Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Battle Rages

One of my few Facebook claims to fame was the day several e-maginary* (online acquaintances as opposed to IRL) friends quoted me in their status. For a brief moment my head swelled, and I felt like a true writer. Pretty sweet.

Considering the “light and momentary afflictions” which are multiplying in my life, I thought I would revisit and edit my statement:

"All I know is that it is so much easier to play the part of the Christian when I'm in a climate controlled room with proper lighting and familiar food and no disasters looming outside my door. But is that real? "

That’s what I said then. I have no idea what was the context. Today I can add:

“…and when I’m not dashing to the bathroom every few moments in intestinal agony. I can add, “…when my children are not suffering emotional trauma.”

A lot of situations would seemingly make it easier to be a Christian.

It’s the last line that keeps sticking in my head: “But is that real?” Let me just add that “Real sometimes hurts!” As I was suffering the violent effects of E. coli last week, I honestly had to ask myself how I would possibly endure torture. I always prided myself on the small sacrifices I have made “for the sake of the kingdom.” But when the house is hot and stuffy and my stomach is achy and rumbly, somehow I step out of my Christian character role and become unlovely from the inside out. My husband and kids will testify that this sometimes witty writer becomes snarky and impatient.

There’s a sane side of me that says I NEVER want to go through a sickness like that again, but then there is an irrational part that cries, “I’m so sorry. Try me again. I promise I won’t let you down. I can do better. Really I can!”

Really? I’m not so sure.

How can the folks back home ever think we are heroic or super-spiritual? We all know that when the heat’s on (literally and figuratively) and the battle rages, we still fall short of God’s perfect design. We still succumb to fleshly nature. I don’t know about yours, but mine prefers comfort to pain any day.

I am in a season of testing unlike anything I remember since my very first season on the field. It was intense back then. It is intense again now. As much as I’d prefer to be lighthearted and funny, this is where I am. Frankly I feel more like a wimp than a warrior. Others are sustaining me through their faithful prayers and encouragement. I am grateful.

Personally I’d rather be your comic relief for the week than to fight in the trenches with you. Apparently that isn’t an option. Meanwhile I just want to learn my lessons well. My heart goes out to those of you who serve under equally daunting circumstances, especially those with chronic health issues. Pain does reveal the true nature of the heart. Mine apparently needs some more work.

IRL*in the trenches, in the bathroom, in but not of …


  1. Praying for you and your family. Thanks for being real even when it is hard. Pattie

  2. Praying for you. Wishing I wasn't going through my own trenches right now, and I could do more. Praying for your family, for healing and comfort.

  3. Thanks, y'all. Sorry to hear you are in the trenches, Ellie, but I trust the kingdom will benefit from the lessons you are learning there. I'm gaining strength for the battle day by day now.


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