This week has been weird. I’m still a bit in shock over everything, but I don’t regret anything in my life because God put it there for a reason. Ephesians 4 was what I arrived at, sleep deprived, teary-eyed, yet resolute in what I knew was right.
I lost him, in a sense. I felt like a switch was flipped and I can even pinpoint the day (it was last Wednesday, but I still don’t know why). By Friday, I was being avoided, and I noticed all the little things that had become familiar to me had vanished. He didn’t grab for my hand. He didn’t smile. Awkward half hugs and abbreviated annoyed smiles grew between us. I had enough by Sunday night, and got it out of him.
I freaked. It was just too much. I couldn’t stand the thought of being at square one again, didn’t understand how someone who had appeared completely happy last weekend could change so drastically in the course of a week. I wanted to be done. It’s an utterly selfish thought, but I wanted to be out of this mess of a world and at home with God. He makes sense, or at least makes truth in everything. The other he wouldn’t let me because he is amazing. I still know that much. I really didn’t feel like holding on to anything anymore. It wasn’t him, it was the combination of him and all the other things piling up in my life. I still don’t understand why I have to deal with this kind of pain over and over again, but I cherish the gifts in my life on a daily basis.
There’s really nothing I could have done. It’s such a dichotomy that I both hate and love how I have no control over my life. People sometimes deliberate over what God’s will is, or what they should do, but it’s actually a lot easier than you’d think. Once you truly acknowledge God and spend time actually asking Him to control your life and not let go… He won’t. You can physically fight tooth and nail to get away from Him and He won’t allow anything to snatch you from His hand (Romans 8:35-39, John 10:27-29, etc.). And, reminding me of God again, he wouldn’t let me run to where I wanted. What a sweet brother in Christ.
Anyway, I was faced with a choice that morning. I was meek as a lamb that has fallen in the creek, nearly drowned, but got dragged back against her will to sit with the others and be a good little lamb. I was broken. I knew that I had to talk to this other person and make sure that our friendship wasn’t fractured. I was praying sincerely and trying to think of a passage that I would base what I would talk about upon. I didn’t want to say anything but absolute truth, and I was plain out of words or opinions that usually come so easily to me. I also figured that this person expected me to give them an earful and possibly a beating, and I didn’t want any trace of selfishness or bitterness to creep into the conversation.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26″In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.
This whole chapter speaks of living in unity as the body of Christ, and putting aside the reactions and habits that mark lives that don’t know God. I went in, was tentatively invited in, and I asked if I could pray and share a passage. With an assent from my friend, and a simple prayer for grace on our words, I read this passage and said I wanted to be honest and I would hope they would do the same.
Really, it wasn’t fun at all, but it was necessary. It was also immensely encouraging. Here I was, knowing I was dry-at-the-bottom empty and worn, and God still chose to work through me. It’s a feeling similar to the one I had before I left for China, one oddly attached to the mental image of a broken piece of pottery supernaturally holding water. I was stripped of any trace pride or self, not even willfully, but painfully… and He still said “I have called you. Obey me out of love.” lol maybe it was divine discipline that I still can’t fully comprehend. Probably another crack at my pride… I need that from time to time.
What I do know is this: my life is not my own. I can choose to stumble and fight it forever, or I can mold my will to His. I think most other people who know God knows what happens when you oppose Him. I am faulted and I realize that I deserve nothing at all, yet am gifted with so much!
I have a loving family who knows God, I get to study at college with a great scholarship, I have friends who actually care about me, and an amazing body of believers here at school. I might get worn down, but that is where His power can actually be revealed. We are not given any challenge that we cannot handle, and God disciplines and molds us because He loves us and wants us to grow and succeed.
Congratulations- you win the lottery every time you wake up and are granted another day 🙂