Sometimes, I get way too serious. Then I hear God say “OMG, chill the F out, you silly little fool, you’re killing my buzz.” Because God totally talks like that.
But for real. Sometimes I need a swift kick in the throat, when God reminds me that He’s already got it figured out so I should stop emo-ing and being all existential. I know God delights in me, but it’s probably way easier for Him to delight in me when I’m not being a complete buzzkill about life and death and all that sometimes shitty stuff in between. And even if there is mope-justifying stuff happening, God wants us to be joyful and seek Him in trials (even in the midst of a process, UGH).
I have a hard time finding joy in crappy stuff, as I’m sure most of us do. But being joyful doesn’t have to mean we laugh and celebrate at funerals (awkward). It means seeking God and His heart with the understanding that this situation is temporary and He’s got something bigger for us.
The trick is to not let our doubt and low feelings of self-worth consume us so we start to believe lies that shut God out. And it’s hard. That’s why you see this pattern played out over and over again in the Bible. God parted the Red Sea, for cripes sake, and the Jews still expressed desire to go back to being slaves in Egypt. I mean, really? They didn’t get that God cherishes them and intends to take care of them after he parted water for them to cross to the other side?
Ultimately, God wants us to dig deeper, seek His heart, share our hearts with Him and sometimes even be sad with Him. But I can guarantee that doesn’t mean we forget our identities in Christ and become sad little lumps.
I dislike the process. Of. Anything.
I’m just not a process person. I don’t like the anticipation, I want things done now. What’s that, God? You want me to learn how to be patient? Flip the switch, then, and get it done.
I suppose you could say I’m in the process of learning how to love the process. And it’s not fun. Can’t I just snap my fingers and have it done? Apparently not. And apparently it takes me 29 years to learn that simple Truth.
In my last post I discussed anticipation, and being present in the moment of a process sort of relates to anticipation. I often find myself not present in a moment because I’m thinking about or anticipating the end result.
I’ve been refinishing and re-painting two night stands and a dresser for my bedroom. And the only thing I can think of when I’m doing this is: are we done yet? But I’ve had this nagging feeling for a while now that I’m not supposed to ask “are we done yet?” but “what am I supposed to be learning and experiencing here?” What work is God doing in me in this messy, beautiful moment?
Yesterday while I painted I listened to music and just enjoyed the quiet time. The stroke of the brush on the dresser, and the first color of paint that looked like blood, the sound of the thunderstorm outside my window. I was in the moment, in the process. And I enjoyed it.
Now if only I could flip that switch and immediately start finding the joy in my other life processes…
I cried in my car today. I don’t cry. So that was my clue that I really needed to spend some time connecting with God.
I took a walk, specifically to pray about clarity and wisdom…to better align myself with His will for several different aspects of my life right now. I ended up in one of my favorite places near my house, a pretty cemetery, where I read headstones and then wept about brokenness. Needless to say, it escalated quickly.
I’ve been stewing over the concept of anticipation, something I don’t really like, even anticipation for good things. I don’t like the “will I ever” or the “I hope” games at all. I just don’t like the unknown, and I don’t like being vulnerable to it. As I read headstones, I thought about all these mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives and husbands buried near each other, and about how they lived a life of unknowing. Some were short and some were long, but still, these were lives full of just not knowing.
What started out as me seeking God’s will and asking for clarity ended up with me in the cemetery realizing that I don’t have to like the unknown, and I don’t have to like being vulnerable to it. But I’m part of something bigger, a bigger Story where I’m not going to get access to the spoilers. Apparently reading headstones helped clarify that for me (yeah, so maybe I’m a little emo?).
Maybe I don’t know if I’ll ever get to travel to Europe, buy a house, be a wife. But at least I know that I have a role in this Story. And sometimes I’ll have to be vulnerable, and I won’t like it. But at least I have Someone to remind me that there’s a Story, and there’s always another chapter.