How Long, O Lord? (Brittany's Story)

How Long, O Lord? (Brittany's Story)
how long o LORD - Brittanys story - shegznstuff.jpg

By Guest Blogger: Brittany Bayles (BLOG: Faith Strength Hope and Love)

When I think back to the first time I met Brittany several years ago, and compare her to the amazing woman writing this blog post, my heart explodes with joy and pride. I’ve watched Brittany’s faith stretched as she's weathered some difficult storms. Yet, through it all, she has persisted in her love for and devotion to Jesus Christ. She has an amazing story and you’ll see why in a moment!  (Did I mention that this girl can “Saanngg” too?)

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” - PSALM 37:7

“When will you answer my prayer?”

Over and over, for several months, I pondered this question.

So, No. I don’t have an answer yet because no one’s really in a position to answer that question but God himself.

Maybe you’ve asked a similar question that comes across in a different expression?

  • Have you begun to lose faith though?
  • Does your struggle feel like it’s just getting harder?
  • Do you sometimes feel like God is never going to answer?
  • Or perhaps you’ve concluded that what you’re asking for is not a part of His plans for you? ..and if so does that disappoint you? Are you mad at Him?

Following Bible Study one night, these questions arose for me based on our discussion. We had several passages to look up and Psalm 37:7 was the one that stuck with me.

It stuck with me because:

  • I am extremely impatient.
  • I am Impatient to get to a destination
  • I am impatient even when waiting for a cold to pass
  • I am impatient in waiting for my son to get the hang of this potty training thing
  • I am impatient awaiting prayers to be answered
  • I am impatient in waiting to see changes in my body from eating differently and exercising.

The advice of Psalm 37:3 to “be still” and to “wait patiently” resonated with me because for 9 years of my life, I battled with severe depression and spent a good portion of that time self-harming, just to cope.

I cried myself to sleep for so many nights and begged God to take away the pain I felt. For 9 years! I sometimes felt so low that I didn’t even feel like putting up a fight (but I learned that even our deaths are ultimately out of our control).

One of the last experiences where I tried cutting myself could have ended horribly.

Never had I pressed the blade so deeply into my skin or cut directly on my wrists. But God was with me because it didn’t matter how hard I pressed down or how sharp the blade was, my skin did not break and I didn’t bleed.

Looking back, I understand now that my life was truly in His hands and he was watching over me, because were it not, that night would have been the end. The irony is that I wasn’t even asking Him to save me that night. I didn’t want to be saved. I just wanted the pain and suffering to be gone. Instead, my Father in heaven demonstrated for me just how powerful He is.

O, how amazing He is and how mighty His works.  

how long o LORD - Brittanys story - shegznstuff

Fast-forward to the beginning of 2015.

Life circumstances made it difficult for me to be able to get my medications, so things spiraled out of control really quickly. I felt depressed almost daily. My moods were up and down constantly. I felt insane.

Then the feelings came back.

I felt like everyone would be better off without me and so I took too many pills. I immediately became terrified of what I had done. I got scared that it might be my last day alive. What did I do? Why did I do it? I didn’t really know why.

It was a selfish act and I really didn’t get that until recently. I could have died but yet again, in God’s mercy, He deemed it wasn’t my time.

Fast-forward (again) to present day.

I haven’t had a need for my medications since that day. Slowly but surely, after 9 years, I can say that God has taken and is taking my suffering away.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get sad when things are a little tough, but I don’t break down like I used to. I’m actually willing to fight now! I wake up every day (maybe a little cranky on occasion because I’m not a morning person) thankful because I’m alive. I can’t even imagine trying to end my life or even thinking about it.

After so many years of struggling with depression and self-harm, and after having this mental disorder be such a big part of my identity, I feared I’d somehow be lost without it.

But that’s just it, though it’s now a part of my past-story, it DOES NOT define who I am as a person. I must admit that it does feel weird some days to feel so free of it, but I am totally amazed at how AWESOME God has been to me through it all.

So, back to the question and verse I started with; I have learned that there is no exact timeline for when God will answer every prayer. I have learned, however, that I need to learn to trust Him daily. Though this may be hard, we have to patiently wait. If He hasn’t answered your prayer yet, don’t give up.

He’s listening and He will.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

“If you want to get to the rainbow, you have to go through the storm.” -unknown