Monday, March 17, 2008

Now Is the Winter of Our Discontent...

I'm seriously behind on posting, though I've actually been composing. So if the next few posts seem a bit bi-polar, know that they have occured over the last month or so.

Anger, frustration, fear, worry, impatience. These are my constant companions as I wait to see just what in tarnation God has in mind for our deliverance. The way this is playing out can’t possibly be His highest and best - the purpose for which we uprooted the entire family and moved to Tulsa. Truly, there has to be more than this.

I mean, Doug has his dream job (apart from, of course, photography and billionaire) and is doing well in sales. But the quarterly bonus/commission checks only come, well you know, quarterly. So, we slowly (even glacially) dig our way out of the poor house. Though it takes so long, the urge to break up the discipline with a little shopping is nearly irresistible.

In the meantime, I lose more and more of my check to higher insurance costs and “tuition as taxable income” withholding. I swear they’re going to start charging my account instead of direct depositing every two weeks. Multiple times per day, I check the job postings for something new and more appropriate. I begin and end every day asking God to open up a new opportunity for me on the school side. All the while, hearing more rumblings of what will not be provided once the separation of ministry and school is complete.

I remind myself to “lay it down,” don’t worry, just trust and obey. Still, I want to scream out, “Hey, did you forget about us?” Every morning I drag myself out of bed and get ready for another day of monotony and pointlessness. I shaved my legs for this?

I think about Joseph languishing in Potiphar’s prison for a crime he didn’t commit. But I know I have been ultimately sinful and faulty, not innocent, and the life I’m living in no way compares to an ancient Egyptian prison. I feel small, petty, ungrateful. I despise the sound of my own whiny voice. It’s just that I’m so bored, and tired, and broke every day. Not fulfilling my dreams or calling, not using effectively the gifts He’s given me. Terrified that this is as good as it gets, and knowing that I’ll never be satisfied with that. Hearing the taunts and accusations of the enemy. Wondering why this or that seemingly perfect job fell through. Why did He give me these dreams and ambitions if I’m never to realize them? Why have You made me thus?

I want to tear my hair out every time some well-meaning acquaintance quips, “God’s got something better for you.” Thank you very much, Little Mary Sunshine. What if He doesn’t? Do I continue to parrot Christian-ese platitudes and “fake it till you feel it?” Isn’t that just deceit? Or is that what the enemy wants me to think so I fall deeper into sin? I don’t know what to do, or stop doing, say or stop saying, feel or stop feeling to get me to the other side of this.

Ultimately, I hear His voice asking, “Do you trust Me or don’t you?” It’s a recurring theme, like a bad penny that keeps turning up. It must have something to do with my iniquity. He asks me if I trust Him to be at work when I can’t see progress. He asks if I trust His ways to be higher than my ways, His thoughts higher than my thoughts, His Timex to be better than my Timex. I stick my bottom lip out, stomp my foot, and grunt. I turn my back and rebuff His gentle invitation to come and play…come and rest…crawl into His lap and pour out my heart to Him.

My heart joins with Peter who, when asked if he would leave the Lord, replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” There’s almost a desperation in the Peter’s statement. I feel it…I know it. But like any hurting four-year-old, I can’t hold out against His irresistible love. For no one else can comfort the disappointment I feel.