Monday, April 11, 2011

In The Hard Places

I have been stressing out a great deal lately about pretty much the whole balance of the universe: My future, anxieties about whether I am doing enough, my friends' struggles, where this country is going, all the unheard voices of the world, whether or not I am living it right, you name it. Many nights I don't find sleep because all the pain in this world is a weight pressing against me, flattening me out. The most human part of me wants to solve, to analyze, to fix, to appease, and I can't seem to stop myself from throwing questions at God, demanding concrete solutions and answers.  I keep telling myself to relax, to have Faith, to pray without ceasing, but many times my frustrations overwhelm me, and I just go into mini panic attacks. I am lucky and blessed beyond belief to have a loving family and supportive friends to help me during these times. I am thankful, so thankful.

The most recent chapter in our Discernment book that my fellow YAVs and I are reading is titled "In The Hard Places." This title is quite relevant to where a lot of us are right now. Whether we are struggling with current issues in our lives or figuring out where we fit come August, each of us has many questions and fears. The unknown is meant to be exciting yes, but for many it just seems absolutely terrifying. I am blessed to have many options and opportunities, but I want God to send me a lightning bolt down to earth saying "Yes pick that choice. I like that one." As if I'm asking a friend which tablecloth looks better. What a crazy human being I am to be begging clear, easy outs from a God that simply asks that we have some Faith in him. I am reminded of the passage of 1 Samuel where he is called in the middle of the night by the Lord to get up and go. I can only imagine that fear that must have shivered through him that night. Now, I ask myself: Am I willing to get up and go?

We recently had our Spring Retreat in the thriving metropolis of Poplarville, Mississippi. We were able to do a bit of discerning and worship against a gorgeous backdrop of lakes, blooming pink flowers, and endless woods. It was wonderful just to seep into that organic feel of nature amidst squirrels scurrying around and lizards doing push-ups on logs. I talked to God honestly and openly, like he was sitting right beside me in the leaves.

"At times we drift in our lives. Amid the uncertainty and suspense of not knowing, or the sheer tedium of things remaining the same, we can learn to keep our eyes wide open, scanning the horizon of our experience. Like Noah we may have to do this for a long time until at last some green sprig signals,"'There's land ahead.'" 
-Quote from The Way of Discernment

I just finished reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I've been meaning to read it for years, and am so glad I finally did. There are so many beautiful lessons about what it means to love ourselves, other people, and God even in those tough places. He throws in a little offbeat humor too, because where we would be without laughter (Believing in God is not unlike the radars inside of Penguins on when to hatch their eggs. Oh Penguins, you explain everything).  Perhaps I will explore my thoughts on the book further in a future blog post. I am about to start other works by him. Great food for thought during this Faith journey of mine.
For now, as I ride the waves of uncertainty and doubt, I find myself just whispering steadily "Here I Am, Lord."

For now, I am thankful for these people!

Motivation: You're a pterodactyl.


"The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established."
Proverbs 19:21

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