"The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." ~Acts 27:11
These past few weeks, I've been camping out on the verse above, two words in particular:
I just love how the Lord came so close to Paul and uttered this simple, yet powerful phrase. Paul was in chains amidst a plot to take his very life. He was completely by himself.
And, I can only imagine, he was utterly terrified.
Jesus came near him and told him to take courage.
That's what I long for these days. That is my earnest request of the Lord.
You see, I've reached the part of my grief, my pathway through pain, that I must face on my own. No amount of family, friends, distractions, work, or play, can walk this journey for me, or even with me. I must face my pain, I must face this reality of life not being as it should, I must face this "new normal" that's anything but normal, by myself.
It is a solitary road.
And I feel as if I am struggling to keep one foot in front of the other; I'm in survival mode. I'm learning to face life on my own again. Sure, I did this one time before when I graduated college, but that was after I had 22 years of preparation. This time I was given no warning; I'm scared to death at times when I really dwell on that fact. Sometimes I melt down, wishing I could somehow twitch my nose and be right back in my old life again.
I miss it, and I miss my Tony.
I feel as if I take a step forward on this road and then two in reverse. I'm back to facing life one day at a time. I'm back to praying every morning and telling God that if He gives me the strength, if He just gives me the courage to get out of bed, I'm gonna trust Him to lead me through the rest of the day. That's all I've got to offer. It's certainly nothing to boast about.
Yet, my Jesus draws near.
He meets me in my fear, he meets me stumbling along this road, he meets me just where I am. And, He brings me courage for the taking. Because though I don't see the end of the road, I don't see what's on the "other side" of my pain, He does. He knows how scared I am, and yet He knows I'm gonna be okay. He gives me courage. He is my courage.