This is one of those times.
I have lots of New Agey-type friends. I used to lean that way myself. People who swear we are gods in our own right and that tapping into that power, or connecting to 'all this is' is as easy as turning on a light switch. Know what I've never found? I've never ever found someone who has been to Hell and back who believes those things. The people I've met in life who have seen the worst (like the Holocaust survivors I know, or the friend who watched her entire family be murdered in front of her, or the girl I taught who was raped and tortured and beaten by her father for years, and who, when she finally told, was forced by him to eat her own dog) - these people, these miraculous beings who looked Evil in the face and lived to tell about it -- these people, whether Jew or Christian or something all their own, accept and understand their own limitations and reach upwards to a God who promises to stand by them even when they feel it not. Each of them accepts that we truly do not have any power of our own accord. If we did, those horrible things would not have happened, because we would not invite or wish them into our lives.
I have not survived a holocaust. I cannot fathom what it would be like to see my family murdered before me, but in my own relative circumstances, I have been living my own little version of hell for awhile. And I am here to tell you that platitudes and positive thinking cannot clear a mind and heart of such darkness. A little darkness? Sure. But a great big, unfathomably deep and all penetrating darkness that seems to pummel us in relentless waves? No. 'Happy thoughts' are not going to fix that kind of thing. It takes something greater than ourselves.
And so, in this never ending journey of pain and suffering with Anya, I have only two choices. I can to cling to hope and trust in all the other instances that God has proven His love for me (and there are sooo many) and wait for His answer to come...even when it's been 6 years of waiting so far. Or, I can throw my hands in the air, turn my back on God and Anya, and walk away.
I'm sure you know which one I've chosen every day of these past 6 years.
Anya is not well. She had a third emergency surgery, today. Her lung infection is worse. There is talk of amputation. I cannot even pretend to understand why she suffers so much and why I continuously am put in the position to not be able to help her. Yes, I am also fully aware that I am getting the lion's share of bad luck this summer. And no, I do not know why. But I do know this: God is ever and always pushing us towards a greater good, if we have placed our lives in his hands. I may not see the point of the suffering, but I don't have to. My job is to persevere and to trust and hope. Its not easy. In fact, some days its downright impossible. But the impossible is nothing to God.
I've gotten so many emails and phone calls and messages offering advice on how to cope with this. Some say 'stay positive and picture her here!' - sweet sentiment, but unhelpful. Some more religious friends say ' Look inward and see what unconfessed sins might be to blame.' Sorry, my God doesn't work that way. Others say 'maybe it's time for you to move on...you've tried for so long and it doesn't look to be working out.' To them, I say ' what a sad, sad world you must live in, to think abandoning someone is EVER an option.'
No, I'll put my trust in Him who has proven his faithfulness and love to me time and time again. So what if its not happening in my time frame? Who am I to question? 'Be still, and know that I am God.' Great advice all those thousands of years ago, and still great advice today.
I do not know when or even IF Anya will come home to us. I do not know when or IF her suffering will end. but I know this: God loves her, and if He loves her, He will not forsake her. And that is why I have hope in the face of so much uncertainty and suffering. I believe in a God -- a Power Unimaginable -- that formed and sustains this world with LOVE.
So, while all those around me tell me what I should be doing and thinking and feeling, I'll be banking on LOVE.
LOVE sits with Anya tonight while she undergoes her operation. LOVE guides the hands that will operate on her. LOVE knows her and loves her and keeps her. That is all I know, and all I need to know.