Like I said, a reset happened last week. A turning around. Sometimes you have to go back to where you started. Do the things you did at first to rekindle the smoldering flame. And thank God He doesn’t just put it out.
I spilled messy feelings out to the Music Man yesterday. I’m sure it all sounded worse than a thirteen year old’s first blows on a saxophone. Probably more like clanging symbols. I had to get it out… it was festering in me. “Something’s got to change!” I said. “I can’t keep going like this!”
She’s right. I don’t get to make him love me like I want to be loved. I don’t get to make him listen or laugh or get it or just hold me. I don’t get to make my life the life I thought I’d have.
I read her grace-writings frequently, and today’s seemed to be the vessel through which He said, “I know you. Let me love you the way I deem best.”
I had already been thinking about it since I clamored out my noisy thoughts and feelings yesterday. Ever since he looked at me and I’m sure he was thinking, “She’ll never change,” while I was looking at him realizing I had always come to him expecting him to change. I realized I have wandered off. I’ve got to return to that place where I fed on truth and grace and was infused with enthusiasm in serving my Lord.
So how can I serve Him when I don’t have that life I dreamed of?
I’ve probably read every Christian wife-help book out there. The Excellent Wife. The Power of a Praying Wife. Created to be His Helpmeet. Feminine Appeal. And probably some others I don’t remember right now. I’ve read these and have always been stumped as to how to take that mold and force my life into it.
I work full-time. I have children in public school. My music man and I are marching to different drummers. The T.V. is on more than I want. The dinner table is crank-your-neck-to-the-side-to-see-what’s-on-T.V.-and-shove-the-food-in-your-face-as-fast-as-you-can time. There is no ministering to others coming out of this house, nor is there inviting others in. There’s too much YouTube and Internet browsing and video games. There’s a hiding to practice spiritual disciplines. And there’s a murmuring of hymns, lest they be sung out loud and call attention to differing drum beats… just to name some of my top I-don’t-have-a-life-that-fits-into-the-Christian-household’s-mold things. And it’s not like I can just busy myself and children with nature… we live in a 80 by 100 foot block walled square. And the view out the window is shades of brown concrete and stucco. Our history is scarred from separations and near divorces. The hurt keeps coming back. Again. And again. So how do I do this? How do I serve Him in THIS life?
The answer is so obvious. So right in front of me. So me. Me and my closed fist. Me and my tight grip. Me and my trying to force it.
If I want to gain my life I’m gonna have to open my grip on this one and let go. That’s the only way to follow Jesus no matter you’re circumstances. The only one who I can squeeze into the mold of scripture is me.
“Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” -Romans 12:2
Maybe you don’t have a dream life. Maybe you live in circumstances you wish were different. Like Ann said, we don’t get to write our stories. But we do get to take what we’ve been given and make the ending a giving. A giving of thanks.
I went back and read some of those words I wrote years ago when I was thinking on hope-filled truth and not the devastation. I am ashamed at how far my heart has wondered away from my house of bread in my famine. Instead of holding my ground and trusting, because He always provides, instead I let the way all the fish mindlessly floating downstream think become the way I think. Rights. Self-Exaltation. Rights. Self-Preservation. Rights. Self-Pleasing. Rights. Self-Comfort. Rights. Self-Esteem. Rights. This is the beat of the current that I stopped swimming against in my mind. I let myself drift in its steady flow towards a dead sea. I was taking on D.H. Lawrence’s poisonous motto, “with should and ought I shall have nothing to do!“
But He’s got my attention. He’s called me back. I’ve heard again how He’s provided, as He always does, for His own. I’ve returned to His table. I’ve eaten of His bread.
You don’t get to change anyone Sheila. You just get to be changed.
“What if God didn’t design marriage to be “easier”? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? What if, as de Sales hints, we are to accept the ‘bitter juice’ because out of it we may learn to draw the resources we need with which to make the ‘honey of a holy life’?” – Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
55. my music man encouraging entrepreneurship
56. the orange sunset
57. the promise to use my mess to mold me into the image of the Son