Thursday, November 10, 2011

When life gives a beating, blessed am I

I have missed this place...this place for me...but lately I've been denying the call to come back and make the time and use these gifts and talent. I can guarantee you that you can look forward to a post about thankfulness, about community, about health (the good, the bad, and the ugly), and about crazy stay at home mom moments. But in this moment I have to sit down and write the words that are circling around the inside of my head.

Recently I have had the privilege of walking beside a dear sweet friend as she and her husband have taken heartbreak after heartbreak from life. I shared with them recently that during a night of worship at our church, I felt jealous of them. I wasn't jealous of their circumstances--I wouldn't wish them on anyone (and my sweet friend, I wish I could take it away from you). But I was so jealous of their absolute and total need, their thirst, their desperation for Christ and for the hope of heaven. I remember that place. When we were waiting in limbo to find out if I had miscarried (in February), when the bad news of our miscarriage had indeed been confirmed, and when I found out that I was once again pregnant and terrified of what might happen--those were precious times. In the moment I hated all the feelings I was feeling and the place we were in, I felt like it was somehow a bad thing that Christ alone kept me going every day. But when I think about the totality of worship that I felt, it was the one area of my life where I felt passionate. I remember that it didn't matter how big or small the gathering, I felt this compulsion to physically crawl over the rows of chairs in front of me and climb up an invisible ladder and sit in the lap of the Father.  He felt like He was just right there, and He was, but I'm sincerely at a loss for words to describe the closeness I felt during those times. I've done the summer camp thing (and although awesome); I know how to spot a "spiritual high." The most difficult times are different, I don't think anyone would say that adversity brings a spiritual high. But it does bring your flesh, your human nature, to an all time low. Most of us do and say things that we normally wouldn't in times when we feel like we just can't take another minute. This past year and half I look back on those hard times, the heartbreaking days, and the excruciating pain as markers of my spiritual growth and learned reliance on God. The times when I was sad all day, or couldn't move from the pain, the days when I knew that no one could fix my problems, the days when I felt like life had beat me into a limp little pile and then come back for more--those times are when Christ's light shines so brightly. Those times are such precious memories because of how loved I was, because of how much love I felt, because of how much love I needed.

But if it had not been for the good times, for the boring days, for the bible study routines and structure and normalcy with would I have recognized His closeness? What would I have done and felt and believed in those moments where I couldn't hold a bible in my hand or sit in church? He would have been just as near, but would I have even known it? Would I have recognized His character and His love? Would I have been able to stop demanding that He change my circumstances and start praising Him for who He is?

I'll leave you with those questions. This is going to have to be a two parter.