I was still reeling from three years of hurricane force trauma that had hit our family so unexpectedly, trying to find my way through the blanket of doubt that settled on me like a fog, feeling like I was losing my mind when there came another blow. One of my dearest friends who had prayed me through my rough seasons, who had counseled and loved me through the dark, took a journey away from Jesus and vowed never to return. This was unbelievable in my mind. How could someone so full of God, so gracious in wisdom take a turn like that and openly deny their faith in Jesus? I couldn’t understand. I was still trying to understand the reason for my trials and already asking questions about God, but I hadn’t given up! God had called me into ministry at a very young age and I was so certain as a child that I knew what that ministry would be and what it would look like. I had learned the answers to every question, practiced every spiritual discipline and even allowed God to work through me in miracles. Now in this season of hardship all of that seemed so far away and out of reach.
The scene must have resembled Hannah in the temple in 1 Samuel 1:1-19 when Eli the priest sees this woman Hannah pouring out her heart to the Lord in such wounded sobs and groans that He mistakes her brokenness for drunkenness. He wonders why she would come to the temple so blazingly drunk and petition the Lord for anything. I was attending a conference with ladies from my church. The speaker was Beth Moore. The worship was beautiful the message was stirring and my mind was mocking all that I saw. “How is she so confident in what she is saying? Wait until the rug gets pulled out from under her and all her life comes crashing down. I wonder if she will be so confident then in what she is teaching.” These were the thoughts running through my mind. I hated her confidence yet I knew she was speaking truth. She was teaching the Word of God. This is what God had called me to do as a child so many years ago. Here was a representation of my calling standing on the stage before me and I couldn’t embrace the thought but I so needed to. I was angry, bitter and mocking.
At the break between sessions I did what I remember doing as a child when I needed to get away and talk to God. I separated myself from the group I was with, found the altar at the front of the auditorium and began to pray. The prayers quickly turned into sobs and pleas for help. If God had really called me to ministry, He would have to be the one to move me. I was not going to take one more step forward. I was not going to tell anyone anything about God with any assurance whatsoever if it wasn’t Him who made it happen. My desires to obey the Lord and answer the call on my life were colliding with my anger, doubt, resentment and fear. I was a slobbering mess.
I remember a young woman coming over to pray with me. I listened to her prayers as she began to ask the Lord if I was a drug addict, or alcoholic. What was the sin in my life that was tearing me apart at this moment in such a mournful way. She thought I was a young teenage girl just finding my way to God for the first time. I couldn’t stop crying long enough to tell her I was 31 years old, a mother of four, a Christian all my life who was wrestling with God at that very moment and contending for His answer. It took me such a long time to gain my composure. I know my sobs outlasted her prayer, but I thanked God for her prayers anyways.
I wanted God to answer me about where Beth Moore’s confidence came from. I wanted Him to answer me about my years of “hell” that I barley survived. I wanted Him to apologize for allowing me to lose my mind. I wanted Him to take back the calling on my life because I was just not qualified for the position, and all I heard God say was “Get up, Cate.” “It’s time to get up.” I knew exactly what He meant. He had allowed me to sit in my doubts. He let me relearn my walk with him with timid steps. He had provided a safe place for me and my family to rebuild our lives over the last two years and now it was time for me to stop denying that I knew His truth and begin to get up and walk in it.
I was so empty. I was so out of strength. I replied to the Lord, “If you want me up, You will have to get me up. There is nothing that I have on my own at this point that can lift me above my fear and doubt. Only You. If you want me up, then get me up.” All of this tumbled out of my spirit in groans and weeping that looked like a girl who had hit bottom. That day was a turning point for me. From that day forward I began to pray each day, “Lord, get me up.”
The Holy Spirit brought the memory of that day back to me today. Today when I feel like God’s calling on my life is the closest feeling to “home” I have on this earth; when doing what He asks me feels like what I was made for–this is the day the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “you got up!”
I know God better now than I did then. I’ve known Him since I was a child and I have loved Him all my life. But today I LOVE Him. I know Him. I want to love and know Him more. I know now where the confidence that Beth Moore walks in comes from. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is Good! And I can confidently say with David “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
If you have wallowed a long time in doubt or fear or anger, maybe it’s time for you to pray “Lord get me up.” And trust that He will lift you and help you, with one step in front of the other, walk and then run the race set before you. I’ll run with you. Together we will all celebrate the finish line.