Hallelujah for the victory

One of my touchstone songs during these months of grappling with Heidi having cancer has been Danny Gokey’s Haven’t See It Yet.

I know–it’s total Christian pop. YES. And I love it, unapologetically. This song in particular feels like it was written for me.

Have you been praying and you still have no answers?
Have you been pouring out your heart for so many years?
Have you been hoping that things would have changed by now?
Have you cried all the faith you have through so many tears?

This so perfectly describes the state of the past few months. We’ve been praying, hoping, crying–and nothing.

It’s like the brightest sunrise
Waiting on the other side of the darkest night
Don’t ever lose hope, hold on and believe
Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet
You’re closer than you think you are
Only moments from the break of dawn
All His promises are just up ahead
Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet

This chorus always inspires such hope in my heart. Because it’s the story that I want to be true, most of all. All his promises are up ahead? I’m closer than I think? Only moments away from a break-through? I have felt like I’m in the darkest night. And the idea that there could be a sunrise on the other side? Just moments away? I want it more than anything.

He is moving with a love so deep
Hallelujah for the victory
Good things are coming even when we can’t see
We can’t see it yet, but we believe

Every time the song gets to this part, I have to start praising God. Maybe I haven’t seen it yet–the thing I’ve prayed for and longed for–Heidi’s complete healing. But I will. So hallelujah.

I can’t always praise God in the midst of this. In fact, after the week-long prayer posts that you all joined me in, my mom contacted me and said, “you should do a thanksgiving prayer.”

Thank God? I remember thinking. No. I can’t do that right now. I can’t. I just poured out my heart to him in public and now I’m exhausted. Now it’s his turn.

I knew I should. But even when he worked healing in Heidi’s eye, freeing her to drive and read, which was the first prayer you all joined me in, I couldn’t let of the fact that he didn’t do the other stuff. The eye is great, God, but we really need the kidneys.

But today, nearly a month after we all prayed through those six posts, I’m setting aside all my complicated feelings, to say this:

God, thank you. Thank you because you’re moving (even though I can’t see how). Thank you because you’re moving with love (even though it doesn’t feel like it). Help this heart of mine praise you in the storm. I can’t do it without your help. Help me, in the battle, even if Heidi dies, cry out your praise. Hallelujah for the victory.

God, you know it hurts me to type those words. My chest is tight and I feel angry. I’m only doing this because I think I should. I’m not feeling thankful. In fact, since that intense week of prayer, I’ve been holding you at arm’s distance because I put everything out there and you didn’t fix Heidi right away and I had to retreat into my hidey-hole.

This morning, I’m coming back out of the hole. I want to obey you . . . even when I don’t. I want to praise you . . . even when I don’t. Help my unbelief. Help my anger. Let me praise you in the darkest night. Before the brightest sunrise. While it’s still dark and confusing and painful.

And I’m latching onto this song that I’ve heard on the radio so many times to help me do it.

Thank you because all your promises are up ahead.

Thank you because the darkness won’t last forever.

Thank you for setting a table that welcomes me, your often-rebellious and often-doubting daughter.

Thank you because there is healing in store for Heidi.

Thank you for all the people you’ve brought into Heidi’s life to walk with her through this time, to serve her family, to pray for her and with her.

Thank you for healing her eye.

Thank you for giving me your presence in some of the deepest suffering, blazing like a fire during moments of despair.

Thank you for the beauty of your promised hope–eternal life, healed bodies, no more tears.

Thank you for your good news, which is all these things and more–which will sweep us up, satisfy our every longing and desire, and shine upon us like a sunrise, banishing the dark.


6 thoughts on “Hallelujah for the victory

  1. Lisa

    Happiness is situational, joy is foundational. Faith and joy do not mean no pain or tears, they mean a hope for better on the other side of the tears. Healing may look very different than you pictures it when you asked, but be healing nonetheless . This is your night, but joy comes in the morning. I don’t believe this is a test of your faith (that would be cruel and unnecessary), however, it is an opportunity to redefine your faith (which you seem to be doing). All the love to you and yours.

  2. Robert Lasher

    Several years ago, when I was battling depression a Christian psychiatrist who was helping me at the time advised me to start a “stream of conciousness” prayer of thanksgiving for all of the little insignificant things that no one ever really thinks aboit: the lead in your pencil and the guy who figured out how to put it there; the ability to turn on the tap and immediately get fresh water; the line down the middle of the road that usually protects you from oncoming traffic and the person who painted it there; that each breath you take almost always happens without yout having to think about it; that the blood in your veins almost always does its job to keep you alive without your permission or conscious thought; that people who love you can see that you are hurting even without your saying anything. Praise him for the texture of your garments against your skin, and that on a summer day the cool water is refreshing. Don’t stop to think about all of the little things that come to mind. Just keep saying thank you, thank you, thank you. People enjoy being thanked. Think about your children thanking you for something that you took pleasure in doing for them. God takes pleasure in doing things for us too, and he enjoys being thanked. We know this because we enjoy being thanked, and we are made in his image. So your mother is right. Thank him for the gift that is already on the way. Thank him for the gifts that are already here that we almost always overlook. You may be shocked by the pleasure that is opened up by taking a few minutes to give unceasing thanks.

  3. Twinky

    Heidi: Is alive. Has less nausea Eating better. Can taste food again. Has cooked. Feels like the house is HER house now. Can drive. Can see. Is seeing improvements on plasmapheresis. Hasn’t needed a transfusion for a month. Has neutrophils. Is done with the steroids. Has had time alone with Mike. Is perky and bright. She still has her sense of humor. For her laugh. Is in Wisconsin. Has Drs who care. Has great insurance coverage. That the MDS seems to be quiet. That a delay in doing transplant because she is on dialysis could give time for new treatments to be developed.
    That God LOVES Heidi. That God DOES have a plan. That He is at work. That He knows the right time for everything. That healing may come slow-motion instead of instantaneously. That NONE OF THIS has taken God by surprise. That God is using this in so many people’s lives around the world. That He is also at work in Mike. And the kids. And us.

    “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give us a spirit of unity among ourselves as we follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom 15:4-5, 13 (personalized)

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