I went down to Atlanta last weekend to visit my best friend from home (who has obviously now relocated). We have not been able to see each other since before Thanksgiving, and while we talk multiple times a week (via text, phone conversation or video chat), it is never the same as sitting next to each other talking about whatever happens to pop into our heads as a good topic to discuss… And then seeing each other’s reaction.
My friend has such a wonderful perspective on life, and we always joke about feeling cooler, prettier, funnier, and just overall more confident when we are together.. “with our powers combined…” 😉
Anyway, we joked all weekend about the fact that we have totally reversed roles.. Last year she drove 12 hours to come see and spend a week with me while she had back problems, family issues, work stresses, various frustrations, and struggles of seeing God’s plan.. We spent that week laughing and doing random things (like having a peanutbutter, whipped topping, and oreo cookie fight in my livingroom), and mostly just loved being together and hanging out.. We talked and laughed a LOT that week.
This year, I am the one who drove 7 hours (with traffic.. and it definitely was NOT 12..haha), I also have back problems, work stresses, and various other frustrations, and struggling to see God’s plan. This year we spent the weekend laughing, doing random things (like convincing me I actually am thinner than I think and can fit into a smaller size jeans then I have since I was 13!!), and once again we mostly just loved being together and hanging out.. and of course talked and laughed a LOT. This time around we included her fiance!
One of the conversations we had, she mentioned that even though she went through a rough year and things were incredibly difficult… And, even though I felt helpless to change anything, she commented on the fact that she needed to go through those things so she could learn how to trust God. Trust God in a very large way, in a small way, but mostly trust that he is good. That our Lord loves her and that even though she did not really understand what was going on or why, she had to learn to be content in her trust of Him.
Not a big conversation, nothing I have not heard before, and certainly not something I have not thought about recently… But, then I got a forwarded email from my uncle that receives the Ransomed Heart ministry daily devotionals… And, one particular one’s title was “The Questions Lodged Deep in our Hearts” It pointed out that while we “know” God means good for us, we begin to struggle when life over and over seems to have failed us, and that slowly we begin building questions deep down inside without realizing it.. Questions like “Why did you allow things to happen like this?” “Why did you make me like this?” “What will you allow to happen next?” … “Do you REALLY care for me, God?”
At first I read that and I thought “hmm.. that’s odd…” and then it was like something clicked inside of my heart.. head.. somewhere. I trust and have faith in my God.. but I still often act like deep down I am so wounded that I will just approach the future as though I have no option but to “suck it up” “get over it” … instead of with a peace and grace that can only come if I truly, honestly, and passionately seek my Savior.. And, then allow him to move me forward, while also moving IN me, and then asking and accepting the constant renewal of the Krista I am supposed to be. Not in the totally controlled and manipulated way, but in a rolling with the waves and finding joy in them.
I love my Savior with more words and with more passion and feelings then I can really express. But, I realized this week I am wounded and expecting life to move on with or without me.. So, my only option is to suck it up and accept it, and continue marching onward right?.. No, that attitude leaves no room for peace and grace to overcome me, nor does it leave room for joy to find its way back into every facet of my life.
I realize things have been awful in my life over the last while, but I also know that I really honestly DO trust the larger story that I am a part of. I know without any doubts that in the end, it will all be worth everything, and I know I would gladly do it all over again. So, while the pain is now.. the joy is coming, and the larger story is really an incredible adventure that I get the chance to go through and experience.