Monday, March 24, 2014
on life lately
at 11:20 AM
This winter has been a struggle for me.
It seems like every winter is, really. The monotony of cold and grey skies always pushes me deep inside my already-introspective self. And the deeper I am into myself, it seems, the further I am from God.
Working retail in January, February is no joke either, and the lack of shifts certainly didn't help matters. It left me with plenty of time to sit on my couch and think about things like, oh I don't know, mortality. Purpose in this fleeting life. Why I have such a problem figuring out what to make for dinner every night (I've fallen into a chicken trap.)
And what, I wondered, is the purpose in all this? In living most of my life in this tiny apartment, thinking of all the grand things I could and should be doing with my life. Isn't there more?
We were quietly sipping tea one afternoon when Trevor looked at me and said, "You're not a very happy camper these days," which was his kind husband way of saying, Would you quit moping around, woman? Also, the bathroom hasn't been clean in weeks.
So I swung open the door and invited him in to my own personal pity party. He wasn't as entertained by my dramatic monologue as I, however; the overly dramatic one I had been rehearsing in my head all winter. After I was through explaining my small little tragedy, he said, "Heather, don't you know you have to create purpose?"
I didn't like that. Create purpose? Okay, well, yeah, if I was free to pack up and do whatever I wanted, that would be easy. I'd sell my stuff and do something meaningful like teach English in Guatemala or start an orphanage or something and drag Trevor along with me. But I can't do anything, I said, when we're stuck here.
"Do you think the people in this community are any less important?" he asked.
He was right. I didn't want to look around and see the needs around me because that would mean taking a small step outside myself. And isn't it the small steps that are often so much harder than the big ones? It would be so much easier for to to sign up for a mission trip to a remote village in Africa than to initiate a conversation with the girl in the corner of the room who looks as lonely as I feel.
This life, I began to see over this long lonely winter, is not about me. It's not even about what I can do to make a difference in the world. It is only, only, only about Jesus. I had to grasp that before I could even think about how I could be used by Him to serve and bless others. Isn't it funny how we can make idols out of the things that are so good?
Spring is coming, in little bursts of sun between the wind and little snowflake icons on the weather reports. My heart is free for the first time in months because Jesus didn't just set me free, he is setting me free every day. There's a sense of newness and bravery and stepping out in nervous faith. I'm watching in awe as God is beginning to use me right here in the squeaky clean suburbs of North Carolina. Because He is too big to be confined to only one method of ministry, one way of living for Him.
So that's where I am. That's what I've been wrestling with and why I've been so silent here the past few months. But finally I'm recharged and energized and a little like a kid coming home from church camp because there is so much passion fired up in my belly right now. This season is good. This life is good.
Chicken casserole for dinner every night is not good, but I'm working on that, too.