Several days ago, it had officially been a month. So that means today is over a month. It’s been over a month since I last wrote, since I have last tried to put words and thoughts and experiences on a screen. If you told me September 14 that I wouldn’t write again for over a month, I would’ve laughed. Somehow though, the girl who usually has 1,000 things to say, was left speechless over the last four weeks as she became weak and watched God fight relentlessly for her. (And then somehow, through phone calls, texts, and face-times from Cincinnati, endless encouragement in the form of coffee dates and hugs in Tuscaloosa, I have decided that God’s redemption needs to be written.)
I would also love to say that I am not writing this in a drastically different place than I where I have been for the past couple weeks, but I am in a physical new spot (thanks, comfy green chair). I am writing this sleep-deprived and as I cram Honey Bunches of Oats in my face (dinner . . . college . . . healthy . . .) before I start knocking things off my wrinkly to-do list. I’m looking at a floor that needs to be vacuumed, a laundry basket that is disturbingly overfilled and a stack of notebooks that stare at me and beg to be opened. In the corner I see a pair of shoes that haven’t been ran in recently, pictures of my siblings that I desperately need to call, and a counter-top that is in dire need to be dusted. No, I don’t want you all knowing how dirty my room is, but I don’t want you with a falsified image of me with mascara on at a local coffee shop writing away the evening. I am writing this up from (what feels like) some sort of valley, up from the ashes. I’m writing after weeks of sobbing while friends hold me and pray, of craving the 513, of getting poked and pricked with needles. I’m writing this with chipped nail polish (my pet peeve) coming off of rejected internship applications, forced smiles, infinite interviews and a nasty sickness.
For the past few weeks my circumstances have dictated almost everything around me. My sickness dictated my ability to perform well in class and my dire need of sleep. My to-do list (specifically, how many things I did not have checked off) determined whether or not I was going to be able to be a good friend that day. Sub-par grades decided whether or not I deemed myself worthy of what I had been blessed with. What I thought I deserved and did not get, ultimately determined how I viewed my God.
There are a lot of nasty traps in this world and I believe one of the largest is when we allow current circumstances to determine our King’s sovereignty. We don’t even realize that we compare a constantly-changing life to a solid, stable Savior; that doesn’t make much sense.
The world we live in is incredibly, incredibly fragile. It is quite a feeble and whimsy place we currently reside on; at the drop of a hat, it seems like your entire world can be flipped or turned. Whether it’s one big thing, or a multitude of back-to-back, slowly-defeating small things, the next thing we know is that we are underwater and instead of looking up at The Lord, who graciously has our life vest waiting patiently, I look forward and left and right and decide how I can swim out of it. I sing “Oceans” at church and pray to be taken deeper than I could ever wander, but then when I get there I suddenly abandon my Lord and try to get out on my own. Self reliance has become a dangerous trap for me over the past few weeks, and I have failed.
I have failed miserably and often as I try to do and accomplish things that I can only do with Jesus. I claim that He is my strength and my refuge, yet in my time of crisis, I determined that I had to be stronger, suck it up, and rest later. And let me tell you–that leads to a long road of brokenness. It leads to a long road of exhaustion and stress and wondering. I determined that I was working hard, and was somehow now deserving of x, y, or z. Well here’s a fun fact. I am probably the most undeserving person on the face of the planet. A perfect man died for me, had his blood shed for me, simply because He loves me. So until I am on a cross, until I am being stoned and spit at, I am far beyond spoiled and treated exponentially better than I deserve.
So Happy Sunday, and today I plead to you to return to the cross, if you are far from it. Because ultimately we are never that far. We sit on the edge of glory. We sit right at the feet of a perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing man, and claim not to see Him. In actuality, our eyes may not be fully open. So fully open them, realize the (obscene) amount of blessings in your life, and run home to the most glorious thing we’ve ever known.