Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Do You Smell That???

This past week has been overwhelming. The biggest source of stress is my job situation. I officially feel like absolutely nothing I do is going to be good enough, and it's honestly wearing on my spirit in such a manner that the "I'm either about to cry or throw up" knot has set up residence in the depths of my throat. Going to work every day feels similar to the feelings I can only imagine I would experience if I found myself treading water in a cold ocean...with a couple of sharks swimming nearby....and a gaping, bloody wound advertising my weaknesses.

Ok...maybe that's a little dramatic, but you get the picture. I'm tired, and right now I'm just waiting for God to make the next move. It's the end of the poker game, and I'm all in.

I used to think I had this Christianity thing figured out. I mean, I know all the hoops to jump through. I know all the right things to say. I have the WWJD bracelet. I can recite the Bible verses. And when the opportunity presents itself, I can share the gospel with a lost soul in a clear and concise manner...with charts and drawings if necessary.

I know the drill.

But it's becoming abundantly more clear to me that that really isn't what God is so concerned about. He doesn't really need me to know the drill. He needs me to know HIM. And I'm breaking down in tears as I type this, because right now, I feel like I am falling miserably short of knowing the One Who Knows Me. And I really loathe that about me right now.

I've been coming to terms with the fact that when it comes to God, I have a distorted view of His character. It's hard for me to see Him as someone who wants good things for me. It's so much easier for me to see Him as the disciplinarian...The One Who Will Dish Out the Consequences...The One Who Will Teach Me My Lessons....The One Who Will Show Me Who's Boss.

I've been meditating on Jeremiah 29:11. This is one of those verses that if you've been a Christian for more than 5 minutes, you've probably heard it 10 times. "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I have no problem with the first part of that passage. I'm completely on board with the fact that God KNOWS. IT. ALL. You will never catch me disputing that one. I have no doubt in my mind that God absolutely, without a doubt, knows the plans He has for me. The trouble comes when I realize that I, too, know the plans I have for me. And as much as I'd like to say they are one and the same....

I'm realizing that I'm not so much always smelling what God's stepping in.

Therein lies the problem.

I realize the need to surrender completely, and let His plans be My plans. But.....BUT......(and yes, I realize that there really shouldn't be a but.....BUT...)

I, for some reason that I can't fully grasp quite yet, don't trust the latter half of Jeremiah 29:11. I have a really hard time fully investing in the fact that God's plan is to prosper me. I don't know what is holding me back, and as much as I'd love to believe it with my entire soul, I have a hard time finding peace that God wants to give me hope and a future. Isn't that sad? Isn't it sad that after everything God has been faithful to pull me out of, that in the midst of my pain and uncertainty that I would doubt that his plan will bring me blessings? Yes...sad.

Do I doubt Him? No. Do I doubt His presence? Not for a second. It's just that in times like this, with my vulnerabilities exposed and nothing to cling to but Him, I realize that there is a feeling of fear where I really wish there was a feeling of peace.

I KNOW that GOD knows the plans He has for me. But I FEEL afraid that His plans will lead to pain instead of blessing. And when that is the case, how do you slough off the FEELINGS, and rest completely in what you KNOW?

I have found myself praying fervently for the intercession of the Holy Spirit on this one. "Lord, I don't FEEL confident that you want to bless me. But I KNOW better. And I just don't know how to pray it "the right way." So, Holy Spirit, do it for me, cuz I got nothing. Let what I KNOW be enough. Let my knowledge increase, let my feelings decrease, and let my spirit be at peace. know the plans you have for me....and I KNOW that should be I'm asking in the most real way I possibly can....

Lord, let me smell what you're stepping in. Amen."


Elizabeth said...

That's beautiful - I love it. Hang in there lady.

Lora said...

beautifully and honestly written!
praying much for your job stuff.

Jaycee said...

Aw. .you made me cry! I do know that feeling well. We're going through a pretty dry spell right now with everything from finances, to relationships to the job situation. It's hard to trust that God wants what's best for us when, if there is such a thing as luck, we seem to have a really bad batch of it.

It's hard to fight your human feelings when you KNOW something is true, but you FEEL entirely different. The good news is, I think God honors and will bless the fact that you DESIRE to feel a certain way, even when you don't. He made us after all, He knows how we work. :-)

Praying for you, girl. May God lift you up and give you a great big hug!

Anonymous said...

I do that which I should not, that which I do...well, I should not. Spoken by the apostle Paul, and also a problem for Adam & Eve. Oh that we could just drop this robe of flesh, how perfect we could be as christians.

Have you read the book, "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young?

I have smelled what our Lord is stepping in. It is the smell of Roses...and they have thorns.

Blessings, peace and grace.

Anonymous said...

You're an amazing woman. I think God is proud of you because you re-evaluate your relationship with him and you strive to do better. That is what he wants. I need to take a step back and re-evaluate too.