Monday, May 04, 2009

Growing Pains

I have not written the blog in a while, but I feel I am once again ready to share. I think I have just come through to the light from the most difficult time in my walk with Christ. It all started going downhill back last spring 2008. My now husband and I had been engaged for a month short of a year, and that year did not happen as I had thought it would. Instead of planning my final month as a single woman about to marry an engineer, I was frantically searching for jobs with a wedding way out of sight. Despite my then fiancĂ©e’s warnings not to count my chickens before they hatched, I stubbornly pretended things were still going to happen as I saw them in my mind. Mistake number 1…

I languished, prayed, agonized and struggled along with the deepest sins I had ever allowed in my life that summer. I was crying in despair every other day at best. Fall came and still no hope of a wedding, suddenly it was time. I’m still not sure why God’s timing is what it is other than, He always knows what is best for his children, even whiny, rebellious, sick ones. Little things here and there all in the sudden started all rushing and flowing at once together, details aligning to make a way where the door had been shut. We knew that it was finally time. Looking back on my state back then, reminds me that while we are still sinners, God not only lavishes mercy, but distributes grace as well. I didn’t deserve anything; I wasn’t even hardly praying or reading my Bible anymore, and if I did, my mind and heart were not where they should have been. Still, God blessed our wedding beyond our hopes and I remember it with great and beautiful joy.

God had given me what I had asked for, but he did so on His own terms. It still wasn’t going to be easy when we got back from the honey moon. I returned to reality, and came abruptly down from cloud nine. I returned to my two part time jobs that had been our ticket into marriage. And I began to pick up the pieces of my withered relationship with God. I felt my Bible study skills were starting all over again, I could only handle a bit of this foreign material at a time, which made evident the extent of my emaciation. I started noticing more readily the symptoms in my attitude and began to desire a change. I started by studying the fruits of the spirit as they were lacking greatly, but I still needed more healing than that. As I continued on my journey through convalescence I felt myself greatly missing Alfred, the friends, the fellowship, the learning, and growing, but now I think that most of all I missed myself. I missed the person that I was when I was in harmony with Christ.

As much as I prayed for God to grow me and to change my heart there was still something I felt that was blocking that connection, but I could not put my finger on it. I was very happy, and very blessed and I knew it, but an un-named restlessness was occupying my heart. One day I was joyful and playful, and the next, I was moody, and depressed. Finally as I was driving in unusual silence to my first job after my morning devotion, Jesus pointed to the ugliness that I felt rotting me through. A thought, an underlying notion that my heavenly Father was not fair, that he was picking on me. As I wrestled, my hidden thoughts exploded at once, and I owned every single one of them. “I was tired, fatigued from inhumane hours, God was robbing me of the talents and passions that he had given me, numbing my creativity with mindless jobs anyone with a high school diploma could perform, it goes against the natural order of things, I can’t be the wife that God wanted me to be because I was never home, It’s not the way its supposed to be, my desires are natural, holy and right, God had played a mean trick on me…” Once I discovered and owned those thoughts, it was a huge hurdle to becoming whole again. My image of God was being reconstructed to truth. God disciplines those that he loves, he was growing me through my trials, and sharpening my character. Another healing tool was reviewing the times God had already delivered me and had proven faithful, just as he would this time, when it was right.

Eventually he did give me a way out. It was still a difficult choice, but ultimately, He lead me to having one job providing more hours and more pay. My trial symbolically came to an end on the weekend of Easter. It was like a fresh beginning,


What day is this Lord?

What day is this that you would finish your Creation?

That you would rest?

That you would begin time?

What day is this that you would mark your people with the blood of a lamb?

What day is this that you would reclaim your Creation with your last sweet breath?

That you would sleep?

That you would begin a new era?

What day is this that you would end my trial?

That you would circle everything to completion?

That you would give me a fresh start?

What day is this Lord that I would marvel at the perfection of your timing?

All my thoughts and longings are for the day of resurrected hopes and dreams

Yet now is not that time, there must be one more day of sorrow

That the vinegar would mix with honey in one last bitter-sweet drink

And just as Easter did not end with Jesus’s death and resurrection, he stayed and ministered to grow the church for forty days until Pentecost. If Easter was the end it would be a premature ending. I’ve been through a lot of transitions recently which left me vulnerable, yet by God’s goodness, I have noticed continued intimacy with God, and I pray that this journey will continue in my spiritual growth.

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