Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Scandalous

It's so humbling to look at my blog these days and see the steady decline from last month. I mean I obviously haven't written every day, so I'm sure that's one reason, but I also feel like that little graph parallels my heart.

My emotional life is the hard eucharisteo. My oldest son and I were talking about faith today, faith when it's hard. This young man who knows Jesus but is early on his journey of faith asks hard questions. Brave questions. He's so real. And today I told him that when it's hard, you rely on what you know. That He is faithful and true. That He has rescued before. That He has so many promises that are ours, none of the least of which is Romans 8:28. He will bring good. He will turn mourning into dancing. He will remove sackcloth and clothe us with joy. When the present seems bleak, we look to the past and what He has done, and to the future promises of what He will do.

And he nods and smiles, and says, "Yes and think of all we are learning. Alaya and I will be better parents from having dealt with our brother. And if one day I adopt a boy who is harder than my brother, I will know what to do."

Powerful words. Words that pierced me after days of begging for something from the Father to give hope in these moments. I admit that often I am so consumed with what in the world is happening to me and what God is doing in the midst of that, that I fail to see that these lessons could be more for our children, than even for ourselves.

And our middlest who has an attachment disorder and possibly ADHD, yes this is a hard battle. Some days it has felt overwhelming, especially in the midst of all the other, but this battle is so worthy of my time and attention. I am learning all about his psyche. I'm reading and researching and talking with professionals. I have been so blessed with children who are physically, mentally, emotionally healthy so our sweet one with special needs is all new to me. But God has made my arms feel strong for this work. It is the other areas of my life where I feel so weak and powerless. Imprisoned at times. (Just as an aside, if you have friends who have adopted, especially from foster care or an orphanage, would you bless them so much by taking the time to understand attachment disorders. Your support to them as they transition will mean the world, especially if you are able to do it in a healthy way as you interact with their child. If you are a foster/adopt parent yourself, it is a necessity that you learn about these things. I was only vaguely familiar and I wish I had known more, sooner. The blog link above is extremely helpful and so is this book. Attachment disorders are not as scary as they sound, just like everything else in life. It is just important to know what it is and how to help.)

Last night as I lay in bed with my husband's arms wrapped around me and wept, I found words to describe the deep well in me. How I don't have Ebenezers for this season. I know He is faithful, but I don't have a stepping stone to go back to and gaze upon because this year has been uncharted territory in every respect. I am coasting on laurels alone. In the 22 years I have been a Christian, my faith has never been attacked like this. So many facets of it. So many faces. I have so many questions for the Lord and this has a direct impact for how I move forward. I am blindly moving. I can only move with what I know which feels like so little. I can see aspects of what He is doing, but then I'm not able to make a line forward, as in "If this has been chiseled away from me, who am I becoming? How will I trust people?" My personality is being affected. I think my biggest struggle is that being an encourager is such a huge part of who I am, and right now I am so discouraged and distrusting, that I don't know how to be uplifting. It feels very much like sitting in ashes. I've never felt more like an introvert.

I cried and prayed myself to sleep last night. When I woke I checked my email and there was this:


Touche, Lord.

And so I read. And my heart bled. And my heart sang. And my heart leapt. And I wanted to find this precious one who spoke words that so perfectly articulated my own hurt and hug her neck and sit and cry and laugh with her. So from the Lord. So like Him to create small moments with big impact. He hears and sees me. Maybe no one else does. But He does.

And her speech is out of the place of struggling through depression. And I have been there too. And I'm sure some would say, "Well you are now." And I've definitely pondered that myself, but I know in my heart that isn't the reality. The reality is that I've been through a hell of a year and I'm grieving. And shoes keep falling from the sky and so I'm reeling. I don't know anyone who could do better. But I know I'm not without hope. And I don't feel in despair. I just feel like I'm processing. I'm seeking.  I'm so saddened by all that has been stolen from me, from us this year. I'm angry about some things (even towards the Lord. Gasp. Gaspy. Gasperton.). But mostly I'm thinking a lot. And praying a lot. And hunkered down taking care of this village and these villagers.

And this, this felt so freeing and this is where I am and want to be more:
What if we came unclean, unkempt, and scandalous and knelt at Jesus feet and let down our unwashed hair and scattered minds. What if we let our tears fall unrestrained? What if we believed our lips on His feet whispering praise and pouring out every last broken and precious thing means we’re bent low, the closest to worship, the closest to humility, the closest to really meaning, “I’m desperate for you.”
WHAT IF THIS IS THE POSITION OF THE REDEEMED?
Salve to my soul.
I'm struggling with the fact that the world can't handle my real. I long to be real again to my very depths. I long to do it so that I'm more concerned with pleasing God and not upsetting man. The reality is He is blessed when my brokenness meets His glory, and that's my everyday tale. If you know Him, truthfully that's YOUR everyday tale. I'm so very tired of being told to be quiet. That I'm too much. That I'm not enough. To do what I'm told. That my experiences aren't valid. If God would say those things to me, I would do exactly as He said because I trust His loving heart, but when man says those things out of places of their own junk and fear and unlove then it causes pain and damage and makes me try to reconcile what God says with what man says which is very confusing.

So my big question right now is how do I reconcile who I am with who people want me to be? How does the transparent girl who tries to see everything through Jesus glasses deal with people who think I must not have His glasses on? How do I deal with people who want to silence my voice? Who want to mold me into what they think I should be? These are very hard questions. I think about the Jen Hatmakers and the Ann Voskamps of the writing world and wonder what they do when people don't like their voice? When people say it's too personal, too heavy, too sharp. Maybe these are my lessons. If this is who I want to be--God's child with a voice, a writer who speaks truth in love--I must learn to deal with these situations, these people. It is so much harder than I realized.

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”  C.S. Lewis


I don't want to be the one who keeps silent. I won't be. I can't. Growing up, my Daddy would tell me I talk too much, too fast, all my life. I rarely use up all my words. I cannot keep silent. If that makes me reckless, then so be it. Long as I'm reckless for Him, for His glory in my life, for His ability to use my pain and experiences in someone else's life, then so be it. I know I do not have malice in my heart towards ANYONE. I am not a pot stirrer. I do not seek to create pain for others. Ever. That is not who I am. I am a lover, a joy seeker, an encourager, an intercessor. I have a strong voice and strong opinions, but I am gentle and sensitive and highly empathetic towards those around me. I am full of grace and able to see things through others' eyes and shoes, because I have lived so much life in my 31 years. But I refuse to allow someone to wound me senselessly. I refuse to be walked on as a doormat because that is not who God made me to be. He hasn't required that of any of us. How can any of us be effective ministers for Him if we have no confidence, no joy, because all we do is allow others to wound us and silence our voices in the name of "It could, It might, Maybe, Possibly." Jesus was risky, messy. Reread the gospels and see who He was drawn towards. It wasn't the ones who "had it together" and played it safe. It was the lonely ones, the sinful ones, the broken ones. It was the ones who were poor and needy. And He didn't give them table scraps. He gave them all of Himself. The fullness. "Walk with me. Follow me. Sup with me." He didn't say serve me, but instead, "Abide with me."

I just want to abide. I want to do exactly what He says to do, even if it's scandalous. The Gospel is scandalous. I believe God is scandalous. Lord give me the courage to be counted with these. Help me love well. Help me speak real truth. Help my voice for You be loud and strong. Help me be one who others can be "not fine" with, and thank you for all of those, in big and small ways, who have given me that blessing over the years. Help me abide only in You.

 





 

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