Thursday, February 04, 2010

Big lessons, I mean big.

This post has been resonating in my heart for days.  Weeks really.  And as in all things that need to be done, I have been attacked on all fronts preventing it.  My kids are finally healing.  Both are in their rooms, one napping, the other playing during quiet time, so I am left with a little quiet time of my own.  I literally have no clue where to even start.   I have so many thoughts and they are all wanting to tumble out.  I have already forgotten to capitalize and punctuate the few sentences I have typed because the words are so desperate to be transcribed onto this page.

Oh. My. Word.  God is so big.  I mean really.  Here I am, 31 (about to be 32), having been a Christian for 20ish years, stay at home Mom (translated: daily carrying out mundane tasks and very little adult interaction), not slept uninterrupted in over 6 months, had very little quiet time or time in the Word in over 6 months and yet God is still teaching me new things.  Amazing things.  Transformational things.  Things that are still nagging at me.  Begging for a place in my life.  Begging for change to result.

And it all has come through intense suffering.  Not my own.  But others.  Some I am close to and love dearly, others I have never met but still love and deeply care for.  Two sweet Mommas that are my age battling with aggressive cancer, a young pastor I have never met but shepherds several friends battling with Stage 3 brain cancer, the Haitians, another dear friend adopting three siblings to add to their already darling family of 5 trudging through bureaucracy of another country separating her from her other kids for months and months all in attempts to bring these precious three children to their new home, 2 sweet friends dealing with the anniversary of their loved ones much pain, weariness.  Yet in the midst of it all, I continue to hear intense, incredible hope.  And as a survivor of deep, deep dark valleys of the soul, my heart is incredible touched, sharing the one of the few things that all humans have in common...suffering.  And I want to battle it out for them, with them.  I want to go to the garden and pray without ceasing for healing, for peace, for progress, for hope, for joy.  I DO NOT want to go back to my place of complacency.  Ignoring anything that does not directly affect me.  I want to be an intercessor.  One that is lent to understanding and compassion and wisdom and stillness.

But even above that, I feel God calling me out of comfort.  As I have hurt for the Haitians, the forgotten orphans around the world, the hungry, deserted, weary and broken, I have felt God asking me an important, and to be perfectly honest, uncomfortable question of "How are you going to respond?  What are you going to do about it?"  I read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan last semester with our community group and was intensely challenged with several of these questions.  Questions I have let resonate but have not picked up and looked at too closely for fear of what it might mean for my comfortable existence.  Questions like 
What does it mean to be the hands and feet of Christ?
With so much need, why do I have so much excess?
Am I willing to be uncomfortable so others may have food, shelter, water?
Am I willing for my traditions to be changed (ie: Christmas and the excess of gifts we receive) in order that others might receive instead?
Am I willing to live with significantly less?
And yes, the answers to those questions continue to haunt me.  I want to hold on to comfort with a clenched fist.  I want to have new clothes, and eat out whenever I want, and for my kids to have new clothes and be enrolled in activities that cost money and to have 2 cars and a nice home and to have a great savings account, 401K and to vacation twice a year.  I want.  Yet the money in my wallet (which is super rare because I rarely have spending money) is being waged over in my heart.  All my Christmas money is sitting there, screaming to be spent on new clothes (which I so want after being pregnant) and fun but yet so many needs are continuing to spring up and God continues to ask, "Are you going to be obedient and share what you have been given or keep it for yourself?"  My own heart and the world would argue that money is mine.  Period.  It was given as a gift.  Not to pay bills, not to be given away but to be spent on ME.  I mean, in the deep dark depths of my heart, I am screaming
Come on God!  I am in the throes of the most unselfish phase of my entire life!  I am meeting the needs of others all stinking day.  I am constantly wiping noses and filling up sippy cups and fixing and cleaning up meals and changing diapers and wiping bottoms and making beds and picking up clutter and laundry laundry laundry.  I WANT TO BE TAKEN CARE OF FOR A CHANGE!  
Yet though I sense God gently listening to my heart, I also feel Him shaking His holy head, just asking me to trust.  To trust that though these temporary things seem attractive, balm to a weary soul even....He has something better.
I still have so much to say.  But in an effort to not sound schizophrenic, I will end here.  And prayerfully have a pocket of time in the near future to share more.  But in the meantime, please pray for me.  I want to do what He asks.


Becky Young said...

OH Stephanie. I feel as if you have almost echoed my heart in several ways. Crazy Love is in my head with so many decisions and it is haunting. I literally had to stop watching the news on Haiti b/c it just hurt and I couldn't pull myself out of it. You are a wonderful woman of God. I mean inspiring and full of joy. I love your definition of motherhood. It is right on. This is a lot of info for a comment, but I don't have your email. Anyways, in the throws of spending too much time feeding and cleaning high chairs I have asked God what is my ministry and I am awaiting what I think I already know as the answer. I will pray for you and you pray for me too.

Anonymous said...

Love. Stephanie -- you inspire me so much.


Jessica Hilliker said...

thanks for sharing your heart, for being honest & transparent...I'm right in "that place", too, where its busy and comfortable and "good" ...only I am receiving the gentle but firm conviction that maybe this isn't His BEST(!)I have been encouraged to TRUST HIM more today, to take one more step in that direction b/c of what you've written! thanks! I stumbled onto your blog from becky's...actually b/c i just loved the title of your blog and thought "hmm!" so, sister, praise be to God~ I will intercede for you as well!

Jeremy and Melanie said...

We need to chat over lunch sometime! Love you and miss you, dear friend!