I’ve lost a lot, especially over the last year, and especially in the form of relationships.
Just ask my walls.
I used to have walls covered in framed pictures of my loved ones, and now many of the smiling faces on my walls need to be replaced. The people don’t have a place in my life anymore. They left me or I left them or, in the case of my cat, they died.
And maybe that wouldn’t hurt so badly if I had other pictures to put in their place, but I don’t. Not really. Not yet. I have people in my life, sure, but the pictures are going to have to decrease. I don’t have enough to fill all the frames.
Maybe I will someday. Maybe I won’t. Either way, sometimes I think loss can be purifying. Holy even. It’s good to let dead things be dead rather than hanging on to them and insisting they breathe again.
What it comes down to really is, do I trust Him? If I can answer yes to that, I can handle anything. Because my hope is in Him, not what I see before me. My hope is in His plan and His goodness and His love and His mercy, and not dependent on my ability to take control of things I can’t control. I can hurt, I can grieve, I can cry, but I can do it all with hope.
One of my favorite songs right now has a line in it that goes: “I want what You want and nothing less.”
I’ve heard that song so many times, but that line jumped out at me a couple days ago.
She says “nothing less“, not “nothing else“.
And I realized that wasn’t random. She could’ve used either word and no one would’ve thought anything of it, but she chose “less”, I believe, because God always gives us His best. Anything else we want, anything apart from what He has for us, is the LESSER thing.
How incredible is that!?
And so, desperately I want to be someone’s child, sister, mom, wife. Desperately I want to be held, loved, chosen, to feel like I have a place where I BELONG and fit and am wanted and needed. Desperately. But He wants even more for me than I want for myself.
We can grieve with hope, and we can hope without fear, because no matter what we’ve lost, no matter what we want, God will always do what’s best for us. Always.
We don’t have to understand in order for that to be true. It’s true either way.
Oh, Lord. More of You. Teach me to be satisfied with all that You are. Maybe someday I’ll have the things I long for, and maybe I won’t. Help me find peace with that because You are good and You are Love and I can trust You even when I don’t understand. Teach me to go to You for every need I perceive to be unmet. Help me to know You as More Than Enough.
With all that I am, I love You.
And still, I pray, help me to love You more.
I had an entirely different blog post planned. I was working on it, pouring my heart out with the Holy Spirit’s leading, when I stretched out my legs. And for a second, it was bliss. “Why didn’t I stretch my legs out earlier!?” I wondered. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so comfortable in my entire life!”
And then my foot hit the power button on the power strip and the computer shut off. I lost my entire blog post.
My initial reaction, because I’m me, was to throw a big fit. I wanted to wail and fight and whine and force my words to return to the screen. But no amount of wanting what I’d lost would bring it back.
“Fine,” I thought stubbornly, my mouth tight with frustration, “I’ll just recreate it. I’ll just write the same blog again.”
But I knew that wouldn’t work either. My heart wouldn’t be in it the second time around. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t really recreate what was.
I had to let it go.
I had to accept that it was lost.
I had to create something new.
And then it hit me that this was no accident. This was an act of God.
I had to let go, to accept, to embrace something new- not just in my writing, but in my life.
I can’t force my mom to be alive. I can’t be a child again. I can’t force someone to choose me and call me their own. I can’t make the things I’ve lost come back. I have to grieve them. There is no other choice. I can cry and wail and want until day fades to night and back to day again and fall becomes winter. That won’t change anything.
I have to embrace what is. Because what is? It is GOOD.
What was lost was good, too. And it hurts.
But our God is a good God and He can be trusted with our pain. He never allows pain just for His amusement. There’s a purpose for it. And He will redeem what’s been lost.
I don’t know what that looks like exactly, but I know that trying to force the lost things back into existence is less than what He wants for me.
And so I will choose to grieve the lost things, trust Him with the pain, and thank Him for all the ways He’s providing today.
I wrote that blog post, I sought Him in the writing, and He had decided that it was enough for those words to just be between us. He had something else planned. He had a lesson for me in the loss of those words. They had served their purpose, they had been good and sweet, but they were gone.
And this? It’s different. But it’s not bitter. It’s sweet too.
Of course it is. Our Father doesn’t take away only to give us something lesser. He doesn’t take our sweet and exchange it for bitter. He makes all things beautiful. He gives good gifts.
And hitting the power switch with my foot? It might not have seemed like a good gift initially, but it was.
“Whatever it is [that’s been lost, that gets in the way of your relationship with the Lord, that you’re holding on to more tightly than you’re holding on to Him], it has to go. It isn’t good enough to box it up and set it aside. It has to die. It has to be grieved. What has to end or die [in your life so you] can experience a rebirth?”
“‘Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. -Heb 12:1’ So take your injured, beat up life… wounds that have been inflicted by others, or deep-set pain caused by your own actions, and bring them before God. Don’t hold onto them like trophies or hide them away like failures – they’ll only slow you down, hold you up, limp your run and cause you to trip. Strip them off, put them aside, attend to them, allow God to heal you, forgive you, free you. It may take some time to return to wholeness. But if you keep at it, you’ll get there. And your run will be all the better for it.”
“It’s a little bit uncomfortable to wake up from the half-slumber. It awakens a want that I can’t satisfy on my own. I have to hope that He will satisfy. There’s a song by Chris Rice called Thirsty and in it, he says, ‘Could I really be this thirsty if there weren’t something more?’ Surely not.”
“It’s okay to ask Him to make Himself to known. It’s okay to tell Him that I want to experience how much He loves me. It’s okay to tell Him that I want to feel love toward Him again.”