When I Suffer

When I am tired, I want to be exhausted because I have completed the work you have for me. 

When I laugh, fill me with joy to share.  Surround me with the Good News of your goodness. 

When I am rich, let it be in your mercies.  And when I am poor, may it be because I gave it all away. 

Speak the truth in me. When I open my mouth, let it be your words. 

And when I suffer, let it be because this world mocks me, let me count it joy that I am crucified with Christ and let it fill my heart with peace and assurance because I have stood strong when my body was weak and I shouted your grace when they told me to shut my mouth and when I suffer, may my suffering be worked together for good because I suffered loving Jesus!

When I die, let it be because your plan is done in me. And when I open my eyes in death let it be because I will forever have eternity by the side of my Jesus that I have longed for my entire life. 


Wonderfully Wrecked

My heart skipped a beat, my breath stopped, and my brain studdered. I stared in complete admiration of the man that stood before me. I could not take my eyes off him. Khaki pants and a red button down shirt. Dressed up for the special night at King College and just standing there in my path. He might as well have been wearing a president’s mask and holding an automatic because that is the night he stole my heart. 

Twenty year old Caroline lay stoic on my dorm room bed staring up at the white ceiling. I was holding my 2001 cell phone to my heart as a lonely tear slipped down the side of my face and then the gun fired and the race horses bolted through the metal gate. Tears raced down my face like the Kentucky Derby. I had a countdown. Four weeks and six days. Four Weeks and six lonely, miserable days. My love was fourteen hours away. I would see him again in four weeks and six days but I would die if I did not see him in the next minute. 

A proposal on his knee, a white dress walked down the isle and promised forever, and purchasing our first old one bedroom condo. I thought I was the richest woman in those newly wed days, pinching pennies to buy things for our home and making do with what we had. But immensely, lavishly, spoiled rotten in love, which is far greater than money. 

My life was wonderfully wrecked by this outrageously beautiful dream come true that has her Daddy’s smile. Miracle of miracles, she medically never should have been born. But one more time, God’s blessings did not depend on human logic. In one more way, she bonds and holds us together as we share the greatest responsibility of a human life we both adore. Her logical mind is due to her Daddy and her hosting spirit must belong to me. Her life and her smile and her blonde hair is because of us. 

Every other day I am grumpy and moody and outright mean. I demand and pout and insist on my way. And every single day, this man choses me. He listens to my rants and gives and serves and loves. Hot fresh coffee early in the morning, making new dreams on a Friday hot date because our old ones have already come true, a new handmade coffee table in my living room, and laughing til I’m crying with him when I should already be asleep.  

If love is an attraction, I have loved the deepest. Could love just be a desire to be together?  Then I have been made one. Is love promising my life to him?  Then that duty is done. But could love be a miracle of something otherwise that never could be?  Well then, she walks among us smiling so innocently. But I have come to realize, maybe love is when I am at my worst and he still choses me. 

It can’t be defined nor wrapped up and contained, but one thing is certain, I have been loved beyond explaining and I love beyond words. 


The Way it Should Have Been

Terror. Terror seized my body, I could feel my heart beating out of my chest with an intensity and pounding that throbbed my whole body. They were coming for me. For me. There was nowhere I could go, nowhere to hide.  Hiding my body was useless. They were seeking my soul. 

Distance did not exist to them. The darkness did not hide their sight. No threat, no weapon, no fight would hinder them. Here they came and they wanted one thing:  my pain. 

Slithering under the door, they fill the room.  Laughing, it is the only way I can define the noise, but it has no joy. It is the sound of satisfaction, excitement of lust fulfilled. Demons. Demons had found me. 

I fought. I only wore myself. Their strength was undefeatable. I screamed, I cried, with no hope of relief but only from shock within my body.  The terror of pain surpasses the physical. Realization that it was upon me. 

Dragged out to a hill. One, from the multitude of them, held my body. His strength held me like iron chains. They fought over who could torture. One of them would take the whip, swinging with strength of no earthly being. Tearing my skin and shocking my nerves. My body wanted to pass out, to seek some relief, but they were experts of torture. They knew how to intensify pain, while keeping me always conscious.  Pain. Terrorizing pain. 

All the while, the guilt that lay on my heart. You see, I am a liar, a cheat, an adulterer, a murderer. There is no sin that I have not committed. I am guilty and I must die. I must suffer the consequences and pay the price.  My soul can not seek refuge. The pain inflicted is deserved. I am a criminal, condemned to pain. Forever pain. 

They drag my mangled body, I do not even look human. The whips, the spit upon my face, the insults, each a blow I feel and deserve. I am layed out flat. I moan in terror and fear of what I still will face. I see the tools, I see the instruments. I see my agony and I see the demonic smiling faces.  Their day has come, their satisfaction begun. My hell their heaven. My pain their reward. 

A powerful beast drops a beam beside me. It lands upon my arm, breaking the bone. They take my arms, they look into my eyes, wishing to soak up my pain and savor every moment. 

The nails are spikes, thick and huge. Held up to my hands, I knew my coming fate, with a blow of the hammer my body wriggles. The spike nailed through my wrist, pain that can not be explained. 

Crucified, hung upon a cross. They taunted, and they jeered, and they scoffed at me. Through agonizing pain, I pushed up from my bleeding, nailed feet. I sought breath from my crushing chest. 

But this was not the worst, nailed I could not escape, but I was shocked in terror of the fate that awaited me. 

And here was the final blow, he stood before me. The leader, the master planner, with strength and power he stood before me. Since my birth, he had worked for this very moment. Slaved away for my soul. He had won the victory, I easily gave into his conniving plan. 

Satan stood before me. With one large hand, he ripped me from the cross and flung me into the fiery pit. Forever to be tormented in agonizing, torturing pain. Pain. Forever pain. 

It should have been me. I should have hung upon the cross. But my Jesus, he paid the price for me. I am saved.