Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I've debated writing this for about three months now, because parts of the story aren't even really mine to tell at the moment, and sharing these things with you feels vulgar and dark. I don't like sharing pain. I'll share yours in a heartbeat, but I'm much better at dealing with my pain by myself.

But it's time.

So for starters, if you're not familiar with NEEDTOBREATHE's new (ish) song Testify, go listen to it after the jump. (I have no rights to the song, you just need to hear it. Hurry. We'll wait.)


It's the second week of January and I've just left the house to take my sister to dance after sitting on the couch watching my world fall apart at the seams. And I'm angry. I'm angry and scared and my mind is racing and driving is just almost more than I can do because there's so much going on in my head.

I drop her off and then I'm just sitting in the back parking lot at TDA trying to think and it's not working. Trying to rationalize and find the good side of "my mom has a tumor growing in her neck and it might be cancer and they're going to operate in two weeks to take it out."

(okay. typing that felt really good. because there was no good side. nothing.)

And then my bell goes off to tell me I need gas. I can handle that.

Twenty bucks later I'm sitting at the stoplight and KLOVE is playing Danny Gokey's More Than You Think I Am and that feels nice.

Feels like holding me together. Feels like "okay, God, You say You're more than this so make it go away, You're gonna make a miracle, You have to."

(because when your mom might have cancer you kind of just get so freaked out that you find yourself trying to tell God what to do.)

And I can't go home, I just can't, because she's there and the tumor is there and the sadness is there and I'm not ready yet.

I feel a little evil for feeling that way, but it's true.

And then I'm driving, west, and it's dark and the stars are flickering like little tiny sparkles and I should be thrilled to see them but I barely even notice.

The road curves south and the song changes, now it's Hawk Nelson singing about Diamonds, singing about how all of this pain is just turning me into something beautiful like a diamond and that feels nice.

Feels like "okay if I'm going to be a diamond then Mom's going to be okay and we're going to go back to normal and it's all going to be fine."

My blinker clicks softly like a metronome beneath the bass drum of the music and then there's tears, then I'm pounding the steering wheel like those girls in the movies, and I'm parking on the side of the road because I can't flipping see through all of these tears because nobody can say it's gonna be okay. Because this can't be my life. Because I can't be this girl.

Ryan Stevenson picks up where Hawk left off, reminding me about the Eye Of The Storm and how He is there and He is in control and then my little storm passes because that feels nice, because I'm a church kid and I know that the appropriate response when somebody says that God's still in control is to nod and smile and wipe away your tears and pretend that your whole world just reassembled and nothing hurts anymore even though it's all lies. I know that His control is good. But all His control doesn't promise that my mom won't have cancer and chemo and it doesn't promise that she's going to live, and everything still hurts.

But my storm passes and I'm okay again, and there's a little fog around the Monument and I want to be there, I want to be hidden in the fog and the earth and the rocks.

And I'm pulling back onto the pass, and wiping my eyes with my sleeves, and the fog is getting closer, I'm moving up the hills and it's pretty out here and I'm a little bit numb and then

and then He whispered, "this one's for you. turn it up."

so I crank it up, like volume-to-fifty kind of up. I'm excited because this one's for me and maybe it's going to make everything hurt less.

But it's NEEDTOBREATHE. Telling me that I was made to testify. That there is peace and healing and love if I will testify.

I seriously almost change the station here. Because this song obviously isn't mine. This doesn't make anything feel better.

No, Scotty.

Well, but, this can't be for me. My mom might be dying and You want to tell me I have to do a bunch of stuff before You'll make it stop hurting? Dude. No. I'm not listening to this tonight.


God, this doesn't feel good!!


I don't like this song, God.


You just want me to do a bunch of stuff for You... that's not fair, God, You tore my world apart....

Scotty, will you just listen???


You were made to testify.

So I've heard.

(when I'm irritated I get sassy.)

You were not made to feel good. You were not made to sing just the feel-good songs.

Well no offense, here, but I mean, You said You were making diamonds, here.


You were made to testify.

Your purpose does not change based on your circumstances.

My goodness does not change based on your circumstances.

If your mom is sick, I am still good.

If your mom is well, I am still good.

If your mom dies, I will still be good.

Your tiny little world does not change Me.

Your purpose is to testify to My goodness and My grace and My love and My healing.

You said You were making diamonds. You said You'd bring healing.

You were made to testify.

I feel pain too, You know!!!!

Oh, Scotty, I know about pain.

You were made to testify. Does your pain change My goodness?

Well, I mean, I guess not.

You were made to testify. Does your pain change your purpose?

Sure would be handy if I could call in sick or something, or if You could maybe do some healing and then I'll testify.

Does your pain change your purpose, Scotty?


I Am making diamonds. I Am making beautiful things. I will bring healing. I already have a plan. I will not leave you. You will not do this alone.

I will bring healing. You will get through this.

But Scotty, you were made to testify. You are My child. I gave My life for you. You were created to testify to My goodness. To show the world that even when it doesn't look like it, I Am still good.

I will heal you. 



You don't get to know all the details yet. Maybe she'll be fine. Maybe she won't.

But whatever direction that goes, your purpose does not change.

Through all of this, your job is to testify.

No matter what happens. 

You will testify to My goodness.

Can I just tell you guys straight up, I did not love hearing that.

I didn't love being told that no matter what happened, I was still supposed to testify to the God Who held my mother's life in His hands and may or may not save her.

I didn't love listening to a song that told me that there was peace and healing after I testified.

That didn't feel nice.

I didn't want that.

But here's the second Big Thing I learned that night:

He never asked what I wanted.

God honestly never asked what I wanted. Never has. Never will. What I want really isn't super pertinent.

My job is to testify.

No matter what happens.

No matter how this road plays out.

No matter how much it hurts.

No matter how much I can't see what He's doing.

I don't need to see His plan to know that He is good.

He isn't nice.

But He is good.

And I will testify, no matter what, because my pain does not change my purpose and my pain does not change His goodness and I was created to testify to the God Who can move mountains, to the God Who knows all the things, to the God Who loves me.

My pain does not change His goodness.

and it might have taken me three months to fully accept that, but knowing it is pretty flipping amazing.