“I will throw myself, wholly, at the Lord. I will choose to flourish and grow in whatever environment, in whatever season, He has me,” I thought tonight.
It was a thought that came through an act of immense willpower- like choosing to snack on broccoli when all your friends are eating donuts. (Although there’s a time and a place to indulge in a donut, too, don’t let me wrong. ;-))
It’s a good thought. A noble thought. But to put that thought, that desire even, into practice? To walk through this life of people who misunderstand your heart and leave you feeling more alone, to walk through the tangle of fears about finances and change and relationships and What Ifs?, to repeatedly show up for your life even when it’s hard… AND TO WILL YOURSELF TO SEE GOD IN IT? I’m convinced that takes Heaven’s help.
Over and over again I have to remind myself I ultimately have two choices: I can either give up, or I have to do what I just stated above.
There is a third option, of course, but it leads to passivity and depression. No longer expecting God to show up. A sense of “this is just what life is.” I’ve walked that road too. But if “something better than this” is our goal, there’s only one road paved with that hope, and that’s the road that leads to the Lord.
So we choose to say, “Here I am, Lord.” We show up and invest in this day we’ve been given and CHOOSE TO BELIEVE His holy, sovereign hand is working in our midst, even when we’re unaware. We lean in to our lives, going forward, one step at a time, even when doing so feels like the equivalent of choosing to walk through flames.
My therapist told me tonight to be careful not to let things snowball. I don’t have to continually do a complete inventory of the things that are hurting me or scaring me or making me want to dig a hole and crawl in.
What I have to do is ask myself, “What can I control?” And if I can’t control something, I can grieve it, I can process it, and then I have to choose to go forward anyway. It does not do me any favors to cling tight to the things that hurt me, to rage against them and demand they be different when that isn’t something I have any power over. I have to be deliberate in saying: “This thing sucks, this thing hurts, but not EVERYTHING does. And over all things, the sucky and the good, God reigns.”
I KNOW it will be cancer to me if I let myself go down certain trains of thought. I want to, though. I want to sit here and tell myself I’ve ruined my life. I want to hate myself for how my choices have led me to this place I’m in today. And sometimes I even want to hate the baby growing inside of me. I want to scream and cry and claw and beg to go back. I want to undo it.
But I can’t. That isn’t one of my options. Grief? Yes. Processing the very real things I’m feelings? Yes. But over and over again going back to this truth: My God is a God who redeems. To rest my heart on that and let go of all that is out of my hands, to leave it, instead, at the foot of the cross.
The baby in my belly is a blessing. TRUTH. My life is in His hands. TRUTH. He loves me wildly and fiercely and protectively. TRUTH. Is always, always working in my life and in me. TRUTH. There is always, always, always hope. TRUTH.
And so, rather than hating this day I’m in, and rather than dreading what the future holds, I have to embrace what is and accept what isn’t any longer. There’s no other option. Or, there is, but one of them leads to death, and one of them results in living a life of suffering. And I deserve better than that. So I choose to believe. I believe that this day the Lord has made is GOOD. I believe He is working, that He knows my heart, and that my future isn’t doomed and destined to be worse than my past.
My therapist tells me over and over again that she believes in me, that she knows I’m going to be okay, that I’m not a quitter (which is laughable to me given how many times I’ve tried to do just that!), and that she is proud of me. And even when I don’t agree, I take those words to heart. Because I know she really, really means them.
But the key to my okayness doesn’t lie in me. Left to my own devices, this season of my life might come just as close to killing me as past seasons have. So I do what I have to do and I choose life over death and suffering. I choose to throw myself wholly at the Lord, to bury myself in Him, to hide myself in Him.
Perhaps there’s no better time to invest in the going forward than when you think you can’t. Because it’s only in fully committing yourself to the Lord and His will for your life that there’s any hope of things getting better. When life is going pretty well, you can kind of just coast. You can wake up in the morning and let time carry you through the day. But when you need things to change, when you just can’t do it any longer, that’s when it requires us to step, to move our feet, to not just show up for this day, but to engage in it. So I will. And not because I’m super holy and selflessly God-minded, but because I need hope. And there is none of that to be found apart from Christ.