I apologize for sending out another blog so quickly. And perhaps I shouldn't share... After all, I don't want every person I know to see the struggles I go through. I am, after all, supposed to be a very mature Christian, one who never ever makes a mistake, someone who has all the answers. If people know that I don't, that I have to search for answers, and struggle to understand – pray and cry... Well, that shatters the illusion, doesn't it?
And yet, God told me whatever is in my head can't stay there – it needs to go out. Gulp.
That is almost brutal, cruel!
Another Saturday has come and gone. Another day of talking and meeting wonderful people and going home feeling less than. Deep down I know my focus is wrong. Deep down I struggle with finding the perspective God wants me to have, seeing things through His eyes. I can lower my expectations, yes. For a moment that works for me, but it's just not a good fit.
Last weekend I really liked where I was at. My expectations couldn't have been lower. I went home feeling quite happy. And I knew I didn't have the answer. Something bugged me like crazy, and I tried to work through it, put it into words, share it with you. It just seemed so... shallow. I still believe that I don't have a right to expect. But here's the rub. I do. Not in the way I think.
I want to share this while it's still very fresh in my mind, while I'm still very much filled with awe.
So here it goes (I hope).
I went to set up my tent this morning only to find out that it was broken. A support had snapped last weekend when the whole thing was picked up by one of those huge gusts of wind that plagues us every Saturday from around 12:00 onward. It twisted the tent and at the time I didn't see anything broken on it. We had a lot of trouble taking it down, though. This morning I discovered why. As I said, it is broken. It works for now, but I probably need to fix it (by that I mean my wonderful and genius husband needs to fix it while I stand there encouraging him. At least that's my plan. I know it's diabolical).
I enjoyed myself today and, as I said, met some wonderful people. Talked to them, laughed. Sweated bullets, even though I wore a summer dress. You get the picture. I focused on keeping myself open, happy, no emotions involved. It worked fine until I got home. No, I wasn't grumpy, nor was I upset. I was thoughtful. And confused. A wonderful friend of mine told me once that confusion is not from the Lord. I agree.
I struggled with my perplexity all afternoon, until I had had it. I just couldn't pretend that I was not bothered, and that things didn't impact me. It just weighed upon me like a stone. So, I started talking to my wise and wonderful husband and youngest SOM (Son of mine, for those who don't know the abbreviation. You will see it often. There may even be a quiz at some point). As I was talking I just felt sad. For myself, of course.
My husband, Godly man that he is, didn't try to fix me for once. Instead, he told me to go directly to the source. God Himself. He asked me pointed questions about whether I had prayed about specific things, such as... should I really be promoting my books at market places. Of course, little me got a tad bit defensive, but over all I think I handled it very well. He also said a very important thing, one I didn't like at all.
What if all God wants me to do is sit, wait, and (dare I say it) be still?
Ugh! I wasn't all that gracious about that one. After all, I have a purpose. And he reminded me of my purpose. Again, that attitude wasn't all that great. It certainly bothered me to pieces. Because it wasn't what I envisioned.
I need to put God first in my life. Okay, I think I do that.
Then my family.
Well, excuse me! How much more do I need to spend on my family? When is it time for me?(My hands are on my hips and I have darts shooting out of my eyes at this point.)
Mmm. We see the perspective problem, yes?
Then Tom just pulled the plug on my pride by asking me what I'd do, if God told me to stop. This wasn't the first time I've been asking myself. And it probably won't be the last. I remembered when God told me to sell my beloved horse. And then my second horse. It was like ripping my heart out. I honestly don't know if I could do it again.
After a few moments or so I calmed down and began to do what I should always do. Turn toward God. I didn't expect an answer to come so swiftly or completely. And I also didn't expect it to fill me with strength I had never felt. It was certainly not as I expected (hehe, funny isn't it?). I had fully predicted for Tom to be right. That this was the moment when I was done. That I would have to give up writing, promoting, sharing. The thought bothered me for a split second, then I knew I'd be okay. I would find the strength to do it somehow.
But that wasn't what I got. The answer I received so quickly as soon as I turned to God, was an impression. It was that of my tent hanging upside down, all twisted up. And it was this thought that popped into my head.
My child, this was not from Me! This was not something I did to gain your attention. It was meant to discourage and derail you.
The thought came swiftly and my mind was flooded with all sorts of memories and emotions.
The first one was of me driving down the main street in Springfield and asking God to give me His eyes to see the people with His perspective. Not because I'm all that. But because He loves them so. And then there was my tent again, this time with the impression of the depravity that is all around us. Spiritually, morally, physically. The tent was all twisted, flapping around in the wind like so many people. And, sadly, that includes many of us Christians.
But then that little voice went on to whisper something into my heart. I have His eyes. I see people the way He wants me to see them and He wants me to speak. He wants His church to be visible. Most people wouldn't set foot into a church building. And He's put me right into the middle of a place where the name of Christ is greatly scorned. I'm supposed to be His hands (not my own), His voice (not my own), His mind (not mine).
It is never about me!
It is always about Christ our Lord, our Savior, our King, and the Father. When it becomes about me, myself, and I – about how I can reach the people, my perspective and my expectations are on me. No matter how hard I try to rationalize things. When I can't see His love for those around me, I have become just another author peddling my ware. There are a ton of people out there doing that.
It's never about me!
Phew. Lesson learned? I kind of hope so. Now, how to put it into practice? First step: prayer. And then...
Be still and know I am God.
I'm set apart to do His bidding. He brought me up here for a purpose. Part of it was for my oldest SOM (who now lives very comfortably in a lovely climate of between 50 and 80 degrees all year long), for my DOM (daughter of mine) and for my youngest. I've also been put into the Farmers Market to do His bidding.
I AM His voice. I AM His hands. I HAVE His mind.
If you came up to me and asked what I do, I'd have to tell you that I'm a wife, mother and teacher. A writer? you ask. Wow. Now that is something I never thought I'd be. But through God, all things are possible.