2021 has been an eventful year and I admit that the year has made me crabby and at times very angry at God. My mom’s cancer diagnosis felt like icing on the cake. In full transparency I am aware that all the other things that have happened pale in comparison to my mom fighting for her life. The crescendo to all of this is material and things are just things and we have some beautiful stories as a result of issues this year but mom having cancer was a different story.
Although I’ve been crabby and upset (yes, I know that God loves me and pursues me in my suffering), the hardest part of all of this is how humbling it has been. I have had friends speak to how much they see God moving in my life this year, and the ways in which he must be “preparing me” for something and I don’t see it. It is all I can do to see one day in front of me at a time and be grateful that my kids are healthy and God has given us food on our table, vehicles that run (most of the time), and a roof over our head, and sunshine filled summer days. Truly, the day to day is beautiful but the big picture feels a bit daunting at times so I stay focused on the now.
I am not out there “doing anything” to glorify God or highlight how “good” He has been in my life lately. I feel like my attitude this year would have actually had the opposite effect on people's opinion of His role in my life. Nonetheless, God is still using us in this season and isn’t that the irony? I have never felt so humbled by the fact that God still chooses to use someone like me right now. When I say someone like me, I mean, someone who has been crabby and fussy and whining and complaining and hard-hearted for a lot of this year. I told a friend that one of the hardest things about my mom’s diagnosis is that life was normal and then suddenly it wasn’t.
In my attempt to stay grounded in the day-to-day, I still sit with Jesus, however, before I began reading, I said, “Lord, my focus is limited, I haven’t been getting a lot out of my time with you lately, and truthfully, I am not super into doing this right now.” (Aren’t I just precious? Heck, I’m surprised the Lord didn’t just say, “Ok, I’ll just leave you alone.”) Instead God loves me, and he said, “Ok, just read. I want to show you something.” As I was reading in the new testament, I came to the story of the demoniac. Some people know this as the story of “legion” or the “mob” of demons that possessed one man and then Jesus sent them into a large group of pigs, and they ran off a cliff to their death.
These were my three observations after reading TWO paragraphs (He didn't mess around and listened when I said I had limited focus):
First, the demons asked God not to send them back to the pit of despair. (Luke 8:31) Woah, even demons don't want to go back to hell. Must be pretty bad.
Second, after Jesus performed the miracle, the crowds were temporarily in awe but then “Later, a great many people from Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave – too much change, too fast, and they were scared.” (Luke 8:37, emphasis mine)
-->I’m sorry, what was I saying about life being normal and then suddenly it was different? God couldn’t possibly be wanting me to see those exact words in the Bible right at this moment, could he? Yeah right, truth is, He's got my number. <--
Lastly, the man who EXPERIENCED healing, the man who experienced the power of Jesus asked Jesus if he could go WITH him. (Luke 8:38) He knew what power and change Jesus could produce and he did not want to let it go. He had no idea what going with Jesus would entail but he still wanted to be with Him.
So what? Why do these insights matter?
Here we are and as much as has happened this year in our lives, even before this year, at the end of the day I have EXPERIENCED the reality of Jesus too much in my life to ask Him to walk away or leave me alone. Despite my emotions and hard heart, despite my discomfort and whining, He continues to pursue me, sit with me, allow me to wrestle and continues to show me that He ultimately is taking care of us. I once again realize that God doesn’t need my production, perfect mood, or any personal effort to be glorified. He deserves all those things from me and more, but He still chooses to use the fussy and barely put together girl to show the rest of you that He is real.
I’ve decided to begin to write more because it always helps me keep things in perspective and cultivates more gratitude in my heart. As such, please consider this my public service announcement that even though I have been crabby and visibly wrestling with God lately, He isn’t fazed. He isn’t deterred, and He still recklessly pursues my heart and proves He is good, even when I seem (cough cough) ungrateful.
That’s truly how much He desires to show all of us how loved we are. Amid bad attitudes and temper tantrums, He lovingly remains. Ultimately, I’d rather be WITH Jesus and experience him within difficulty than walk away from Him and fool myself into thinking life is easier without Him.
Thanks for coming along with me as I try to keep it as real as possible while also letting God do his thing in the midst of life. I intend to be authentic in this season and I don't believe I do God any favors if I try to hide or mask my true emotions. Writing is therapy for me as well as an opportunity for me to journal God's faithfulness in my life. I look forward to seeing how God shows up for all of us, in the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable.