Boy, I wish I had it all together. Can you relate? For years my biggest fear has been one of exposure. I’ve learned to fight that fear with honesty. I don’t tend to hold myself back from saying what I think or feel or have experienced. But still, some days, I take stock of my life, look around at my surroundings, and I cringe.
I’ve got to confess, well I might not need to but I’m going to, it is very humbling to be 38 and living in someone else’s borrowed apartment. For the last few
weeks months I’ve been squirming with how I feel about where I am in life.
To be perfectly honest this has been the hardest move yet, at least in my married life. And boys howdy I’ve moved a lot, so that’s saying something! (Twenty three times, since my birth, if you count the times we’ve lived with people for a few months here and there.)
There is something that that kind of transience does to your heart. I don’t particularly like it. In Alabama the main reason we bought a house was because Chris and I wanted to stay put. We believe ministry happens best when you invest over the long term in relationships. We wanted to communicate, “we’re here for better or worse.”
But it didn’t work that way. Less than a year of home ownership and we were looking for a new church. A record for us, the shortest amount of time we’ve ever stayed in a church. I was ticked. Ticked!
Is that really how God repays faithfulness? (I’m often a lot like my ancestors the Israelites, I blow right past the opportunity to say “thanks for being an amazing God who always provides” and right to complaining!) I’m not sorry we moved to Toccoa. The leadership opportunity for Chris is amazing. He’s a great fit. The church family is warm and wonderful and vibrant. I love Georgia.
But it stings to lose a home you love, neighbors you care about, friends who have become family, to be pulled up by the roots you tried so desperately to grow. I don’t know what it’s like to have my kids grow up with friends. Max has gone to a different school in every grade! He’s in fifth.
And let’s don’t even mention my mama. Watching someone you love go through the ugly of cancer is not easy. God has put his finger on all my important things – home, security, family.
So honestly this last six months has felt like a ginormous bout of the spiritual flu. It’s not over. But it’s getting better. I guess this is me pulling the mask off and saying that while it’s embarrassing to be 38 and not have it together, I’m really learning to be okay with that.
One thing God is teaching me from all of this wandering is that he is determined that I will depend on him. And we all know dependence isn’t glamorous. So while I may have wished my life would have looked different, really I choose his way because I need more of Jesus than more of me.
So if I look at you cross eyed, or burst into tears, please don’t take it personally. I am ragged and worn. I’m still trying to get over the spiritual flu. Maybe you can identify. Maybe God has shown himself faithful through tough times but the reality in your life is times have indeed been tough. Here’s the most important thing I know about the spiritual flu; it matters what you recite.
A steady diet of negative self talk will run us right into the ground. During times of loss or challenge it’s easy to feel like life’s against us, that God has forgotten us. If we recite our lossess and fears we will dig ourselves into a pit.
After their dramatic rescue from slavery in Egypt God told the children of Israel, “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” (Deuteronomy 4:9)
God knows we are quick to forget the Red Sea partings in our life and get stuck in the deserts that at times stretch out before us. His instruction never to forget what you yourself have seen is as timely to us today as it was to the Israelites in their day.
God’s word is full of truth for us to recite about who God is, what he has promised, and what we can hope for in him. And if we’ve walked with God any length of time we should have memories of what we’ve seen the Lord do in our lives that we can remember. I know I do!
What are you reciting? Are you counting your losses or are you remembering what God has done? I guarantee reciting what God has done is good for what ails you!