This is where I lived for many years. Not the healthy kids part, but all the rest, for sure.
I just didn't know what hard was. I made up drama when I was bored (you know, 'why did Suzy look at me like that in church' and other such nonsense). I read my Bible when I thought people were looking or to get scripture that might come in handy in Bible study or conversations so I could look like a good Christian. I talked the good talk with all the 'good' Christian lingo, because I thought that's what being a Christian was all about. I just didn't know what it meant to believe God's word and trust in Him.
When things were hard, like losing my job and being unemployed for 8 months, I turned away from God because I was bitter and angry with Him for allowing such a hardship. I had no idea how to trust Him (not that I'm an expert now).
I lived in worry and anxiety, turning away from Him in petulance because I just didn't understand. I worried about money and finding another job. I was anxious about what we were supposed to do with our adult lives. No one told me being an adult was so hard!
I believed that worrying was a way to control the situation we were in. I thought I could worry my way out of it.
It's difficult to give up any sense of control you might (mistakenly) feel you have and lean on the Lord, and trust His sovereignty and goodness.
I am struggling pretty fiercely today. This comes as no surprise. I've been struggling with the same things for the past 18 months...it has become commonplace, a very normal part of my life.
Recently, though, I have to admit that God has been revealing the sin in my struggling; and it isn't pretty.
It's hard to imagine struggling differently than I have been, but I think that's exactly what He desires in showing me my sin.
It started after reading Horatius Bonar and his book God's Way of Peace: A Book for the Anxious. I felt like I had stumbled upon something no one had ever told me before! Where had this truth been all my worried filled life??
Faith is not something I can work at or get better at, but trusting is something I need to practice. And practice it, I have! Thus the post about sore muscles.
I don't want to misled anyone by saying that there are no longer bad days; because there are. The bad days are still bad, but they are filled with crying out to my Father; getting angry and repenting, feeling afraid and praying, relying on His promises, even if I can't see any proof of a promise.
No matter how 'strong in the faith' I become, I will always be weak, incapable, and in need of a Savior. But that is good news!
The Gospel is life giving, wonderful news to those who know they simply cannot function without a Savior; and know that without His work on their behalf, they have nothing to offer our Heavenly Father.
This is where I am living now-
I simply cannot function without Him and I have absolutely nothing to offer Him. There is nothing I can do or think or feel that will bring me closer to God.
That's a pretty vulnerable place to be, isn't it? I am bought near to God through Christ's work; even my faith is a gift!
Ephesians 2: 8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Even if trusting Him hurts (and life is hard, complicated and messy), I want to trust Him.
I want to trust Him in our messy lives, in the things that don't look like they'll ever get better or change. I want to trust Him, no matter the outcome, believing that He loves me; giving God all the glory.
The peace of God is already mine. It is just that simple...that's what makes it so hard.
Giving up our sense of power over our lives and letting go of the control we think we have is not an easy task; but it is so wonderful.
Ephesians 2: 1-10
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.