Saturday, May 21, 2011

Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love...

I sat down and read the book, "Heaven is for Real," by Todd Burpo, today. I should have said I sat down and cried today, because as I read the book, I found myself weeping. Page after page, tears rolled down my cheeks, because of God's unfailing love and faithfulness.

There was a time period a year in a half ago that I really wanted to die. I have a Type A personality, and can be quite intense. During some of my scariest times, I wanted to be finished with this earthly life. In fact, I had lost all desire to live, and I was going in the wrong direction...but Jesus gave me the best Mom in the world, who could tell I saw no hope, no future, no desire to continue, and you know what she did? My mother steered me in the exact opposite direction. That's when I started running. Errr...that's when I started walking 0.5mph on the treadmill for 90 seconds. I went from feeling desperately hopeless to an incredibly hopeful!

I invite you to read the following excerpt from Todd Burpo's book that spoke to me:

"Daddy, remember when I yelled for you in the hospital when I waked up?"

How could I forget? It as the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. "Of course I do," I said.

"Well, the reason I was yelling was that Jesus came to get me. He said I had to go back because he was answering your prayer. That's how come I was yelling for you."

Suddenly, my knees felt weak underneath me. I flashed back to my prayers alone, raging at God, and my prayers in the waiting room, quiet and desperate. I remembered how scared I was, agonizing over whether Colton would hang on through the surgery, whether he'd live long enough for me to see his precious face again. Those were the longest, darkest ninety minutes of my life.

And Jesus answered my prayer? Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising him, questioning his wisdom and his faithfulness?

Why would God even answer a prayer like that? And how did I deserve his mercy?

I love this about Christ; He never gives up on us, He never quits loving us, and even when we are hurting, scared, and lashing out, He still answers our prayers! God is faithful to me, whether or not I am faithful to Him. I can hardly begin to comprehend His love for you and I.

As of May 3, 1987, Jesus Christ has been in my heart. I was five, almost six years old and on the way to a piano recital when I made this decision.

I remember being very angry with God when I was nine years old. I told Him many times that I was angry, and He was not being a good God, and I did not want to believe in Him anymore. I contemplated suicide so many times that year. I had even planned what my note would say. I was pretty sure I would take a knife and chop my wrists off and hopefully die that way. (I never had the guts to do this, as I have always been terrified of doctors! Something could go wrong, then I would be in trouble.) There was quite a bit of rage within me. At times I would yell at God, and tell Him that I did not want to be a Christian, and I did not believe in His goodness; rather I felt hate, despair, and loneliness. God never once turned His back on me. He must've been answering the prayers of my parents and grandparents. :)

The following line resonates in my head, over and over, "And Jesus answered my prayer? Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising him, questioning his wisdom and his faithfulness? Why would God even answer a prayer like that? And how did I deserve his mercy?"

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love... Jesus answered my prayers of anger, hurt, rage, despair, and loneliness, and in its place He has filled my heart with joy, peace, contentment, anticipation, and companionship.

On a much lighter note...I have not ran since the Nashville Marathon. In fact, I have had my left calf professionally massaged, I have iced my leg on a daily basis, and I have stayed off of my leg to allow it to heal. Today I went for a ten minute jog--this was extremely difficult. To keep myself to ten minutes and not a second longer, I ran with my hair down in 92F, 85% humidity. Another lovely spring day in Houston...I wish I could have ran ten miles today. I crave long runs, and I miss spending my afternoons/evenings on the pavement. My next race is the Chosen Half Marathon with my Daddy at whatever pace he wants to run.


RuthT said...

Heaven Is For Real is quite a powerful little book. I PRAISE God for you, Faith. God has answered many prayers in my life and your being here on this earth is a testimony to answered prayers. Some prayers were merely groans and sighs that the Holy Spirit gave up for me. May you be blessed with the assurance that Third Day sings about. You are a blessing to me. I love you. Mom

stephane said...

Such a wonderful testimony!! Me either God has answered many prayers in my life and i am so thankful.I just want to say this < Trust GOD and you will never be disappointed, he is so good,so faithful and merciful.Once again trust him and be patient, as said in 2 peter 3 : 8, One day is like thousand years and thousand years are like one day>.
Be Blessed

mouser said...

You are awesome Faith!! It is such a blessing to have you as a friend. An answer to one of my prayers!

Regardless of how far you run, your time, etc, you are still a very inspirational runner.

Anonymous said...

You are definitely a blessing to me! I feel like I haven't talked to you in a lifetime and I miss it! Now that I have Internet again I'll be keeping up with your blog for sure! Next I need to get my phone in working order so I can actually talk to you. Love you!

Philip and Traci said...

Faith, you are a true blessing in my life. Your life is a testimony to me to never give up, remain faithful to Him, and keep my eyes on the Ultimate prize of Heaven! I'm so thankful we've kept in touch after these many years.