i’m not sure if i’ll end up posting this. i just know that God has given me the green light to write. and so i must.
this season that i am currently in. the season where ben and i come to terms with the reality that we are not having more children, at least, not for now. and do not have the financial stability to adopt.
the season where i am forced to get a second job getting paid very close to minimum wage.
the season where i have to leave emri and all of her fleeting littleness for a total of 30 hours a week.
and come home to a sassy 4 year old who seems to forget sometimes that she needs to obey me and reminds me that sometimes she likes it when i leave her.
this season is just very tender, tiring, and painful for me.
there could be way worse things. i know. but there is something about these things that are woven into the very fabric of my identity.
and the peeling away of them, cuts close to the most sacred places of my heart.
and i find myself wanting to retreat all the time.
this week was ben’s spring break. not so much mine, i still had to work…but, we did put many of our responsibilities on hold this week and have spent almost every day just with our family.
we went to a bed and breakfast. we took a day trip to a winery. we have gone for runs every day in this beautiful weather. crazy beautiful weather. we have visited new restaurants. we have slept in. we have drank new varieties of wine. and a gazillion cups of coffee.
it has been restful, truly.
but i still feel discomfort.
i haven’t retreated very much with God. and i felt the twinge of discomfort from it.
waking up 3 extra days at 3:45 am has sort of sabotaged my early morning moments with God. the moments my soul needs.
when i came home from my long 8 hour shift saturday, i coaxed emri to take a nap with me. when i woke up i felt Jesus calling me.
i told ben i just needed an hour. i grabbed my bible, paper, and pen and went out to the sun porch.
God, are you still with me? its hard to hear you.
i write march 17th in my journal and close my eyes.
God why do i feel so uncomfortable?
there was just silence. the sound of a lawn mower. and breeze coming through the screened in porch.
and i felt like i heard something in my heart.
i’m not your refuge.
uh, yeah you are. i’m freaking here. look at all i’ve done for you. for real.
and then i remembered how grabby i’ve been. and how many things i turn to first to soothe me before coming to Jesus.
like buying stuff. like eating good food. and working on my house. and doing crafts. and planning family activities.
and i’ve known God way too long to understand that these things are not bad. they are good. and wonderful. and given to us by Jesus. but there is something that happens to me personally, when i use them to comfort me while i postpone coming to Jesus.
and thats when they became idols. that’s when i feel my soul start to deteriorate a little.
i know reading this, some people might think i’m a spiritual nut case. whatever.
but let me tell you, the moment i identified this. my soul started to feel alive again. i felt the Spirit comfort me, in a way that nothing. nothing else. ever could.
and i sat there in that moment. and sort of had this repentant moment with God. no condemnation. just sweetness.
and i opened my journal and i started writing the words that started coming to my mind.
and the words were
i wasn’t sure why i was writing them. they just came to my mind.
and then i started thinking about them.
what would it look like for me to surrender?
would i practice coming to Jesus first?
would i stop spending money on my credit card? money that i dont’ have?
would that look like me resisting the temptation to drink yet another, iced caramel macchiato at work?
would that mean me recognizing that my house doesn’t have too look like a picture off pinterest?
would that look like a bit of freedom for me?
i think it would. the word surrender feels like freedom to me.
so i’m meditating and praying over these things. and i remember that i have been reading through romans. and the next chapter i’m to read is chapter 12.
i open up my bible.
and here is the first verse.
i appeal to you, by the mercies of God,
that you present your life as a living sacrifice. holy, acceptable to God.
which is your spiritual act of worship to Him.
do not be conformed to the world.
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. so that you may discern what the will of God is for you life.
God’s will, that is good, beautiful, and perfect.
okay here come the tears. so surrender it is.
and i remember why i love outside so much. the trees, the flowers, the grass, even the birds. they are all surrendered. i think that is truly why nature is so appealing. it is all subjected to the reason why it was created. and its peaceful.
i want to be surrendered.
i’m thankful at the moment that Jesus lets me feel uncomfortable. if i never felt uncomfortable i would never move toward him.
i’m thankful he speaks to my heart.
i read the verse over again. i write it out in my journal.
i’m reminded in those verses that if i don’t renew my mind, i’ll be conformed to the broken world around me.
i must guard the sacred places i find with Jesus.
i need them, they feed my soul.
they remind me that Jesus is alive. and that there are underlining, transformative themes that are taking place in my life. that there is a story that Jesus is writing in my life and places in my heart that He is healing. i’m reminded that i might miss them if i don’t make room for Him. and i see all my coping mechanisms for what they are. idols. and all the energy i expend in all of them in my attempt to create some form of relief for myself. and then i see Jesus. i feel my body relax. and then i start to desire Him more.
and i remember a book ben has called “absolute surrender”, by andrew murray.
i go inside and ask ben where his book is.
he smiles. (this book is his favorite) he picks it off the shelf instantly and says he was thinking about reading it again today, but that he would so graciously let me instead.
he told me the book would kick my ass.
i nodded. yep. i know.
i grabbed the book and found my place again outside in the screened in porch. i finished reading romans 12.
and it was pretty amazing. so here marks another thing God is teaching me.
and i know that surrender isn’t a one time thing. its a journey. a road. not a one time decision. but a daily one. maybe a minute, by minute one.
but its a journey i want to be on. i’ll let you know how it goes.