I AM LED!!!!
“Nearly everything that has happened to me has happened by surprise. All the important things have happened by surprise. And whatever has been happening usually has already happened before I have had time to expect it. The world doesn’t stop because you are in love or in mourning or in need of time to think. And so when I thought I was in my story or in charge of it, I really have been only on the edge of it, carried along. Is this because we are in an eternal story that is happening partly in time?” ~ Wendell Berry – from the novel “Jayber Crow”
I was struck by this quote while perusing David ArmsWebsite. I missed church today; quite on purpose I might add. I was feeling desolate, used up, & tarnished. My heart was literally aching – sharp stabbing pains running through my chest. I was certain I might die; food & Grey’s Anatomy my only solace.
There is a delicious little line in one of City Harmonic’s songs, the title escapes me, which says, “I was so busy living I forgot I was alive”. This has been my journey of late. I have lost hope, wonder, expectation & replaced it with mindless dribble. I do not know why I seek man’s approval, but it seems pretty damned important to me of late.
I can still remember my self-righteous purpose at eighteen years of age. I thought all that God had planned for my life led to prosperity, a rich husband, & five perfect children. I scoffed at anyone who had an opinion that was contradictory to mine & held my head high in utter delight at how much better I was to everyone else.
At twenty-five, seething with unresolved bitterness, anger, and discontent I resigned that I did not know all, but was certain that God would turn all things to right (or rather the way I wanted it) as long as I continued to go to church, read my Bible, & say my nightly prayers. I wish I could say that my self-righteous attitude had evaporated, but I clung to it like a security blanket – warmed & comforted by its cynicism.
As the years have progressed I must confess I don’t know what the hell is going on. At thirty-one I fear I am deemed complicated, even unto myself. I am delighted to report the self-righteous purpose I once held so strongly has slipped through my fingers. I no longer have the desperate need to be right or prove to my naysayers that I’m better than them. My desire is to one day clothe myself in the beautiful be-attitudes of meekness & humility. I have not been put on this earth to judge, but to love. If I am to love honestly it will always be with my hands open. I should never expect something in return (oh, but how I do).
The God who loves me is still as big of a mystery as ever. He handles my fear & uncertainty with abundant grace & mercy. I do not deserve the love He bestows upon me. How I have whored myself about – dabbling in love cloaked lust.
The greatest gifts for me have been the surprises. I do get so busy living that I forget that I am alive. I miss so many daily provided miracles. I am not in charge of my story. I fight for the wheel, but it is not mine to control. I have no right to my hopes & dreams. It is a hard pill to swallow but, once relinquished, can lead to a beautiful awakening. God does not owe me anything because I choose to follow his precepts. Am I really so vain to think that I can somehow command the will of God?
He withholds no good thing. However, that good thing might just be pain & suffering. His death on the cross was a good thing, after all.
I am not striving to be a “Debbie Downer”; just the opposite.
My life, in no way, shape, or form has turned out how I thought. It is infinitely better. I could not imagine having one person who is in my life out of it. I relish the sorrowful & painful times now, because I see what fruit they bear.
God forgive me for ever being a judgmental prick & not loving in earnest. God forgive me for demanding that you show your favor for me by giving me what I want.
I ache for home, my real home, in heaven. It is a mystery to every non-believer &, sadly, many believers that this world holds nothing for me. We are here only for a short time. I want to take each day as a treasured gift, unearthing all the miracles God bestows, not taking an ounce for granted, and all the while loving people with genuine authentic love.
I have felt myself retreating in my shell – losing my desperate hold on hope! I will close with another quote by Wendell Berry (also found on David Arms Website):
“I can remember those early years when it seemed to me I was cut completely adrift, and times when, looking back at earlier times, it seems I had been wondering in the dark woods of error. But now it looks to me as though I was following the path that was laid out for me, unbroken, and maybe even as straight as possible, from one end to the other, and I have this feeling, which never leaves me anymore, that I have been led.” – “Jayber Crow”
May I not forget I am to follow!