Is it morning? Yesterday was Monday. Oh, it's Tuesday! Lord, I need you today. Did I fill that little cup with ground coffee last night? Where are my slippers? The dogs are already outside. Pam's up early. I hope I can stay empty today. Ouch! Oh no, my phone's almost dead. How will I know how long I slept? (Love my fitbit!) Why do I need to hold the handle down so long to make this new toilet flush? Coffee smells fabulous. I should turn on the dryer to fluff the clothes. Almost out of half & half. I must run this morning. Did I push the button on the dishwasher last night? Oh, yeah, something sad is going on. Help, Lord! I need to be empty. Your strength in my weakness. Is it raining? Mmm, good coffee!
That is the play-by-play of the first two minutes of my day this morning.
A year ago it went like this:
Is it morning? Where am I? Why is it so dark? Terror! Oh, yeah, same as yesterday. Standing at open elevator. Oh Lord, I'm so scared! Why is it so dark? Where is the floor? Terror! I can't move forward. Why can't I run backwards? Lord, where are you? Terror! This is just a big, empty hole! I don't want to be here! Oh, God, I need you! There is no floor. Where is the light? I am too close to the edge. Terror! I am so high up. How did I get here? Why am I in this open elevator shaft? TERROR! I cannot do this. I cannot move. Help me, Lord! Why are You pushing me forward? Please, no Lord! I cannot do this! I will free fall. Why is it so dark? Why is there no floor? No, Lord!!! Why???
And then I'd find myself safely standing on the floor in the light. Sometimes I had fallen a couple of inches. Sometimes a couple of feet. But always a safe landing. And that's how, each day, the Lord would give me another one. Another new day. Just one day at a time.
I don't know how long that went on. Every. Single. Morning. For months. I didn't have to remember to pray then. You wake up praying when you are there at that dark elevator shaft.
You don't begin with a proper greeting. There is no, 'Dear Heavenly Father'. Not even a 'Dear Lord'. Terror causes you to just scream out for your Daddy. You cry for help. And you continue talking and crying to Him like that all day long. No need to end in 'Jesus' name'. No 'Amen' at the end. No beginning and no ending at all. Just talking to God all day long. And then, exhausted, you fall asleep, mid-sentence, still talking to your Father. Not even a 'good night'. "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
It sounds pretty awful, writing it down. Do I want to do it again? HA! Are you kidding me? Never. But I've gotta tell you, here, now, on this side, that the things I've learned and taken with me out of those elevator shaft days are some of the most precious things in my life. I thought I knew the Lord before. And I did. I loved Him. Very much! But not like this. There is no way to get this except by coming through the fire with Him. You can't scare me now. I know the Lord will get me through anything. He already has.
I just reread the start of my day this morning. Pretty good. I am definitely in a better place. They tell me it shows on my face. But now I need to remember. I need to remind myself. Take time to pray. Or better yet, pray without ceasing. Because now I know how.
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