On this date 6 years ago, we received a phone call with the devastating news that our missionary daughter, who had just turned 19 a few days before had been assaulted in the middle of the night in Mozambique. We were separated by thousands of miles, and felt utterly helpless. What follows are excerpts from a blogpost I wrote about it a few days after it happened. May they encourage you as you walk through your own trials in this season…
The night this tragedy occurred, after all the phone calls, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, and needed to have my phone near me in case Brooke called again, so I made a little nest on the living room couch, and I laid down literally hugging tightly my Bible to my chest. Various times throughout the night, I would open up to the psalms and just drink in the Living Water that was so soothing to my hurting soul. So many times the psalmist would list all that was coming against him, not ignoring it, but acknowledging that it was happening, yet he didn’t stay in that place of despair...he said an important word...BUT. This is bad, this is hard, this stinks, BUT GOD...BUT God, You are GOOD; BUT God, You are faithful; BUT God, You protected, delivered, redeemed...BUT God...fill in the blank... In those moments when all I could do was say the Name, Jesus, I was so thankful for all my brothers and sisters around the world who were interceding on our behalf. I felt like Moses when Aaron and Hur held up his arms for the battle…When I would feel a twinge of fear trying to work its way in or anger or unforgiveness, I would hear Jesus saying, gently yet firmly, “Fix your eyes on me.” Not just turn your eyes upon me, but a resolute “Fix” them right here. As long as I was looking into His beautiful eyes, I knew we would all be OK...more than OK...He is REDEEMER, therefore all this would be redeemed for HIS glory! I am not some super Christian. I am just someone who is madly in love with Jesus and loves spending time with Him. I am so thankful for those precious moments leading up to this tragedy, because I have definitely made some hefty withdrawals from that account! When you spend time with someone, you get intimately acquainted with them and what I’ve come to KNOW about my Jesus is that He is ALWAYS good, His Word is ALWAYS true, and HE is ALWAYS worthy of praise! He not only PROVIDES an answer for every situation, He IS the answer to every situation! He IS Love, He IS Peace, He IS Grace, He IS Redeemer, He IS Rescuer, He IS Joy, He IS The Rock, He IS Healer, He IS Savior, He IS Lord, and on and on and on! This is why I choose to fix my eyes on Him! He IS Truth that cancels out EVERY lie of the enemy! He is totally trustworthy...yes, even with my most precious cargo…I believe every single time we pray, something happens in the spirit-realm. I have prayed Psalm 91 over all my children. What I see with my eyes may not look like she was protected. I mean, the break-in still happened, right? BUT I shudder to think of all she was actually protected from! We have no idea what sort of battle was actually going on in the spirit. Remember, the enemy’s ultimate mission is absolute destruction! Did he succeed? Absolutely NOT! All he succeeded in was pushing us all closer to The Father’s heart and deeper into the arms of Jesus, depending more than ever on the power of the Holy Spirit! The enemy’s schemes have totally backfired on him! Hallelujah!! If anything, this attack has just made us more resolute than ever in the mission God has called us to.
If you’d like to read the story in its entirety, you may do so at this link: http://lovetheonelovetheone.blogspot.com/2013/03/but-god.html.
Jill Perry, founder of Bursting Barns Ministries