It’s a chilly day here is Kansas City, which I love, and it solidifies the joy in my soul.
When our family moved to Missouri in July, I thought we made a mistake. I wished that we would have moved to Jacksonville, Florida instead. This place is so different in every way and I was really scared. The work I had cut out for me in cleaning and restoring the house was more than I could wrap my head around. Homeschooling was like slamming a hand in the car door and the thought of having to do another year made me tired. I was afraid that I would never be happy on this side of heaven again. I wrote in my last entry that in searching for Christ to change me, I discovered more of Him. And I don’t know that I changed at all, but everything is different. With my life in such turmoil and so up in the air, I was looking for an out. I day dreamed of running away, although I could never actually leave my boys. When one of my parents told me the other might have cancer a few weeks ago, I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t bare the thought of losing another person. I just lost my Grandmothers over a year ago. I thought of all the different ways I knew of to escape the pain, because Christ wasn’t what I thought was enough at the time. Looking back, I can say without a doubt that He is sufficient, but when in so much anguish it would be a boldfaced lie, not to mention fake as hell, to say that I “felt” He was my comfort. I didn’t feel very comforted. I wondered why, as I sat with Him, He allowed the panic, the depression, and the disconnect from everyone I knew. Had I reached some level of numbness that this time I would never come back from?
The answer is obviously not. I sit here this evening and find that walking through the difficulties forced me to resolve to live a life of commitment. I commit to live according to the convictions Christ has placed upon me. In our family we will place Christ at the head of our day, which means He gets first place in the morning. It’s not a religious thing, it’s a practical thing, and it’s what was needed in order to continue our homeschool day. We couldn’t go one more day just floating through our lives without being intentional about the decisions we needed to make in order that Christ be placed at the heart, and beginning and end of all we do. My children have talents and goals and those are such precious enjoyable gifts in which the Lord delights in giving us. It is my privilege and my job to teach them how to read and write and learn what they need to learn to get where they want to go. So far two have expressed wanting to go to college and the third is only four years old, so he may want to go too. Thanks to the Lord and His living presence within, I know that the ball’s in my court. If I want to delegate that responsibility to another, that’s perfectly within my right, but because I am committing to wholeheartedly raise them in every way, I need to follow through. Even when life doesn’t want me to and everything the earth can offer stands in my way.
I commit to the people who I’ve been given the responsibility to love, especially when it feels like I can’t. If you have been married for more than two days you know that sometimes love is really just a decision. The option to walk out the door has been there all along and I have gone through times in which I would have been perfectly justified in leaving and splitting up with my hubby. It would have been easier, no matter how messy the split. Nothing could have prepared me for the sacrifice of marriage. There is no person, situation, or time in which I have learned the concept of dying, as much as I have in my marriage. Divorce would have been easier, and because I have walked through the fire in this area, more than once, I get to say that. I had to learn the power of love and the meaning of commitment through years of giving and taking in some very intense situations. My husband knows that I am not leaving him, even if it means years of abuse and neglect. I know he is not leaving me even if I chose to become a drug addicted prostitute. That’s the Love of Christ receiving the glory in a marriage that has taught me sacrifice and real love.
To be content in all things, isn’t that the point? I have spent the bulk of my adult life preparing. I am constantly preparing for the next meal, the next play date, the next lesson, the next morning. In doing so, I have missed a lot of my life. I don’t want to regret that I was not alive, truly alive for my life. I spent time with a lovely woman today and as I sat and shared life with her, I could actually feel my blood pressure dropping. How on earth does this mom, who has much more on her plate than I do, live so peacefully and joyfully? She is fully aware of Christ and His ups and downs and that both will come and they are all for His glory. If I were truly aware of what it means to be a part of His Body and to be His beloved, if the 10% of my tiny human brain could know just how vast He is and that our love is intertwined, and if I never forgot all things are in Him, wouldn’t I live so peacefully and joyfully too?
Recent times have hit me hard and everything I thought I knew about everything changed in the last couple of months. This journey is no longer “mine”. I am not a separate being that gets doled out pain and joy as God sees fit. I am living a life under His name, with His blood and I make commitments to the people in my life through Him. I am no longer a single person with rights to claim anything, including exhaustion. As I live, I either choose Him or I don’t and so I no longer pick up and lay down these important tasks that are the building blocks of my life, the ones Christ lifts for me. Finally, I recognize that my life is not my own and the choices I make are all under the headship of Christ. I don’t do what I am “supposed to do” and I don’t place any person higher than Christ, like a guru of sorts, neither do I place anyone lower than me, in which case I see my commitments through.
It could have been me… the boy who died of an overdose at 18 and broke my heart, or the dead beat who walked out because he just couldn’t be a parent to his 2 little children or spouse anymore, or the people who have given up what they know in their hearts to be true because someone in a position of authority told them it was best, because I have come close to doing all those things. When living by another Person’s life, a perfect Person, I don’t get to make those angry, justified, weary, run-down choices anymore. I don’t get to decide if I am going to stay or leave, if I am going to take responsibility or delegate it to another, if I am going to do what everyone else swears by, I give up that right. I don’t take on the burden of those heavy choices and I wave my white flag because I don’t know what else to do.
And there it is… the peace that surpasses all understanding and strength to live a life that’s not my own.
Thanks for reading.