I should be in the basement right now. I should be stripping drywall from the studs of my once beautifully finished basement, but instead here I sit. Once again, compelled to write. Compelled to share my heart. So share I will.
I have a sensitive heart. My parents retell stories of when I was little and a harsh word was spoken. Often, it was a correction or a criticism I needed to heed, yet, my reaction was to melt into honest remorse over the hurt of disappointment. Lord knows there is a reason I only dated the boy who eventually became my husband. I honestly don’t know how I would have overcome a breakup.
One week ago today, life was cruising along just fine. I had a total of ten kids over to my house for a playdate/mommy date (largely thanks to the kids playroom in the basement), I was holding out hope for a specific child whom I thought would one day share my name and we had Thanksgiving with which to look forward. Today, finds me ankle deep in reminders that my heart is much too sensitive for this harsh world. I have lost who I thought may be my child, fumbled through a weekend as a hurting single parent and came home to find a basement saturated with rainwater. Today, only one week from my delusional bliss, my new home is now tarnished and under investigative construction, my dreams of a smooth adoption journey (ha!) are torn to shreds and my heart is barely keeping rhythm.
I opened my Bible this morning to the Psalms and landed on this scripture in chapter 69:
Save me, O God,
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
Where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
The floods engulf me.
Oh, God’s sense of humor. But backing up a couple Psalms to chapter 67, I found this treasure awaiting me:
May God be gracious to us and bless us
And make His face shine upon us,
That your ways may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
Then the land will yield its harvest,
And God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
And all the ends of the earth will fear him.
This is my prayer. This is my place in which to hold tightly during this season. This is why I find myself once again plucking away at this keyboard rather than pulling finishing nails from no longer attached baseboards. All because my prayer is that God would make His ways known on earth. And His ways aren’t skating through life on a flawless ice rink of smooth sailing. They involve using the ashes to create beauty. So, if showing off His glory has to be through the process of this sensitive heart being scraped and scuffed, beaten and battered until it can be fashioned into the heart of a warrior, then I say, let it be.
But believe you me, I don’t say that lightly. The temptation of this sensitive heart of mine is to protect it. Keep it hidden away from scrutiny and rejection. This week has stretched me to nearly snapping. I want to retreat. I want to pull back; stay under the covers. Though, I obviously cannot. Life keeps moving, pushing and pulling me onward. Still, I’m left completely unsure of what my response should even look like these days. I’ve tried to cry, but tears don’t even seem appropriate as they bring no real release. Instead I have been reduced to a mindless trance that has me going through the motions of life attempting not to feel the ache. To trust what I know, rather than wallow in how I feel. Though I still do. Feel. I feel the rejection, the financial weight of this adoption, fixing and refinishing our basement and just surviving in the meantime. Soon, as it always does, the dam will break leaving behind the puddle of my former self. All of this hurt, this pain and frustration it all has the potential to scrape out Jamie and fill the void with Jesus.
I certainly am not storming Heaven’s gates begging for more than more than I can handle in this season. Rather, I am timidly opening my hands to whatever methods He allows to whittle away me and mend with Him. So, though this is not where I would choose to be right this moment, I believe this is right where I am supposed to be. For one simple reason: For God’s power to be on display in me.
Thanksgiving, in an earthly mindset, seems inappropriate today. Yet, it is my Savior alone that I find joy even in the midst of the mire. So, thanksgiving I will give. Not in my earthly possessions for they are scum compared to the greatness of knowing my God is already delivering me through this season. So, just as Daniel and his three crazy named friends, I too will walk through this fire (or maybe Noah or Moses in their bouts with water would be better examples about now…) I will come out the other side, without even the scent of fire on my apparel.
Because my God is that good.
I refuse to stay quiet about it. So I’m sharing. The good the bad, the ugly. It’s all here, so you can think less of Jamie, and more of Jesus. I’m headed back to the basement now to rip out kitchen cupboards holding tightly to the One who’s promised never to leave me, though I feel completely leave-able. ( know that’s not a word. Shows you my state of mind right now.) Go ahead, pray for me. I’ll take them all.
(Here’s just a sampling of our utter mess…)