Tired Trailblazer

So, I’m in a theological situation that is tough, sometimes frustrating, and many times seems insurmountable. There are two sides to the issue, two definite camps, and the middle ground seems non-existent. I was telling all this to my dear husband, telling him my frustration, my desire for change, and my feelings of disappointment. This is not the first time I’ve been in this situation, not one of this magnitude, but there are times in my life when my calling from God seems in conflict with the beliefs of others. It’s tiring. I hate it. My tired heart longs to cry out the cry of the desperate “Why can’t we all just get along”.

But, it’s not that easy. Seeking God looks different to different people and meeting in the middle can seem as impossible as either side being completely swayed. There are times I wish that these issues were already dealt with and it was no longer even on the radar. That I could take resolution for granted.

But my husband said something to me that I need to think about. Something that I need to prepare my heart for because I can see the wisdom in it. He said “I think that in this situation you are not going to be the recipient of someone’s else’s battle. You are going to be ¬†one of the people who has to work hard to bring about change.”

There is so much wisdom in what he says. It makes me think of others who came before me, fought their battles for things that now I take for granted. It will take a different kind of strength to forge a new path. The forging may take a long time, may take a lifetime, but the decision need to be made, is it worth it? I think it is. There are still times I will get frustrated, angry, disappointed, hurt, but the reality is that if we realize that this change we are committed to takes work, guts, stamina, it levels out the emotions somewhat. It takes away the surprise of setback.

It’s a good reminder to me that sometimes when I think I should see the end of a struggle, God calls me to realize that this might be the beginning of a struggle. Am I going to give up or am I going to really begin?

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Unintentionally Enforced Separation

I think there are days where you realize your separation from God more keenly than others. Some of these days you are going through something tremendous, something painful. Other days you are immersed in your own sin, your own choices and you are willfully choosing things that separate you from God. But there are other days where your separation creeps up on you. You look up one morning as you’re spreading peanut butter for your toddler and you realize that you have been living apart from God, not by conscious choice, but by omission.

I had one of those days recently. I was involved in peanut buttering, as a mater of fact, when I looked up and realized that my lingering and low-grade discontent had nothing to do with others. That my feelings of invisibility, the need to stretch myself, the lingering grumpiness, the discontent with various relationships had nothing to do with those things. It had to do with my need for God. In the midst of making resolutions, of seeking organization, motivation, trying to line everything up, I realized that God and I weren’t on track. It had nothing to do with him. I had been talking a lot about God, praying for things, feeling good about God but it had been a long time since I had let God have any input in the matter. I was doing the God relationship but not leaving myself open for him to work in me. I was talking but not listening, studying but not living.

God nudged my peanut butter-covered self and said, “You’re looking for contentment, for affirmation, for all of these things but you’re not letting me give them to you and I’m the only one who can fully satisfy these things.” So, wet-haired and peanut butter-covered I stood, realizing that these feelings of discontent and low-grade less-than-happiness were not external, they were internal.

God was waiting for me, watching and waiting. He heard my prayers, patiently, and waited for me to really talk with him. Not a lecture from me, but a conversation WITH him. He waited for me to remember that he was the most integral part of my happiness. That I am intensely visible to him. He waited for me to remember that I needed him more than he needed my works and diligence. He wanted me to be present as I so often beg him to be.

So, I stopped, and started to listen. Started to open up, to learn, to be changed, to start to unfold, uncoil, unwind, and grow.