Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is this thing on?

What kind of Christian would you say you are? If the word “perfect” is popping into your head we’d better talk. Unfortunately none of us are perfect but we do worship and follow a perfect God. But, when I think of the life I live as a Christian, I think about my feet. Odd, but true.

In the times of the New Testament, students or disciples were known to be attentive listeners if by the end of the day they were covered by the dust of their Rabbi’s feet. Biblical scholar Ray van der Laan noted that the first century Jews had a blessing that expressed the commitment of a disciple to stay in the presence of the one he followed, “May you always be covered by the dust of your rabbi.” That is, “May you follow him so closely that the dust his feet kicks up is what cakes your clothing and lines your face.” Taking it further, this is also how Jesus wants us to define our relationship with him. He invites us into such intimate relationships with him and we are intended to live so much in his presence that our feet, and hopefully our hearts and minds, will be covered by the dust of the Rabbi. (God is Closer Than You Think)

I didn’t get much sleep again last night and was up before 4am. I laid and bed and many thoughts kept running through my head. I’ve been really frustrated lately with how we, as Christians, view God’s blessings or how he answers prayer (see past post here). Most of our modern western society (I can not speak about other parts of the world as I am just not educated enough in those parts) would say God answers prayer when the things we have prayed about are provided. When we are blessed by something, have received an abundance, or quite literally have seen our prayers turn out the way we would have hoped-right before our very eyes, we commonly say that God has answered our prayers.
I know I have been guilty of it. But I’m currently trying to shift my vocabulary because I have prayed for many things in life that never ever ended up happening and when I look back it wasn’t God not answering those prayers, it was Him doing that exact thing. He was answering them, which allowed me to take a different road. And while it may have caused momentary sadness or sorrow, He answered even if it felt like silence.

Which brings me to now. Like I mentioned before, I try and get my feet dirty, real dusty. It’s probably why Woodleaf is my favorite place. One summer when I served as I lifeguard there my feet had a permanent orange suntan line from the red dirt that continued to stain my feet day after day as I was constantly outside doing work. I remember one day sitting and life guarding the blog, and I glanced down at my oranged feet dangling in the water, and I was proud. I was proud that I was working hard and not out of my own strength but of His and for Him. I was covered in the dust of the Rabbi. Great Red Dust.

I keep hearing this lately and it leaves me so discontent and frustrated. My friends who have had babies, from the ones who are going through or have gone through fertility treatments, even those on the brink of giving birth or who have just found out that they are pregnant(again) have all said, “there was much prayer involved in the process and that is evident because He answered.” I’ve heard that from at least half a dozen of my closest friends. A half dozen seems like a small number, so maybe more and all I can think to myself is "Am I praying wrong? What’s this secret prayer I don’t know about? I’m not upset that my friends have babies or are able to get fertility treatments but did I not learn the right prayer? I’m following Jesus closely and for over 15 years I’ve been praying about having a child. Especially when I first heard about my diagnosis, so that would be eleven solid years and was I just saying the wrong thing?

Yesterday, I found out another close friend of mine is pregnant. She was scared to tell me but I knew it was coming. I believe God had already clued me into it. She too said there was lots of prayer surrounding it and it happened quickly.

Am I not Christian enough, not dusty enough? Is my microphone not turned on?  It leaves me with little to do but to cry myself to sleep because I realize there will be many more babies and yet not one of them will have come from me.

I read a passage the other day in a book I’m reading and it said this, “But I have to remember that the core of God’s plan is to rescue me from sin, even up to my dying breath. My pain and discomfort are not his ultimate focus. He cares about these things, but they are merely symptoms of the real problem. God cares most, not about making my life happy, healthy, and free of trouble, but about teaching me to hate my transgressions and to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.” It went on to say that this life, this story that I am living is not God’s Plan B for my life, it’s his Plan A. At that point I had angry tears and almost chucked the book across the room.This is my Plan A? The pain, the professional failure, the inability to be a mother, the overwhelming physical obstacles, the crippling anxiety, and this shadow of depression.? Wow. Really Wow.

 I think that means that the prayers my friends pray(ed) for babies and families would have never worked here. Why? Becasue this was always His Plan As for me. I don't get why He chose me, why I'm one of the lucky ones, But here I am Lord. Use me.

One thing it also means is that I still have to get dusty. Over and over again. And unfortunately, it means there will still be days and nights where all I’ll be able to muster are tears. Silent ones, heavy sobs, the kind that make you feel like you can't catch your breath, and the ones that give you a pounding headache. But blotchy face and all, I’ve heard tears can be prayers too so if you ever need a good lesson on that, you know where to find me. 

Prayer Requests: Applied for two Remote Jobs that word allow me to work from Home for my Health's sake (if any one is connected to anyone at The Everygirl please let me know! and of course Please keep praying and supporting us if you can. This road is much longer than we anticipated, with lots of out of network costs.

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