I didn’t expect this. These things happen to somebody else. It’s easy to create a story in your head, but it seems somewhat surreal when you actually have to live it…
I like to come up with specific sayings or words at the beginning of a new year that I want to carry with me and focus on. My words for this year were patience with joy—Sablanut im Simcha. I remember walking through Burough Park last December and contemplating what this year was going to look like, knowing that it was going to take a lot of patience, but desperately wanting to learn how to find joy in the waiting. I couldn’t have known where God was going to take me…perhaps I would have chosen different words.
I am NOT a patient person. Sitting and waiting drives me crazy! There must be something one can be doing, things need to happen, and quite obviously I should be able to roll up my sleeves, work hard, and make things happen. I’ll come up with a plan, and have things checked off my list by a specific date, and then I’ll know how to plan even better.
I will make things happen, I will schedule my life, and I’m tough and can take care of myself.
Yea, so that hasn’t been working out so well for me lately. This year hasn’t been going quite like I had planned. I didn’t really expect to be sitting at my parent’s house with my wrist’s wrapped up and pain shooting through my hip when I try to walk. I’ve always been able to push through and make it on my own, and it is frustrating to admit that I need help, that if I want to get better I have to sit, I have to ask for help, and I have to admit that I am weak.
For that past few months I’ve kept trying to plan things. I’ve kept trying to put a time-table on things. I’ve kept trying to fix things—telling myself if I just try this, or eat this, or rest for a day or two I’ll be better by next week and things will go back to normal. I don’t need to go back to Indiana and just sit there! And of course, if I would, I must carefully plan out my schedule so that I will be completely better by a certain date, so that I can plan my life accordingly. I will make this happen.
Once again that hasn’t been working out so well for me. And I know God has a purpose in this. Looking back on the words that I chose for the year I could almost smile with the irony of it. In the past several weeks I have realized that I just don’t know anymore. I can’t schedule time-tables anymore because it isn’t up to me. It was never supposed to be, and I know God is trying to pry my life from my clenching hands—not to frustrate me, but to liberate me.
I have been struck recently with this dichotomy of joy and pain, frustration and rest, and lack of control with complete freedom. It seems like nearly every time something difficult and painful has happened, God has given me something tangible and so beautiful that has carried me through. These things leave me almost in tears with the knowledge of His incredible faithfulness and the realization of how much He loves me. Whether it is someone randomly giving Alyssa and I an air conditioner on one of the hottest days of the summer, someone offering to drive me to the store on a day when I’m discouraged and not feeling good, or a sister who just walks into your room and randomly gives you 20 dollars ‘for anything you might need’, I know He loves me. God’s ways are so above ours and can seem so topsy-turvy to how we would plan them, but His wisdom is so much higher than ours.
So here I am in Indiana. Sitting here, knowing that I have to rest if I ever want to get better, and not knowing how long I need to be here. No control. But still I know that in this letting go of my plans and time-tables, there is freedom. He wants me to rest. He wants me to let Him plan things, and He wants me to trust. I know there is so much He wants me to learn, and I’m praying that I don’t miss it. I don’t know what your journey or your story is, but I know that He loves you, He’s got this, and HE IS FAITHFUL.