I've slowly come to this point in my life.
Things have been downright sucky these past two years. I could go on and on about how sucky. I could give explicit detail, down to the nitty gritty suckiness of it all. But I won't.
I won't because it doesn't do you (or me) a bit of good to dwell on how sucky things are and how much we can't control them. Sometimes, it just is. I could easily wax philosophic about the meaning of it all. Why we struggle the way we struggle? Why some people seem to struggle more than others? And most importantly, why some people seem to come out of their struggles stronger, while others come out strangled (figuratively, speaking)?
I could address this now, but I'm not going to. I don't feel qualified right now to even begin to theorize these questions. Because when it comes right down to it, I'm currently in the middle of my struggle and I cannot make sense of it all - and to do so would be arrogant, if not, presumptuous.
I'd rather approach this subject at a later time, when I feel more equipped to give you the I-was-down-and-out-but-God-saw-me-through speech. I have no doubt that I'm going to come out the other side of this struggle stronger and wiser. (I already did it once before.) I do trust God. I don't know His timing. I don't know His purpose. And I don't know what He wants me to learn in all of this.
But I've recently come to a conclusion. I need to be present in the journey.
In the past, when I've come through struggles, I only reflected after I was through the valley. While I was in it, I kicked and screamed wanting out of it as quick and as painless as possible. I feel my response to trouble is very, very human. After all, who enjoys struggle? Who enjoys pain? No one.
But maybe part of trusting God and His timing is to attempt to see the 'Why' in everything?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11"For I know the plans I have for you"
- Truth: God not only has a plan for you, he knows His plan. In other words, He's not flying by the seat of His pants thinking, "Let's see what happens." No. He knows.
- Truth: God is not out to 'get you'. I don't believe we are punished by God. I think the plans He has for us are good. He is not out to hurt you. He wants the best for you.
- Truth: Our hope is in Him. Our future is in Him.
So, knowing these truths, can we ask ourselves why we go through trials and tribulations? We surely can.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perservance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
"No only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perservarance; perserverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5If we want to be completely honest with ourselves, when we reflect back on our hard times, those are the times when we grew - in our faith, withinin our relationships, and closer to God. And at the very least (as has been my experience), in my deepest and darkest moments when I wasn't walking closely with God, looking back, I can I see that He never left me. What an awesome truth!
I say all this to say that I've had a little pity party with myself for quite some time. I call it the Pity Pot. And I say it's time to flush. (Yes, it's a little crass - but is the visual not perfect?)
Nothing much has changed in my situation. I don't foresee anything changing tomorrow. Or next week. Or quite possibly, next month. My situation is going to take time to get through. I've been kicking and pouting, wanting it over for awhile now. I want my situation over. I want things better. Of course I do. I'm only human.
But much of my situation is out of my direct control. I can't "fix" it. And maybe that's a good thing. If there was a problem and I was able to fix it, would I learn anything from it? Would I grow?
Instead, I'm going to pause and think: "What am I to learn from this experience?" (Full disclosure: The idea was not my own. I've been talking to some very wise and God-fearing women. Or more likely, the Holy Spirit has been talking to me through them.) And if we subscribe to the idea that life has purpose (I believe it does) and that life is a journey (I'm starting to believe it is), then the purpose is in the journey. It's not the end game. It's the game itself.
I'm going to embrace my journey - embrace my race - and watch and see how God is going to use it for His glory.
Until next time,