It’s strange how we can appear to be at the top of the world, by worldly standards, and yet still feel like we’re at the most bottom. And while we’re there, feel the need to not let anyone know.
How shameful to feel that way when you should feel nothing but joy – look at everything you have!
For the last few months during the process of buying our “house on the hill”, I’ve been completely out of sorts. Asking myself “How could I *not* be happy with this?” “What’s wrong with me?” “I must be completely selfish and spoiled?” That’s when I saw the reminder of the one year “anniversary” of the flood.
On this day last year, I had a husband who was gone for his second 9 month deployment *of that year*. A son recovering from two surgeries for a broken arm. Two dogs with months to live. 3 kids and myself suffering from a severe flu (that would end up turning to pneumonia). My “stomach issues” had finally, after 15 years, taken their toll causing me to *have* to get help. And to top it all off, Hurricane Sandy took out the entire first floor and part of the second floor of “that house”.
Oy. It’s been quite the year.
My dentist man is home and settled in to the new practice. The second-born is fully healed and back to his dare-devil self. The dogs have been gone for several months and are sitting nicely on the mantle. The pneumonia rattle is mostly gone, although we were nice enough to share a cold bug already. My gut problems are much, MUCH better. And “that house” is nearly finished, in spite of the (expletive), non-paying renters we have in there.
Ah yes. It’s been quite the year.
For the last year I’ve been fighting for one of many things on a daily basis and some days all of them: our health, our healing, our pets, our insurance money, incompetent renters, mortgage companies. It’s been one entire year of fighting. None stop. Sure there were days when the contractor didn’t wake me up with another “issue”. There were days when the insurance company wasn’t calling to ask for more proof. There were days when the mortgage company wasn’t asking for more paperwork. There were days when I wasn’t waiting for a phone call from the vet/specialist/doctor/state worker/renter/realtor/my dentist man. On those days I could just sit and wonder…. what’s going to happen next?
Normally when I get overwhelmed, I go visit the ocean. I can look out on it and see forever. I can feel the openness and feel all the problems wash away, leaving with the waves. Ironically, right now I’m in the desert. I hate the desert. I don’t think hate it too strong of a word for this. I really do.
With that notice of the “anniversary” the laughable thought that I’m in the exact opposite place than I’d ever want to be, did not go unnoticed. However, I think it may be the exact place I need to be at this very time.
I’ve said this before in Surfing life’s waves, I can best state it this way –
While we’re drowning in our own ocean of circumstances, carrying the weight of people saying what could have been done better tied on like a sinking board strapped to an ankle pulling us further down, the Lord is trying to field a rescue. Instead of just letting Him pull us up however, we keep swatting at His outstretched hands like a drowning victim in a panic. And after He does finally get a hold of our slippery little arm and drags our bodies to the beach kicking the whole way, He breaths life back into us once again. Ignorant of our own inability to swim alone with all the exhaustion, and instead of just staying on the beach to enjoy the rest, we keep running back into the water to drown all over again, dragging the weight of the board behind us, hoping this time it will be different. In His wisdom, He finally takes us from there, the place we love the most. The place we feel most comfortable and places us in our own desert a spell, to finally get the rest we need, in spite of ourselves.
Just as the Israelite’s were brought to the desert to learn to better rely on the Lord, I needed to have all the distractions taken away and be brought back to Him. The life I had felt so comfortable with, just as the Israelite’s felt comfortable in their slavery, needed to go. This may not be where I want to be, but it’s where I need to be.
“Why”, they shouted to Moses “did you bring us out of Egypt to die?” “Surely we will die of starvation out here?” And honestly, my heart understands this for the first time. Definitely not starvation (as my butt can attest to), but surely the uncomfortableness and fear that they felt in their new transition.
While the mountains feel as though they are closing in on me and every fiber of my being wants to be in the wide open ocean, it may be time to go wander my quiet desert and find the rest in Him that I need.
Yup. It’s been quite the year.
I plan on leaving it on the other side of the desert for what God has in store for me. But please don’t mind the grumbling along the way.