I have been battling lately with what is. And with the future (my ideas of it). And the past (in an inability to reconcile it with the now). So, essentially, I've just been rather discontent. Pouty, really.
You know, the truth is, that it is hard to be single. Especially when you've been married. I get the whole "It is not good to be alone" thing. And so I've wanted to rush to the next phase of my life where I'm not alone, the one where I'm not single.
Except that I have absolutely no idea what the future really looks like for me. Insert man is about as far as I get. But I do know that God says that He knows the plans He has for me and that He will give me a hope and a future. I haven't been trusting this. Rather, I've been in a woe is me, I might always be lonely state of mind. I've been catching myself saying "Fine, God", in a juvenile, snotty voice a lot, these day. Fine, what? I don't know what misery I think He has planned for me but obviously my trust has not been in the true and living God.
So, last night, getting ready for bed, I told God "Fine. I'll be alone, but can you just give me a vision of the future so I know it won't suck?" It finally occurred to me that maybe, I wouldn't be on such a pity pot if God could assure me that man or no man, my life could be good.
And then this morning, drinking my coffee, I realized that a weight had been lifted. Things that had bothered me yesterday, were somehow less vexing today. And then as I dressed to take the kids to school, I had the vision. The one I asked for. Not a full pictorial vision of where I would be in five years, but this very clear and comforting knowledge that because God has known me since before birth, He also knows my heart, my strengths, what brings me joy.... and He will not withhold joy from me. In fact, He has plans for me that would seem absurd to anyone else. Plans that no one but He and I can fully comprehend. There is a shaping and shifting even now, in this time and place, that has been in the works since I was young and I would never before have imagined how it might all play out.
So on this high, I drove the kids to school and I felt His overwhelming presence. I am not alone. And He is so much closer than I can usually feel. And He is the best husband. He delights in me, He protects me, He thinks I'm funny and smart and beautiful. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. Because I asked and He answered. I prayed and then there He was, just waiting to show me what I needed to see.
All day, I have just felt Him reminding me of how much He loves and cares about me, personally. He is showing me through the words of others, through friendships, through little surges of God-infused joy.
"See the Father, see Me, and it sufficeth you. This is Love in abundance. Joy in abundance. All you need."
"How excellent is Thy loving-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings." -Psalm 36:7
God is in control of each next moment and this present moment is a gift. I have both a hope for the future and comfort and protection in the now.
Listening hard, seeking the sometimes seemingly elusive voice and will of the Lord- these practices, perhaps have been an ongoing discipline for me this last year. And so when I read Oswald Chambers this morning on Spiritual Confusion, I am struck.
He speaks of "The shrouding of His friendship" referencing Luke 11:5-8. Then asks, "When God looks completely shrouded, will you hang on in confidence in Him?...Will He find the faith which banks on Him in spite of the confusion?"
These questions beg reply. Will, I, when answered only with His silence, continue to trust, refuse to lean on my own understanding? Refuse to be moved, waiting instead on His timing no matter how slow, how shrouded His face, His replies seem to me?
Faith, I am learning, requires persistence. So, may I not cease to ask, believing, rather, that an answer will come as I continue to knock.
I can't help it. I cry ever September11th. Sometimes I wonder if I always will.
I didn't know anyone who died that day. I had no connection to New York. I had no relation to anyone in any Fire or Police Department. And still it hit too close to home. I suppose, because The United States of America is my home and because I was young and pregnant with my first child and I was glued to that tv screen with so many others. I watched the live coverage as the second plane hit and everything I thought was safe about America fell with those buildings.
Someone said, we all collectively grieved. We did. And, that, too, was new and strange and life-altering. We all felt fear. We all wanted hope. We all sought and gave comfort, state to state, across the country, and for the first time in my life, I felt a surge of pride and I understood patriotism. For a while, a hateful act created an intimacy spanning would be chasms. In the face of hostility, we united.
And people couldn't stop talking about it. I don't think they wanted to stop talking about it. Because the talking helped. And it connected us all in an astonishing way.
And so I want to remember. I want to tell my kids about that day I wish hadn't happened. Even though, they won't ever really 'get it', it's important. And honestly, I sort of hope I always cry.
Have you ever wanted something and it wasn't a bad thing at all to want but you just weren't sure that it was in God's plan for you?
This is where I'm at right now. Wanting. And I can hear God whispering, "Calm down." He isn't saying 'no'. He's just telling me to relax into Him for now.
And I read all my devotions and this message, sort of recurs in each one.
First, I read: "Today, I will identify what I want and need; then, I'll be willing to let go of it. I will devote my energy to living my life today....I will trust that what I want and need is coming to me. I will let go of my need to control the details."
And I hear God say, "I will give you the desires of your heart, but for now I want you to focus on Me. Am I not enough?"
Because I've been here before with God. This place of release.
And then the hard hitting Oswald Chambers writes, "Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is. The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfillment, but in the meantime God has to atrophy them....God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men." My Utmost for His Highest - Deluxe (DELUXE CHRISTIAN CLASSICS)
Sigh. I don't think the message could be much more clear.
I am realizing how I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I set my sights on something and I run. And God has to again and again pull me back. To the moment. The now. Because I will take a goal or a dream or an opportunity or really anything and my mind is three years ahead of now, planning, envisioning, even worrying. And I sacrifice these slivers of time that are precious and real. Actually happening and God ordained.
So, I hear Him today. Asking where my hope comes from. If He's all I need. If holiness, is my highest purpose, also. If I trust.