It was long overdue.
After watching me struggle and fumble, and ultimately end up bowed down by the weight of the world, and shoulder deep in the messiness of life, the Lord, in His infinite mercy, reached down and helped me to stand. From this slightly higher vantage point, I was granted an even clearer view of the mess, which, to my surprise, was much more self-inflicted that I had imagined.
With the Lord faithfully leading, loving and standing with me, the purging process has begun. Although it started off very painful, and some days are better than others, there is more joy, peace, and vision that I have had in a very, very long time. There is one reason for this.
Instead of a Christian walk marred by distractions, and led by my own faulty knowledge and self-will, I desperately cling to Christ, continually seeking Him through prayer, study and meditation, so that I might abide in His presence.
In a spirit of transparency, these are not new lessons. These are spiritual principles that were hard-learned, through similar painful experiences, a long enough time ago that I should not have forgotten. In effect – I should have known better. I should have remembered the importance of abiding in Him who keeps me, so that my heart, will, and mind were welcoming toward Him abiding in me. Yet, here I am, in a new, but similar lesson.
I am thankful that I serve a God who does not waste a single tear, hurt, or bruised knee (or even bruised pride). He grieves when I grieve. It breaks his heart when I lay broken before Him due to personal choices and forgotten lessons, because this is why He sacrificed all – so that I might live in victory both now, and with Him in eternity.
This season had brought about new and long-desired personal changes. My life, family schedule, school work, and homeschooling schedule are all more organized and more productive. My children’s extracurricular schedule was once again active, engaging and full. My mind is less cluttered, and as a result, both my house and car are less cluttered.
The biggest change of all is still being revealed. With firmness, and gentleness, God showed me how I had ignored and misinterpreted His will in regards to profession and ministry. While dealing with the difficulties and distractions of life, I had chosen that which was more comfortable and desirable. After much prayer and seeking the Lord, I submitted this area of my life, and was preparing to be obedient to the will of God. In spite of the very difficult struggles that I am facing, all-in-all, life seemed to be pretty good.
And then the contractions started. Lots of contractions. Painful contractions. Contractions that made it hard to walk and climb stairs. Under normal circumstances, contractions that are not pre-labor would be perfectly fine. It’s the body’s way of preparing for birth. But, my circumstances aren’t normal. This is my fifth pregnancy – my fifth c-section, and during the last two c-sections the ob-gyn noted uterine defects that make me an unusually high-risk for uterine rupture. Suddenly, my wilderness – painful, but slowly coming to a point of peace and productivity – seemed only painful. Mandated bed-rest abruptly put our productive schedule, extracurricular activities, and homeschooling at risk. The changes in regards to profession and ministry seemed to come to a halt. I was devastated. But He wouldn’t let me go.
He tugged at me, and pulled at me. I ignored Him in my anger.
Discouraged and frustrated at yet another curve ball.
Right when things seemed to being coming under control, I was suddenly faced with the truth – I was not in control.
For hours I ignored His pull at my heart. I put the children to bed and decided to watch TV, and then the TV wouldn’t work. I decided to play a computer game. The game wouldn’t work. So I decided to pray. I railed at God. I cried out in frustration and anger and sadness. The grief from my soul rose higher and higher until the could feel the pressure pulsing at my temples.
And then – the tears came.
Groping the pillow so that I could cry without waking anyone, I cried, and cried, and held the pillow tightly. When I was done, I could breathe a little easier, and I could hear Him a little clearer:
“I am here. I am present. Trust me. Wait for me. You are not waiting in vain. Keep praying diligently. At just the right time, in my perfect timing, I will appear. When the fulfillment of My promise will have the greatest effect for change, it will arrive. Those who wait on me will not be ashamed. I am doing something you can not imagine.”
As I prayed, and studied His Word, I remembered to cling, and to abide. The peace came, trust increased, and the calm replaced the anger, fear, and doubt. Yes, this was a curve ball that I had known was possible, but I was not prepared for it. I was just becoming settled in the wilderness. I had begun to feel slightly victorious as I awaited rescue, and as I awaited His promise of restoration, healing and peace. Thankfully, my God does not waste tears. He does not waste grief.
He does not waste curve balls.
Once I submitted, I realized that many of the routines we had set in place this year worked quite nicely with schooling from my bed. My children love it. Further, the Lord had already positioned supportive family around me to support me and help carry the weight.
Of this I have become convinced: if the Lord is allowing this situation, He will use it. Perhaps a season is coming that will require me to have spent more isolated and intimate time with him than my busy wilderness provided. Perhaps I am being blessed with a season of rest I would have never have taken, besides. Nonetheless, there is one things of which I am certain. I can trust Him, because he has never failed me. Not once.