The last few years have been trying for our family to say the least. As we continue to walk in a direction we did not ask to walk. As we watched our dreams seem to slip away. We watched as others continued to walk on paths of blessings. We all felt forgotten. Yet, while we walked unwilling, we attempted to walk each step in faith. When we walked with doubt and anger, when bitterness began to set into our hearts and attitudes; our sweet tribe would lower us down to Jesus. For they knew it was him, not earthly comforts we really needed. They continue to do this as I often see our cycle on repeat. It is easy to obey the Lord in times of plenty, but in times of continued drought, pain, and darkness, it becomes more difficult.
I have only ever wanted to be a stay at home, homeschool mom. I want to be at home raising my babies. I watch as each day with them slips by. I know that I am still teaching them when I get up out of bed arrive at work on time. When I show up and do a job well done. But, the reality is I only have so much to give. My job is mentally, physically, and if I’m honest it’s emotionally taxing. The weeks when work saps all of my energy and I have little to nothing to give Mark or the kids. I weep. I know I am where I need to be. The road I walk is filled with tears and often swearing as I walk a road I didn’t ask to walk.
One of my earthly mentors is Corrie Ten Boom. I read The Hiding Place several times a year. There is nothing like reading about someone surviving a concentration camp to give you some life perspective. Another favorite book is Steal Away Home. About the friendship between beloved preacher Charles Spurgeon and former slave Thomas Johnson. One man was a slave to depression, but physically free. The other a physical slave, but his soul was free. Both of these books continue to have an impact on my ability continuing to walk a path I would chose to leave in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.
As the world becomes more chaotic I find the need to stay as close to my savior as a foal stays to its mother. I am hungry for the hope only Jesus can give me. I want with all of my heart to walk the hard road in front of me with peace, grace, trust, praise and thanksgiving. Instead of growing weary of doing good, I want to be strengthened by falling at the feet of Jesus. There are so many weeks I don’t even have the energy to lat at Jesus’ feet and cry. I am an ugly, hot mess.
As if my life wasn’t crazy enough. Let us add in an election year, a supposed deadly virus, and let’s add in christian brother and sister against each other. Let’s pit the whole world against each other. Holy craziness!
So what is my response to a life I didn’t ask to have? What is my response to a chaotic world? What is my response to a hurting world crying out for a savior? More importantly what is my response to the anger, bitterness, and jealousy rooting in my heart? It is this.
I have been pleading with the Lord to show me. To release me from the bondage I find myself in. I realized God wants to go deeper than a poof fix. Which he could do and does do, but it doesn’t last (if I’m going to be honest). What God wants to do is deeper. He wants me to do the work of creating a habit. He wants me to create a habit of “obeying with praise, thanksgiving, and patience” regardless of my circumstances or situations.
What does this mean? Honestly, I’m not completely sure. I know my heart has bitter roots. I know I don’t like the jealousy that is blooming in my heart. I know the more I allow these to take root, the further from peace I get. I know the responsibility lies with me to go before my Savior and allow him to turn beauty from ashes. I know only he, the great surgeon can heal what ails me. I cannot control my circumstances, but I can chose to trust and obey the path the Lord has me on.
I am not amazing. I am not looking forward to the mental and emotional muscles that will be strengthened. I am however looking forward to the emotional and mental peace that will come from strengthening these praise and thanksgiving muscles.
As I begin the road to healing this is my heart’s cry. As I wrote in my journal this morning. “You are my hiding place. I will trust in you.”