Not too long ago I allowed my burning frustration with this season to boil over into anger. I thought about the many journals I have stored up in my night stand drawer right next to my bed. Pages and pages of letters to the Lord written over the last 11 years. Pouring out my heart, my dreams, my dedications to Him. My mind flashed back to so many times of intimacy, birthed out of hard places and wicked attacks. And in that moment I felt the journey, the sacrifices, the obedience, had been for nothing. I did not see the purpose. Sometimes I still don’t. And I wanted to burn them. I wanted to throw each book into the fire and watch the flames lick up each entry. But instead of doing that I acted out my frustration in other ways. Ways more damaging to myself. I was getting back at Him. You know, for not making good on His promises in my time. I was getting back because of the wall between my friend and I. We have not had a real conversation in the last 6 months. I often wonder how we will make it through the next 6. I was getting back because as much as I want to have a family I just don’t and I end up feeling lonely most holidays. Even though well meaning people who love me and
care for me invite me into their homes, it does nothing to dull the ache in my heart due to not having my own family. Due to not giving my mom grandchildren… a family to replace the family she started losing 8 years ago. I was getting back at God because my superior passively aggressively attacks me, undermines and insults my work ethic, and tries to lord his authority over me in anyway possible. Because after 2 degrees, 8 years of schooling and $50,000 in student loans, I having nothing to show for it.
I’ve been here before. Many times actually. It’s called self pity. Maybe you’re familiar with the term.
So I wanted to burn the journals. The journals that I had one day hoped to pass on to my children…and them to their children…and so on. Most days I feel blessed that I have taken the road less traveled. That I have overcome hardships and attacks and brokenheartedness. Most days I’m grateful for God’s hand on my life. His provision. His love. But sometimes I feel too tired to focus on the good and my eyes end up drifting and focusing on the lack. What I don’t have.
And what I want.
Sunday during fellowship my heart was grieved for someone else’s hardship. A woman I have looked up to for the past 7 years was at the end of her rope. This woman is such a role model for me. Her faith is so amazing, her vibrant, life-giving personality refreshes me just by breathing the same air she does. And it broke my heart to see that she was broken-hearted. To see that she was tired. So even though I was swimming in a pool of my own dark thoughts, I could not bear to allow her to. I love her too much.
So I got on my knees before her, held her hand, bowed my head and weeped for her. There were others around me, gathered in worship, agreeing. I saw in my mind’s eye, the Lord. I cried out to Him for her. That He would bring her to Himself. That He would restore her heart. Restore her joy. I was overtaken with her sorrow and released it at His feet in tears. That is when He spoke to me; secret things. Amongst which He said, “this is your portion”. And He showed me that we all, His children, have a portion to give Him. We are like puzzle pieces, each uniquely designed. No puzzle piece is the same because then we would not fit together. But we are uniquely crafted so that we will be perfectly placed and together we will display the full picture of His glory.
That is the problem with self pity. It causes one to focus on one’s self. But God is so much bigger than just one person. Even though that one person means everything to Him, the plans He makes for that individual are not just about them. His plans are fashioned in such a way that they make that individual into the image of His Son. As each believer offers up their portion, pouring themselves out as a drink offering, the world is saved and His kingdom is made manifest. Each sanctified, pruned, matured, believer comes together with the other believers and forms His Bride.
I’m convinced Christ gives us all a different story, a different journey, with the same end in mind. That end is being like Him and revealing who we are eternally in Him. So this is my portion. It can’t be compared with anyone else’s. That is not wisdom. It can only be placed next to so many others who are giving their portion. Who are laying their crowns at the feet of the King and choosing His ways above their own. Even when it hurts. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when they don’t deserve to follow in His ways.
And really our own portion can only be compared to His portion and will always fall short of it. He is the standard. And He gave it all. Sparing nothing.