Pivoting on my foot, I returned to the kitchen to get lemonade.
The clock read 5:38 p.m.
“I have six minutes before my daughter and I need to leave in order to be on time,” I remember thinking just before I looked out the kitchen window.
Just before fear exploded in my stomach and surged to my heart, my head, my eyes.
Just before I clung to my husband and gasped for air.
Just before I collapsed and lost consciousness.
Seizure is what they call it.
Several weeks have passed since I’ve blogged, but not by choice. Since my last post, I’ve had a surgery and my second seizure.
During my recovery and healing process, I’ve replayed the emotive components of the first and second seizures: fear.
As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I can’t help but see the similarities between the fear I experienced in the aura before the seizure and the fear I felt while being abused.
So many of us who have been abused can relate to that feeling of fear–if we allow ourselves to feel, instead of numbing out–before, during, or after the abuse.
Having had three surgeries and two seizures in nearly four months, I found myself standing at my kitchen counter, crying out to God.
I felt the heavy weight of depression, despair, and fear beginning to settle upon me as I held my breath. Exhaling, I prayed something like this:
Abba Father, I need you. I feel this heavy weight falling upon me, and I’m terrified. I’ve worked so hard with You to overcome depression. I don’t want to go back there.
Lord, I know that this may not be Your time to reveal to me what it is that You are doing in my life, but I beg that You would show me–bare minimum–show me your fingerprints.
I need to see somehow, some way that You are present, active, and touching my life. Let me cling to the fingerprints as evidence that You, indeed, are actively working in my life.
Within five minutes, my phone rang.
The conversation was clearly from the Lord. A woman asked some questions about an upcoming Bible study I’m co-facilitating for survivors of sexual abuse. She encouraged my decision to start the class and spoke some affirming words to me.
Tactile remnants of His presence.
A surviving trace of His touch upon our life.
Some people might call them nuggets or God-sightings or happy moments.
I call them fingerprints.
Unique and infallible confirmation of His identity.
Several different times just when I began to second-guess God’s direction for my healing journey–in all regards–a text message would pop up. Or an email would come. Or a friend would come over with a meal.
For me, it’s unmistakable. Our Savior has His own methods of expressing love to His children.
He never changes.
Each one of us as survivors face challenging relationships, uncomfortable memories, or emotionally paralyzing situations that feel like they will never end. In those moments, we need to breathe from our bellies and then cry out to the Lord to beg Him to show Himself.
Even if it’s just His fingerprints.
Psalm 55 illustrates how David once cried out to the Lord:
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm” (NIV)
Yes! Oh! That I would have the wings of a dove!
You bet’cha. How many times have I just wanted to get outta here or begged the Lord to take me home to heaven?
Then it resolves with, “I would hurry to my place of shelter.”
To my place of shelter: Jesus.
Regardless of burdensome health issues, relational pangs, or various storms of life, Jesus waits for us to flee to Him.
So He can keep us far from the tempest and the storm.
And while our Shelter waits, He leaves His fingerprints in visible areas of our lives distinctly meant to facilitate growth in Him.
In my last post, I prayed this prayer,
I plead upon Your love and grace that we might grow this holiday season. Abba Father, help us to feel the safety and security of walking in Your Spirit as we grow into a stronger disciple.
His love and grace stimulates growth. Growing pains hurt. So does healing.
While you’re with me on this growing or healing journey, ask His Spirit to show you His fingerprints at every turn.
Because great comfort, safety, and joy resides within Him.
What’s your next step?
What does your storm look like right now? How will you cry out to the Lord, expressing the burden, the pain, the fear within you? Beg Him to reveal Himself to you by exposing His fingerprints to you as touchstones for growth or healing.