I apologize for not writing over the last couple weeks. I admit I was being a bit selfish, a bit pitiful, a bit whiny. If I had written, I am not sure what would have made it's way onto the blog.
You see, 3 weeks ago something changed in me and it brought me away from a place of close relationship with my Savior. Instead, I felt distanced, unable and unwilling to pray. I felt sad, and lost, and scared and when I closed my eyes to pray all I could see was the world around me and I couldn't reach out to God. I no longer felt like myself. During this time, my favorite passage was this:
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know
what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with
groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26
Despite my crumbling faith, I knew that God had me in the palm of His hands, and even in moments of darkness the Holy Spirit was interceding for me. When I couldn't mumble any words of prayer, I was yet being lifted up. That scripture verse means so much to me because it assures me that even at my worse, God is at His best. He knows my needs, my wants, my desires. He protects and guides me. He is always there for me.
I have a classic case of melodrama and nobody is dying here. This post isn't meant to have you guessing about why I felt this way, but only to show you how I am being led back straight. I know that this is just a season in my life, this too shall pass. And on the other end I will be happier, healthier, and more in love with and on fire for Christ each and every day.
Over the past few weeks I have questioned my purpose and our desire to become missionaries. I couldn't see how I ever wanted that for my life. I was reminded of all the great that we have right here. Great jobs, great church, great family, great friends. And yes, even Great God. We don't have to set off around the world to experience the love of our Father. And so, momentarily I gave up on our dream. I resigned to settling back in. We even bought plants.
Monday through Saturday this was me. Regretting my decisions, questioning my future. Living for the life I wanted here, and not for a life that I have been called and purposed to.
But on Sunday, when the music would play in church, and Doug would send the message, in between the lines all I could hear was our call to "Sell our possessions and give to the poor." (Luke 12:33) and to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15).
I realized in these moments, when I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit and able to hear God speaking, that this is truly what I want. It was difficult to know this when the world was thundering in around me. But it was clear when the noise was silenced and I was praising and worshiping God.
After my last post, wise words from my family and friends told me this:
You will always be a
Christian no matter where your life takes you, He lives in your heart
and will never leave you. He has a plan and already knows your life, all
you need to do is just live it. Material things can always be replaced.
Tanya, keep trusting in God.
If you don't hear His voice just keep doing the last thing you heard
from Him until He tells you something different.
I think the hardest time when
making a change is where you are right now, that space between making
the decision and following through with it. Once you are into the next
phase (i.e. the actual mission work), you'll be happy with your
decision. That doesn't mean that you won't still miss your friends and
nice house and all the luxuries, but you'll be equally happy with your
new life! But until you get there and have the experience, it's hard to
give up what you love. It's part of change, though - you have to be
willing to give up everything you are now to see what else you can be.
What would I ever do without my family and friends to walk beside us during this time. It also helps so much to have Alex. He is our rock and never strayed. He supported every emotion and feeling I had, but always stayed on the straight and narrow and knew what we really wanted.
I feel like I sorta woke up from this coma yesterday. It was like I looked up and exclaimed "What day is it!?" only to realize that it was Good Friday. It was a clear wake up call. Because what happened on Good Friday isn't just good, it is nothing short of amazing and I am awestruck that even I could be loved this much. All I could feel last night was adoration and humbleness for the greatest gift of all that I clearly do not deserve. I spent 3 weeks moping about, crying over the biggest blessing in my life, and all for what. To pity myself in front of a King who gave His whole life just for me. Who surrendered everything so that I may live this life. Nothing would be possible in my life if it weren't for Jesus' horrific death on the Cross. If I were an Old Testament character I would have torn my clothes and wept for that is how I felt last night. I don't deserve an ounce of this grace and mercy and yet it is all there, it is all mine.
"It is accomplished," He said. And grace and mercy and peace is now mine despite every failure and every misstep. He loved me that much. Unconditionally, and without question, and even in my darkest moments He loves me. And He loves you too. When you don't feel close, and you cannot pray, the Holy Spirit is interceding for you. And Jesus is just waiting there with open arms to show you what it feels to be loved unconditionally. To love you for who you are exactly.
It is easy to think that we can take this whole life into our own hands, and perhaps it is possible to live and die in this way. But we haven't lived our best life in this way. And we haven't lived our full life. Because when we surrender to God, and let Jesus be our Savior, our life span increases to eternity. And in eternity there is joy and peace and love and grace and mercy. Amen.