down syndrome

God Bless

Ps I just noticed my close friend Kim left you a message. She texted your link to me this morning :)

Sent from Deb

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