I promised myself I would do better about posting frequently, or at least consistently. But it seems that in this moment, I’m in a season of failure. I’m failing to myself in a lot of things that I wanted/promised myself I would change.
But that is not the whole story. I am also in a season of change, and of learning. I am learning how to be a good wife (I’m in the first month of marriage – might I say, it’s quite intimidating) and how to honor God within my married life. I am also learning how to be content with “leaving and cleaving” as they say – if you’re confused about what I’m talking about, you can see it here in Genesis 2 and the cross-references.
I would be lying if I said that my faith-life hasn’t been a struggle over the past few months. I’ve had so much struggle, so much pain, and so much heartache during a period of my life that others told me was supposed to be the “best time” or the “best day” of your life. I have struggled with my family, with my friends, and with myself, and because of that, I have been very downcast and very disappointed in God’s plans and his works in my life. I so wanted what everyone told me to expect, but in the end, it just wasn’t what God wanted me to experience (obviously). So, here I am.
Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my life, and on how I have been treating my relationship with Jesus during this hard, hard time of my life. And I must say, I’m just exhausted. When things began happening, I did what I always did, which was run to Jesus. I ran to Him in prayer, through my Bible, through my community of Jesus-lovers, but nothing made the struggle easier. For the first time in my life, running to Jesus wasn’t enough to make the struggle easier or make the struggle seem worth it. I still did not see the good in what was happening in my life. I saw no inkling of purpose, other than to bring about an immense amount of pain and destruction to what I had been trying so hard to build. I held on tight to what I thought HE had given me, and I didn’t ever stop to think that maybe I just needed to let go. To let go of those friendships that disappointed me, to let go of the destructive family relationships I have had my entire life, and to let go of my expectations for myself and my life; and because I clung (or cleaved, haha) to those ideals and those expectations, I stayed frustrated and upset and exhausted. The worst part was that after a while of feeling so overwhelmed and tired, instead of just letting go and staying with Jesus, I held on to my hurt and my heartache, and decided that talking to Jesus was just too painful and was pointless. [Now, I am NOT saying that I gave up on my faith, or that I turned my back on Jesus. I am saying that I had no desire to seek him or to speak with him, even about my struggles]. I became dried up. No fruit has been growing from my vine for a while now, and I have seen no growth.
And it breaks my heart.
Thankfully, I have an amazingly wonderful husband, who is so much stronger than me, wiser than me, and loves Jesus more than he loves me – and because of that, my silence and anger towards Jesus has been called out. My husband demanded that he pray for me (and us, but mostly me) and for my faith to be strengthened and renewed. This prayer was enough to break my heart that has been hardened for a while now; and this prayer was enough to make me reflect and begin to seek a way to strengthen my heart and teach myself a better way to cope with things when they are hard and when I’m disappointed with how things are going.
So my challenge for myself now, is to turn to Jesus always. Praying without ceasing did not seem to be enough for me this past struggle-season. I need instead to learn how to pray without ceasing, and to hope without becoming weary.
It’s not much, but I’m taking it one step at a time to begin to rebuild and refocus my relationship with my savior. I know that he never moved, and that his hand is still extended out for mine in friendship, love, and an unceasing commitment to saving me. For that I am more thankful than I can express. For now, I’m simply resting in these words:
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;” 2 Corinthians 4:8.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” Romans 8:35 (and really all of More than Conquerors in Romans 8).
“Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.” Song of Solomon 3:4.
and PS: To Jon, my best friend and husband, I am so thankful for you, for your faith, and for your constant and unwavering love for us and hope for us. Without you, I don’t know where I would be. You’re the best part of my life, and I’m so glad that I can honestly say I get to look forward to the rest of my life with your light and your love. I love you so much.