Questions And Answers

Sometimes I feel like my list of what I don’t know is so much longer than my list of what I do know. Maybe there’s power in accepting that to be true, not just for me, but for anyone alive. Maybe it’s when we think we have things figured out that we end up in trouble.

I’m trying to stay in the moment. Amidst this season of not knowing, I am trying to soak up what I do know–what is good–and hand the rest to God under the assurance that He sees hope where I see question marks.

And He keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are focused on Him.

Anything that tries to rob me of my peace right now, I hand to my Jesus. I’ll do the hard stuff- I’ll do the work, learn the lessons, and grow. But I can do all of that, I can hurt and cry, without having it rob me of my peace or my hope. As long as I keep giving it to Him and as long as, when I close my eyes, I allow myself to picture His face and not my perceived (or actual) problems.

Jesus is with me
and I’m His child
and He knows what He’s doing.

I don’t have to give in to fear or despair or panic because no matter what comes my way, no matter what consequences I might have to endure, I won’t be doing it on my own. I can trust all of my question marks with the God who loves me.

*

There’s a lot that isn’t marred by consequences right now, too. There’s a lot that is just GOOD. (Praise Jesus!)

When someone hugs me or laughs with me, I don’t question it. I don’t wonder what they’re thinking or try to evaluate the fragility of the good thing before me. I just embrace it. I hug back. I let the laughter cause me to throw my head back. And I thank the Lord that, even though there’s a lot that is broken, that isn’t.

Tonight I played on a playground. I got dizzy on a spinning toy and played on swings and went down slides, and when the sprinklers came on, I ran through them laughing for at least a half an hour until I collapsed, soaking wet, on the grass. There’s a lot I don’t know, but I know that God watched me play tonight and he was smiling. Not everything is broken. The Lord is sustaining me.

Life is a gift.

*

I keep having nightmares. I think my subconscious is trying to process the trauma and tragedy (and miracles!) of the past month.

I had a dream I was in Sudan and the military was storming into the building where I was hiding because they were going to shoot anyone who was white. I was laying face-down on the ground with Sudanese people and I was praying for a miracle. I was praying my life would be spared. And I felt the boot of a military man step on my back, and I knew any second he was going to shoot me, and I pivoted. In a last-ditch effort to stay alive, I moved to face him and beg him not to shoot me. And I woke up mid-pivot. I woke up flinging myself from my stomach to my back and begging for my life.

I also had a dream I was in Hawaii and I really wanted to swim. The water was blue and warm and I was dying to jump in, but I was scared of sharks. Everyone was assuring me that I’d be fine, that people swim in Hawaii all the time without getting attacked by sharks, but I was too scared. And I felt so frustrated with myself because I had this opportunity presented to me to do something fun–something life-giving–and I was too scared of what could go wrong.

And I dreamed I was somewhere, I don’t know where, but I think I was with people from church, and the floor kept giving out. The foundation of the place where we were was precarious, and you couldn’t tell if where you were about to step would be solid or if it would collapse beneath you and threaten to pull you down into the murky water below. Everyone else seemed to know where to step, but I didn’t, and so I was asking for help. They knew better than I how to navigate the unstable floor, and even as the building continued to fall down and crumble around us, they didn’t panic. I had no choice but to surrender and let them help guide me to a place of safety. I just had to step and hope.

*

I am standing firm in truth.

I am embracing (out of necessity) humility.

And I am surrendering (also out of necessity) all to God.

I am done trying to force my life and relationships look or feel a certain way. I am breathing through the hard stuff and finding that surrender brings peace. When I surrender what I cannot control (and accept that I cannot control it!) to our loving God, I can let go of trying to force things to be different from what they are.

God has a good plan. I don’t have to be afraid.

I am still Someone’s child.

And so, rather than trying to control things and battle the inevitable resulting panic, I am making obedience my focus instead. I will stand firm in truth. That I CAN do.

And I will leave the healing and heart-work to God.

It’s all so hard. But at least my focus is finally right- not on trying to fix things (myself, relationships, my life) that are beyond my ability to fix, but on loving the Lord and taking Him at His Word.

*

I had another dream. I was writing on a whiteboard for a class, writing the numbers 1 through 10 in preparing to make a list. I was going to survey the class and ask them to volunteer what God’s been doing in their lives. The first thing I wrote, however, which isn’t really even an answer to the question I was supposed to be asking, was “receive”.

I woke up after writing that on the board, and I suspect that was God’s message to me. Receive.

He has so much He wants to do, I just have to be willing to receive, to walk this through, even when it’s hard, and to trust that He sees more than I do- He sees the good that will come from all of the pain. He can use this for good in my life, and maybe even in the lives of the people I’ve hurt. That is my prayer.

Lord, prepare my heart to hear from You. Help me to obey. Help me to receive whatever you have for me.

*

This week I keep hearing and reading that freedom in our lives is tied to giving God proper authority. Where God reigns in our lives, we can claim freedom. I want to allow, once again, God to to be Lord of every area of my life.

*

A quote:

“‘How do  you see me, God?’ isn’t a question we really need to ask when the world treats us as we feel we deserve.”

Everything that’s broken? It’s forcing me to run to God. To get His opinion. To let Him hold me. To accept His loving guidance.

I’m actually grateful for that.

I’m sad for the brokenness, but grateful for how the Lord is using it.

*

I’m so, so grateful for all the things that aren’t broken. They scream to me that God is big and He loves me, and He desires to give me good gifts even when I’ve really, really messed up.

Everything that’s still in tact, everything that is effortlessly good, it’s a miracle. A hug from the Father who loves me fiercely and is going to see me through this.

I am thankful for:
Being home.
My church.
Love- even “tough love”.
That God will never, ever leave me.
The ability to learn.
The ability to cry.
My pets.
Children.
Hugs.
Glennon.
A job, a house, and a car. And wifi. 😉
That my needs are met.
That I don’t have to hold anything together.
Laughter.

*

Also, this blog post is beautiful. (Click!)

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