Job 23:6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
This verse really sums up my new relationship with God. I don’t see him as a tyrant, ready to punish me when I mess up, but rather my source of strength when life is hard.
Loving Jesus doesn’t mean life will be easy. His life wasn’t easy. It means I don’t have to walk it alone. This is a big deal for me, because I have felt lonely most of my life. I guess I never understood, or I was too afraid or filled with pride and vanity, to step out of my darkness and take a chance. Instead of kneeling at the throne, I sat on it, putting the weight of my life on my own fallible shoulders, when what I needed to do was step down and let God in.
He stood outside the door of my life for a long time, patently waiting for me. I hid inside, too afraid I’d be wrong, or uncool, or that I’d mess up and feel judged and unworthy. I spent my days locked inside my own prison peeping out at him occasionally. Until one day, I’d had enough and opened the door to his embrace.
He didn’t make me feel judged. He allowed me to show myself some Grace. He allowed me to be exactly who I am, messy hair and robot shoes and all – without apology to anyone else. He let me know that I am lovable and loved, just exactly the way I am.
And so I hide no more. I don’t try to shine my light on the world anymore. I simply stand in His light. That’s where I need to be right now, in his light, and if he tells me to go, I shall go. He guides my steps. He guides my words. All the rest is darkness, because I really have no idea what I’m doing, or where I’m going, or what the next right thing is. I know nothing.
By comparison, my life is rather easy. When our daughter was born, my husband and I decided together that I would stay home with her and not return to teaching. Being a stay-at-home mom, I don’t have to get up early and scrape the frost and snow from my car. I don’t have to commute in traffic. I can literally be in my pajamas all day long if I want to and while that sounds nice for a day or two, it’s just not who I am.
For me, my life is challenging because of the monotony of it. It’s challenging for me to see my purpose in this life, when I can literally be in my pajamas at 4pm with my hair in a messy bun, not because it’s cute and trendy, but because I just didn’t see the need to do more. The monotony of motherhood can wear on me quite a bit and I get bored. There, I said it. Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom is boring to me. The trouble is this, my boredom can quickly morph into depression and anxiety and that’s where the challenge is for me.
What I have learned in the last year is this: when I’m focused on God and Gratitude, I can more easily see the gifts each day provides. I feel a deeper sense of confidence; a confidence that has given me the courage to meet new friends and even join a homeschool group. To post things like this here on the blog, when I know some of my readers are probably like, “where’s the homeschool stuff?” The thing is, God and Gratitude make me a better mom, friend, wife, and grandma and that’s important to me.
I never felt truly whole before. Even as I loved Nature and considered it my church, I never felt whole. While nature helped me feel connected, God and gratitude helped me feel wholly connected. Where Nature helped me to notice the cycles of Earth and how my cycles coincide with them, God and gratitude helped me find peace in those cycles. Nature fills me with a deep sense of connection. God and gratitude fill me with a sense of every day purpose.
I never wanted to be a Christian and honestly don’t quite feel comfortable calling myself that, because I have never liked how Christians made me feel. I also don’t care for organized religion. Never have.
I may not be ready to call myself a Christian, but I am fully comfortable calling myself a follower of Jesus Christ.
Jesus kept it simple. All the great teachers do, because it really is simple.
I’m learning this slowly. I’m still in the vain, need-for-control group, to be honest. It’s hard to give up control of my life to a God unseen, but it seems I do this no matter what. If I don’t give it up to God, I seem to give it up to anxiety and depression, and isolation, and fear, and a nightly wine habit that leaves me feeling useless. I am slowly learning to enjoy the freedom of putting down at the feet of Jesus, the mental loads that weigh me down. I’m learning to enjoy the freedom of not worrying about what other humans think of me. I’m enjoying the freedom of getting off the throne and kneeling before it in thanksgiving, because I know that no matter what I’m going through, God is there for me, he’s putting the strength into my heart and Spirit to face whatever comes my way.
I never thought I’d be here.
But here I am.