Do you ever find yourself moseying along the course of life, feeling fine and doing “well”? Or maybe you’re not doing “well” but you’re doing “ok” and given your circumstances “ok” suffices as “well”. But then all of a sudden you look around and even though your circumstances were the same as they were when you were doing “well” or “ok”, you are feeling dissatisfied. Nothing has changed between yesterday and today but now you are dissatisfied with yesterday’s blessings because they are the same as today’s. And you wanted “new” blessings today. Not because you’re spoiled or self centered (ok, maybe a little bit) but mostly because you’re human and you’ve been waiting a long time for some “human” things to happen.
This has happened to me time and time again. It is a cycle I haven’t figured out how to avoid but I have at least developed faster “response times” to the discouragement. This last bout of disappointment led me to a place of truth, and I was honest with myself.
And I was honest with God.
“I am weak Lord. I am not happy. I am very sad and I am weak.” And I gave myself permission to be sad. Because normally I will try to encourage myself. I will try to quote some scripture or remind myself of God’s promises. But this time I said, “God, You will have to do it because this is where I am at”. So I stayed in that place, for a good two days. I indulged my emotions and did what I am now learning is not wisdom. I let my emotions lead me. I was reading somewhere about how emotions are good servants but poor masters. They are great indicators that something is wrong, or right, but they are horrible things to entrust to carry out decision making in one’s life. And that has arguably been one of my greatest weaknesses…letting my emotions lead me. It is only in this season that Christ had been maturing me emotionally, and even that maturation has come at a price.
The other day I was on the phone with my mom and she mentioned a coworker’s daughter’s upcoming baby shower. My mom and I had attended the couple’s wedding last summer, where another coworker so boldly asked me in front of the whole table, “So Nicole, when are you going to start dating?”. As if I was lacking something because I was not in a relationship. As if I was weird because I was 30 and single. What touched me most when my mom told me about the baby shower were her follow up questions, “So, are you ok with going? How are you doing with that?” The “that” that she was referring to is the fact that so many of her friends are having grandkids. She was referring to my culture’s standards of what is normal. And even though whatever response I gave her would not change a thing, (I would not be producing grandchildren for her by the time this baby shower rolled around), I was immensely touched by her care. No matter our differences, she truly cares about my heart and the desires it holds.
And that is how God got me out of this rut I’ve been in for 2 days straight. He awakened me to His love and the fact that He CARES. He is CONCERNED. And His affection is FOR ME. His love swarmed around my heart and comforted me with its peace right along with these thoughts. Surprisingly, this revelation was released through a sister in Christ I’ve never met, but who has felt the same way that I have felt in this season. She loved God, but struggled with His will for her life and she poured her struggle out in the form of a poem called “I Will Wait for You”. This poem has emerged as some sort of Christian single person’s anthem. But maybe it can be an anthem for all believers who struggle with the journey of walking out God’s will. Who desire to please Him but keep seemingly falling short. Who love Him but are getting hit time and time again with the winds of life.
I sent an email of encouragement to my friend today and in it I told her what Holy Spirit told me. “The highlight of their lives was the hardest parts of their lives”. I was referring to the saints of old. I was referring to Abraham, Job, Joseph and David and so many who endured and kept the faith (Heb 11). Often their stories end shortly after their tests and trials are shared. I believe this is because the most beneficial aspect of their lives, the thing that would advance God’s kingdom and encourage the body the most, was the testing of their faith.
And so it is with us.
But I am encouraged that He is on this journey with us, CARING. His care is what touches me the most deeply when I am faced with the most pain.
In case you are interested, feel free to check out my sister’s poem. The girl is BAD 🙂