For those of you who are still reading this blog, thank you. This probably includes my mother and my daughter and some faithful friends. It has been very difficult to know what to write at times when my soul is not at rest, and I feel like I am wrestling with God. I know that I cannot pretend to have it all together, but I also know that if I wrote what I was really feeling, I am sure I would lose all of my credibility!
But instead of lamenting about my woes, I feel challenged to remind myself of God's great faithfulness and to focus on His goodness.
- I have been able to understand and see His goodness during these hard times that I have not seen before when things were going well.
- He has deepened my understanding of how much I need His grace and forgiveness.
- He has let me see and experience the darkest side of myself, and yet reminded me of His unending love and care.
- I have experienced His very present help when I am at the end of my rope.
- He has brought alongside friends who have not turned away in the moments of my deepest despair.
I am realizing that unless I get to the very bottom of the pit and there is no way out, I will not fully appreciate all that God is and all He offers me. As long as there is still a little of me left, I will not be able to see Him. Talk about being humbled!
A couple of weekends ago, I had the special treat of spending the weekend with many of the other pastors' wives from our church. I looked forward to that time, because I knew I had some business to do with God. And He did not fail me. Most of all, He reminded me that with Him I will always have a future, even if is not the one that I envisioned or dreamed of for myself, for my marriage or for my family.
I feel like I am slowly getting through this grieving process, one that I am sure I delayed because of my stubbornness and refusal to submit to Him and trust His heart. I am sure that there will be more moments when I feel despair and hopelessness. I've never been on a roller coaster that has been as up and down as my life has been this year! But through it all, God has reminded me that He has been there, even when I felt alone.
When I first started this blog, I had great plans. But now as I look back, I can see that they were tinged with some pride and self-delusion of what I can do. I have compared myself to other bloggers and think, "If only I was as funny as ____________" (or as good a writer, or as deep, or as creative, or as whatever), I would be happier. That is one of the blessings but also one of this day and age. We can learn so much from others, and yet it is so easy to compare. Lately, I feel like God has brought me down so low that I sometimes wonder if I should keep writing because I don't think I can come up with anything witty, entertaining or funny to say. I just don't have it in me at times.
But God is showing me that this is my life right now. It is messy. It is sometimes ugly. But there are moments of joy, glimpses of heaven, and seasons of delight mixed in too. He's doing something. I just can't see it right now, and I don't have to know the end result before I write about it. I can enjoy writing as a means of processing my thoughts, to remember life as it is, or simply for the sheer joy of writing. And if I am able to bless someone else along the way, so be it. But that cannot be my goal. It's not about me.
And so, as we enter into yet another month, I am praying that God will awaken my spirit and open my eyes to keep seeing Him, to keep learning and to keep growing. I am asking Him to help me to enjoy this season of my life, even with all its stresses and unknowns, to keep letting others know of what He is doing in me and teaching me. Thanks for listening and for walking through this journey with me. This is real life, and if nothing else, I hope that it encourages you in some small way. You're not alone. He is with us. And He won't ever leave.