"we can be imperfect christians because we cling to a perfect Christ."
-Gospel Centered Discipleship, pg. 16
i just started reading the above book, and that sentence is just a perfect way to start this blog. i was thankful to read it, as well as many other good one-liners about authenticity.
when i wrote my last post, it was midnight at the end of the hardest day i've had in a long time (obviously). and i really wanted to share how i was feeling. i generally dislike relying on other people (and God) when i need help so in some ways it was a challenge to myself to write about how horrible i was actually doing.
and you know what? after i wrote that post, the rest of the week i felt so...guilty? frustrated with myself? weak? helpless? insecure? at least one of the above, though i'm not sure which one.
it was so difficult to go to salt the following evening and hear from James 1:1-18: joy in suffering. don't get me wrong, i was amen-ing just about everything drew said, but i just kept thinking, really? i'm supposed to be joyful right now? are you kidding me? i honestly had a pretty sassy moment with God about it...
at the same time, i was so convicted by my lack of dependence on Him. it's really stinking obvious that i rely and depend SO MUCH on my husband to de-stress me, encourage me and all around hold me together, isn't it? i mean, my entire blogpost was basically declaring that. several times last week i thought, i don't think i could survive if bryan died, i'm such a wreck right now. and yes, i'm so thankful that i love and miss my husband that much. and i really believe it's glorifying to God when i depend on my husband. but as i continued to feel incredibly alone, God continued to speak to me, I'm here, lisagrace, I'm right here. and He is! but i wan't necessarily ready to be excited about that truth. i still really wanted my husband back.
and that was pretty much my week. i battled the guilt i was feeling for being such an explosive mess of tears and not depending and having joy in Jesus. and i tried to keep my ears open to hear God speaking into me, telling me how much He loves me and how much He wants to hold me. and everyday, it was hard. and everyday, i didn't know if i could handle it.
but you know what i just love? that i don't have to be perfect. so maybe i'm not the picture of "joy in suffering" right now. because if i'm not that, i am a picture of God showing great kindness to a dearly loved child (who is truly acting like a child). in this extreme weakness, i am experiencing God's love more than ever. it's not every day or all the time but in these dark days, i hear Him.
i hear Him say, I am enough. and hearing that from the King makes me start crying almost every time. today, He said in 1 Peter, cast all of your anxieties on me, because I care for you. and in that moment, i truly believed that my Jesus cares for me. and i'm standing in that truth right now, because i'm so, so, so in need of his care right now. when i read that and heard Jesus really say that to me, i felt an arm go around me, and i felt the freedom to cry on His shoulder, and I heard his comforting words speaking into my fears and anxieties and loneliness and sadness.
and maybe to everyone else in the coffee shop, i looked like a girl in the corner sobbing over a book. but to me, all of a sudden i was experiencing the gospel. i was experiencing relationship with Jesus. just me and Jesus, living life together. just me, crying on His shoulder, and just Jesus, speaking truth into my life, because He is always truth.
i have a pretty great life. on a normal day, i have the best husband in the world to comfort me and calm me and lead me. and i have a ton of other great blessings too. every so often though, God brings me these horribly uncomfortable and dark and lonely times to bring me all the way to Him again. i need the darkness to appreciate the light.
so, you know, i'm glad you got a taste of how sad i was last week. because that's me. that's true. and i absolutely should have more joy in Christ, yes, but i didn't last week. i'm glad you know that. i'm glad you prayed for me.
i'm so thankful i have Jesus, because He is moving in my life, even on the darkest of days.