Strength Will Rise

I have been wrestling, struggling and resisting some pretty major life changes for over a year now. Among a variety of challenges, my (now ex, I guess) wife is leaving me.

I have come to a point of accepting (most of the time) these things. I know that I can not change them, now, because I fought them so hard and long; sometimes I foolishly fought under my own strength, other times I prayed for change, or at least understanding. I still don’t get it.

I got to that point that I had no choice but to live that whole “We have to accept the things we are powerless to change.” thing. It wasn’t like I took some neat, intellectual journey to go there. It was more like bashing my head against a brick wall, for a really long time. At some point, it just becomes stupid. Uhm, I guess bashing your head even once is stupid. But it became so stupid that I couldn’t possibly continue.

My first reaction was to be a bit like a Golden Retriever with AD/HD. (Is that redundant?) “O.K. God, I’m ready for what’s next, let’s go, let’s go, change, change change, what’s next!!!!”
I told myself I had been waiting all that time, and now it was time to move on. Over a year? That’s like 365 days. Bunches of hours. Tons of minutes. A whole lot of seconds. All that time, spinning my wheels, all that time not moving foreward, all that time resisting these irrrestible forces.
And then a conversation I had with my classroom aide crystalized some things for me.

It’s actually pretty much right now where the waiting begins.
I wasn’t waiting before. I was resisting.
Just because you’re not doing something on the outside, it doesn’t mean you’re waiting on God.
And I wasn’t waiting on God.
The whole thing is complicated by the fact that I don’t think God is a fan of divorce. So fighting for my marriage was certainly in God’s will. But I’m also clear he’s not a fan of kidnapping. And that, at this point, is the only way to hold the relationship together.

God does stuff in us when we are waiting on him. And he’s just starting with me, now. It’s something like a Sabbath, I think. This quiet time. I wish it wasn’t. But if wishes were fishes…

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

2 thoughts on “Strength Will Rise”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Son of my Heart. I could give you a lot of platitudes but that won’t change your pain. I am glad you have gotten past the resisting part and to the waiting part. Remember Romans 8:28 and Psalm 103:19. Let them be the rails that the train of your life run on: He works everything for our good when we love Him, and He is sovereign. That doesn’t make it easy, but it makes it certainly makes it easier.

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