I have thought recently that Satan was trying to kill me….I have been in the emergency room a few times, and the doctors office more than I would like. I have shook with uncontrollable chills and fever in the heat of Africa this past month….I have wept in my husbands’ arms because I was in so much pain….I have avoided the phone calls from my mother and my best friends’. I knew I could not hide the truth from them, and if they heard my voice they would worry. I did not want anyone to know my dirty little secret, how depressed, how discouraged, how overwhelmed, and how sick I truly was….I didn’t want anyone to know that for the first time in my life, I had lost HOPE…..I confess to you now that I have recently felt and said these words out loud “Surely God has forgotten me, He does NOT see Me and HE DOES NOT care!”….I am so far from perfect, but since I can remember as a very small child, I had always loved, known, and trusted God…

These are words that I did not even think, let alone speak when my first husband died, I did not say those words when my precious nieces were ripped from our family and handed over to a demon disguised as a human to be abused however he choose to abuse them….I did not say those words the two times that I started bleeding days after the pregnancy test was positive and Gary and I started to think of names for our unborn yet already loved baby, a baby, that was not to be…….

No, every time hardship hit my life, I STILL KNEW! I knew, no matter how deep my own pain, God was still on the throne, and all would make sense in time, somehow, I KNEW God would not only heal my heart, but use it for His Glory. This past year, for the first time in my life, I started to doubt His faithfulness, His love, His provision, and His power to heal, not just my mind and emotions, but my soul and my body….

This last six months I have been rendered helpless to BE Lisa-Marie Black, as I saw her, a wife, a mommy, a comforter and encourager…..many days it was all I could do to bathe myself, let alone cook, clean, check homework, disciple, teach, travel, speak and write…there have been days, visitors and conversations I have been told of, but I have NO memory of.

I still do not know the name of the mysterious disease that has stolen my life, my identity, my joy and my hope for nearly a year now…..I know the day it started, I was working out with Gary (in Swaziland) when a pain in my lower abdomen doubled me in half…I brushed it off and “pressed through”, and then pressed through some more like a good little solider…until I had nothing left……depleted in everyway, back in my own country a year later…..laying on my bed today telling God, as if He didn’t know how miserable I was….tears soaking my pillow, alone, I asked Him one last time…..
“God, are you going to let Satan kill me, is this how my journey ends, I hate this, I hate my life, I can’t stand the pain, I can’t stand being this weak….I CAN”T DO ANYTHING!!!!! I CAN’T DO ANYTHING!

All I heard Him say was, “serve your kids” (I was looking for something more like “take a nap honey, It will all be better when you wake up)…My children are sick and exhausted, sports, school, exams, projects and jobs have worn them out…..I have been embarrassed and ashamed of how much help I have needed to keep this house running…Gary is working night and day, never stopping to provide for our growing expenses. All that combined has filled our normally peaceful home with anger and resentment…..the “perfect storm” for everything we DON’T want it to be. I have not been loving them or serving them they way they have always known me to, I had just been distant, short, snippy, and not very nice.

So, I cleaned their rooms and bathrooms, did their laundry and left them all love notes on their fresh beds, telling them I wish I could do more to serve them, how much I loved them, begged for forgiveness for being less than pleasant in my pain, and left the rest up to the Lord. Strangely, I had energy to do it all, with…dare I say JOY…..still unsure of the point of all this, I was just happy to hear SOMETHING from God, seeing as He has been annoyingly quiet this past year!

Only Caleb and Noah were home, so we ate our chicken in the “fancy” dinning room, and put apple juice in wine glasses to have our own little dinner party on an ordinary night. And that is when God showed up….Caleb, (almost 12) and often over looked in a house full of loud and demanding teenagers and I started to talk….I mean really honestly talk, about the past, about our hurts, about the people that had abandoned him, how hard it has been on him to have the only Mommy he remembers to be sick, and not “present” like before. Tears of deep pain streamed down both our faces…and I COULD NOT DO ANYTHING,

But hold him, pray with him, beg him to forgive me, show him my true heart…..and trust that God was healing us both….and He did. In less than an hour He healed almost 10 years of pain and hurt and confusion in my beautiful little boy…..because, I COULD NOT DO ANYTHING, but let Him be God…..Now, I realize, Satan has not been trying to kill me, GOD HAS BEEN KILLING ME….all my pride, all my knowledge, all my performance….I am a dead woman, and somehow I know when I wake up tomorrow I will have more life to give than I have ever had before……This whole being DEAD thing may very well save my life, and my family!