• Dana L. Butler

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I woke up this morning and I felt it, you guys — this aching, gaping desperation in my depths. I long for Him. I need Him so much.

I scrolled Facebook a few minutes before I forced myself up and out of bed, all the while consciously aware that what I needed was nothing I’d find on the internet and everything He carries in His heart, everything He longs to impart to me in this day.

It’s been said that we can have as much of Him as we’re really, truly hungry for, and y’all, I am hungrier than I know how to tell you.

And yet…. so much of the time I allow my hunger to be temporarily, superficially filled by lesser loves.

I stood in my towel, still bleary-eyed after my shower, intermittently covering eyes with hands and starting blankly into the mirror. Stan came in, asked if I was okay, inquired about my head and my neck and my back because those are the parts of me lately that are continual reminders of the stress and pressure I bear up under day by day.

Yeah babe, I’m okay, I think. Just so hungry for the Lord.

And lest you think that spiritual hunger generally looks spiritual, I’ll confess to you that I raised my voice at my littles a minimum of 4 times this morning as they quite literally tried to flip my life and my brain entirely upside down before we miraculously managed to stumble out the door at 8:34 AM.

I dropped them off at preschool, ran back by the house to get my meds because taking them was one of those things that was way too impossible to pull off earlier this morning, and meandered down the street to my favorite Starbucks.

I’ve carved out this time, this morning. It’s sacred. I sit with my spinach-feta-egg-white wrap-thing and my pumpkin spice latte and I straight up stare at the feet of the people in line to order for a solid 45 minutes before I pulled out my computer.

I savored my small handful of minutes alone and I let the longings rise to my heart’s surface again.

Hungry. Jesus, I am so hungry. So aware of my need. You are my very breath and my sustenance and positively the only source of the strength to keep pulling myself up and out of bed morning after morning through the gut-wrenching challenges of this season.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

Funny how mercy can often feel nothing like mercy. Sometimes it feels brutal. This stretching to my absolute outermost limit and then when I can’t take any more… still more.

As of last week, we have a diagnosis for our boy. It’s an incomplete picture of what’s going on and I’m fairly certain there will be another diagnosis or two down the road for us. But I’ll share with you for now that Isaac has Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

His anxiety was the piece of the puzzle I was most afraid the experts would miss, and they didn’t miss it. For this, I’m thankful. It is agonizingly painful, and frustrating too, to watch my son suffer so much of the time from all this paralyzing anxiety (both rational and utterly irrational), and I’m hopeful that with persistent prayer, therapy (which we started this week), and other resources, there will be movement toward healing and growth in this arena.

There is more to what’s going on with our boy, but we’re taking this journey one step at a time.

And in the interim, all this gut-wrenching mercy drives me into the heart of God for sheer survival.

Breathe Him in. Exhale stress and trauma and pressure. Repeat.

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