So today I look up at God saying, I’m not strong enough. The pep talk I thought I might hear/feel (I don’t remember a time of auditorily hearing God) did not come. I believe He looked at me like I look at my kids when they need a fourth band aid for an invisible injury. Instead of “You can do this!! I’ve got your back! Goooooooo team!”
He says “I know.”
Not what I was expecting to say the least. And as I sit here typing, I feel so helpless and inadequate. I want to be filled with faith so badly and yet…I feel so bad.
I truly think I’ve been running from what God wants me to catch this trip around. Hence the Jonah study. Talk about a slap to the forehead moment. I’ve dealt with and lived through this chronic illness for lack of a better term (after 8 years, the doctors are still perplexed. Even House. I contacted him. Or maybe that was a dream…)
I use the word chronic because it is ongoing and yet there are breaks from it. Oh the good days/hours. However, I have done things through the bad days. I work, I pray, I travelled to Honduras and taught beautiful children some dance moves (not impressive moves at all, but the smiles were), I competed in a Bodybuilding/Physique competition, I raise children (the ones the doc told us to hold off on), and I cherish time.
In a way, I wouldn’t trade this journey for any other as it’s taught me to cherish. So when I look at God, stating obvious things like, “I’m not strong enough,” I hafta wonder if He sits there, in all His amazing, majestic glory and says: “Duh.”
I heard today that a lot of people, based on a certain statistic, think that Christians are just “hate-filled hypocrites”. And I’m sure that’s exactly what the enemy would have all who will listen to believe. But I have to say, and maybe it’s just because I’m one of them (one o’ them thar Christians, you know) that I don’t see any hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” and some synonyms include empty talk, dishonesty, and insincerity.
I can understand how this would get annoying. After all, I get annoyed at the way some Christians act (red cup, anyone?) but in all honesty, I believe a lot of it is they aren’t secure in their salvation. I was a Christian for years and still did all kinds of things that would make a lot of church-goin’ folks blush. But here’s the deal: God didn’t lay out every part of His “moral standard” for me at that point of my journey. He knew I’d be completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t possibly live up to His idea or beliefs about who I was in Him when I was in that place. So maybe that’s what some individuals see as hypocritical. They’re living by a different code because maybe they don’t have difficulty in the same areas as you do. Their 2 X 4 is something different than yours. All that being said, the Christians I know and the ones that I hang around, know full-well of who they are. Both who they are with God and without Him. They don’t shade the truth or cover up their human tendencies and forget what Jesus did for them. They’ve accepted the fact that without God’s help, without the Creator lining up their days, that they would indeed be hypocritical. They would go back to their old ways, whether it is drugs or alcohol, or lust and sex, or finger-pointing and a judgy, critical spirit, whatever the case may be. The Christians I know are all learning to trust God in each of their personal trials. They don’t stand and say “No, I never do that and I don’t think you should either!” The Christians I know say “Oh yeah, left to my own devices, that’s exactly what I would do. Without God’s help I couldn’t make it through a day without a drink.” Or “There are times when I’m tempted to go back to the drugs, but thank God I don’t.” Because that’s not what they look to anymore. Those leave us feeling hollow, searching for more. It’s no surprise that addicts don’t keep doing the same drugs and the same amounts; it takes more. And more. Then more. Because that’s not a hole-filler. The Christians I know look to God for their help because He is our strength, the ultimate Hole-Filler, and He is their joy. They don’t feel like they’re better than everybody else. They feel very much like they are everybody else. The Christians I know have experienced the freedom that no man and no 12-step program could ever give. They are free. I am one of them. He is my strength and He is my joy. I was addicted but now I’m not and that is because of God. So, that being said, if people from “yesteryear” see me “nowadays” (where do these terms come from?) then yeah, they may see a hypocrite. They may look back and remember what I used to do and what I used to be, but that’s not me now. And it’s not the Christians I know.
So the radio in our truck died. After telling my brother, he says, “Who listens to the radio anymore??” I raise a hand, wondering if anyone did indeed listen to the radio anymore. I can’t imagine life without the radio. Christian radio builds me up. The songs have Jesus’ words in there and I can’t get enough of ’em. Some days, they keep me from going off the proverbial edge. And I don’t want to choose every song I listen to like you do with an iPod. I want someone else to give me some variety in my life…it’s spicy I hear. Nonetheless, this epiphany doesn’t change the frown-causing fact that my radio is broken.
Since this dreadful day, I have found myself, not only creating new songs, but utilizing beats that “naturally” occur within the vehicle. For instance, I am guilty of failing to get my seatbelt on within the allotted amount of time before the “dinger” starts “dinging.” I do this simply so I can hear it, whereby getting a good beat going. I have always wondered why some people enjoy songs where the same thing is sang repeatedly and I think I now get it. It’s so I can get it! (A multiple-epiphany day! Hooray!) When we repeat things over and over in our heads, (i.e. “meditate”–don’t be scared of that word. It doesn’t require yoga pants. Although I find these to be a refreshing addition.)
God said He wanted to hear a new song and I’m taking Him at His Word. I have been virtually forced to entertain myself (did I mention the Bluetooth is on the fritz too? sigh…) and have sang myself giggly and joyful. God has to be laughin'(at me or with me, I’m not sure) as I come up with my own lyrics to some old favorites. It has also never been so obvious that I don’t know as many lyrics as I thought. “I’ve got the wonder-washing precious blood of Jesus, down in my heart…” I’m thoroughly convinced that is NOT how that one from Bible school went. Or try a nice marching beat, sometimes provided by the bumps in the road: “Jesus loves me, yes He does, Jesus loves me, just because.”
Anyway, turn off the radio (or iPod, or CD, or whatever) check in with your Creator, put a new song in your heart, and make up some lyrics today. I pray you’re blessed with giggles and a case of the sillies.
I just found a spoon under my keyboard. A green, plastic spoon. Life as a mom is full of occurrences such as this one. Mason jar lids in the bathtub, floss picks in bed, and of course, the old standy-by, Legos on the floor (that turn into razors at nighttime, as the joke goes). I never thought my life would change quite so much when I was blessed with two small human beings to go on this journey with. I’ve never been quite so anxiously nervous, worriedly careful, spontaneously following a schedule and scheduling spontaneity, in my life. As it turns out, kids try your patience. Who knew? And why didn’t you tell me? Eh, I wouldn’t have listened.
Being a mom is an everyday roller coaster of emotions. “Ahhh, they’re finally sleeping. Dang it! They’re awake. Where do all these dishes come from? Yes! They love what I cooked! That DOES NOT go in the toilet!! NOTHING goes in the toilet! Welllllll….Nooooooo, don’t write on the TV! Ugh, will you pleeeeeeeeeeease listen to me? I mean it, it’s TIME for bed! NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CUP OF WATER! Ahhh, they’re sleeping.” *Cue door slam or something heavy to hit the floor.
It’s every day and it’s every emotion it seems. God provides strength for each and every day and each and every emotion. If He did not, lemme tell you, I would not be here. He provides strength whether we specifically ask for it or not. I say this because I don’t always remember that what we ask for is ours. It is ours. Can it be this simple? Wisdom, strength, true happiness and joy are ours if we ask for it. Today, ask your Holy God, who also happens to be your Dad, for what you need. Whether it’s strength for your aching back as you attempt to rinse a little girl’s hair in the tub or freedom from the depression that keeps trying to pull you into the pits of hell, He’s there for you. He promised. Put Him to the test and He will not fail you. He can’t.