Last week. It was just not a winner for me. When I took my vaca from my life several weeks ago, I took it because 1) I was drowning emotionally and 2) my mind was perilously close to taking a hiatus of its own – with or without my consent. It was a good thing. Came home and I was much better. But the last few weeks… I wont say I’ve been overwhelmed. But I have been wearier and my natural response to things that seem foolish to me showed up bigtime: rebellious, mad, and not a little done w/all things about this particular road. Especially angry at God. Because in all that I dont enjoy about this season right now, I have been well aware from the beginning that God is sovereign and that free will, is in very many ways – i think far more than we care to admit – only an illusion designed to allow us to FEEL as if we have some control. We don’t. And that God does control all – including what our hearts are soft or hard to – and has allowed this situation to be this situation for such a long time, well… that just really doesn’t sit well with me. And as is my custom in this place of my life, I finally reached the place where I spoke it all out loud. Scared to death that I was gonna get the rebuke of a life-time, but unable to hold back how I was feeling and what was brewing internally. And totally unwilling to restrain it, because after all, I’m right. I’ve been right in this for months. None of what God’s asking me to do is fair. And this sort of tolerance goes against everything that I’ve ever been willing to do or be. It flies in the face of the principles of respect and integrity and care that I hold dear. It it so out-of-bounds that I dare not share too much w/too many because I’d never hear the end of how ridiculous it all is. And it certainly defies logic, practicality, structure and reason. All of it .
All that being said, as I found some voice and some fight and just simply dug my feet and refused to accept that this mess is something that I need to keep on dealing with – especially when I know that I can go on out tomorrow and start forcing things into place – I found myself slipping back into my old nature. Logic and reason took over and began to overrule all else. Had already thought this thing out and the cons in my mind outweigh the pro’s. The cost has so far NOT been off-set by some real applicable benefit. And the quality certainly isn’t up to par. That thing in me that (has long) agreed with my people about my life and its seeming disarray tried it’s best to take center-stage. And it almost won.
But God, because He is smarter than me, didn’t silence my rant. He didn’t discount what I feel or even the validity of the fact that this thing is outta order on soooo many levels. He let me have that. Let me speak it to Him and put it on the table. And when my anger was spent and my hurt was dulled, He spoke.
But He didn’t speak to all the things that have had me so twisted.
He spoke to the one thing that I did NOT speak out loud to Him: my fear.
Cuz my real issue is not that I’ve turned into this tolerant, un-orthodox, illogical, whimisical, spontaneous, non-analytical chick. Not that what I consider key life principles have been violated and I’m required to endure it all so steadfastly. It is that I’m unsure of the uncommon way God has chosen to work in this season of my life. There is what feels to me to be too much of me having to learn to do things that I suck at and too little of other people having to do the same. Their free will seems to trump what God has promised and what my heart needs most: a frikkin’ break. And that combination of things leaves me very afraid of one thing: FAILURE.
That’s my biggest fear in life, especially when it comes to relationships. Because I know the cost and I frankly am not willing that I or my children should ever have to pay such a price due to trial-n-error type living, as it pertains to character. Too much risk not to make the right choice on that one.
And by all appearances, an epic fail is exactly what this has become.
Except that God says it’s not. Which left me sitting silently, determined to somehow put the top back on that box of emotions that was spiraling waaay outta my abilit to control. And since my only way to accomplish that was silence, i just flat stopped talking.
And finally in all His talking over the weekend, He said something new:
“I will no longer give you direct instruction. I will guide. I will give you insight. But the final decision to do or not, to reach or not, to risk or not will rest with you. You, at this point, need to FEEL LIKE you have a choice. Your heart needs to find its way in this and you wont be able to do that unless you FEEL that you have a say in the whole matter. H needs to see you love him freely and without reserve, in spite of all that has happened this year. But you need to discover your own truth in this. You need to be allowed to FEEL LIKE your heart matters and is safe. That has to be your decision alone. Ask what you want and I will answer, but I will no longer require that you respond to his need in a particular way.”
I was shocked. And a little alarmed. Because I don’t see myself at all as being capable of making the choices I know would be ‘right’ in God’s estimation on this one. Not with my emotions being in such an upheaval. But I didn’t speak it. I just sat and waited, knowing there had to be some catch.
And He continued:
“You need to learn to trust your heart. You won’t fail.”
Which was the crux of the matter. I’m not good at this. The way I’ve always lived is still so much a part of me that under enough pressure it rises up and almost takes over. And that doesn’t bode well for grace, meekness, forgiveness, patience, or any of that stuff that God has so carefully worked in me.
It’s not only that I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s that I’m afraid I can’t… but apparenlty I’m now taking a crash course in learning that I can.
The moment after God spoke, He gave insight and I made a choice. The next day, the fruit of that first step showed up and it wasn’t sucky. It was even surprisingly comfortable.
Step 1: I didn’t fail.
In the midst of seeing the fruit from the choice to take that first step, there was an opporunity to take a second step to speak to an area that has always been touchy. Didn’t have to, didn’t want to. Plenty of reasons not to. But without much fanfare -except what was in my head, with my heart urging me to do it already – I took step two.
And I didn’t fail.
And he trusted me enough to trust that I meant what I said and would make sure I did what I said I’d do…
Maybe, just maybe this won’t stay an epic fail. And maybe just maybe it won’t suck as badly as I have feared.
And maybe I wont be as bad at all that comes next as I think.
At any rate, I will certainly take that between Monday night and this afternoon I have made choices that I would never have willingly made before and I didn’t fail.
And that knowledge made Wednesday night a good one, in my book.