Monday, August 4, 2014

In the middle of now(here)

sometimes all it takes is a moment of silence to feel the wave of life's current circumstances completely engulf you.  it doesn't really take much to sit down, look up and say, "i don't get it, where are you, God?"  And I've come to find that it's in the seasons of life we have deemed "in the middle of nowhere" that we give in.  We stop, turn around and go back.  Instead of going forward.  i agree it's more predictable to just turn around and "go home."  at least we know what to expect on the way back.  making the decision to go forward when you have no idea what to expect or if you even should expect rare.  what's more...knowing the feats and obstacles and even the disappointments you experienced just to get to "in the middle of nowhere" is quite the accomplishment.  but to decide to continue on your journey knowing what it has already cost you...and what it may cost you to keep moving ahead ... that's courage. 

I can nearly feel the heaviness of seeing someone getting to a point in their journey, bloodied, sweaty, exhausted, and saying in their heart, i just can't.  and so they turn around, and go back.  and along the way, on the blazed trail back, i can see the places where God showed up for them.  all the while, hanging their head and walking on by the boulders of faithfulness where God was, completely missing the reminder that, if He was there for us then, He will be with us now.

But I totally get it.

And i dont know who reads this jargon, if anyone does.  but i'll still be intentional on being vulnerable and sharing my struggles in my story.  God knows there's someone out there who has it worse than i do.  but maybe someone can even just be encouraged by reading about the faithfulness of my God in my life...that causes them to take even just one more step forward.  especially when it seems like the storms of life are relentless.  i hope you keep going.

it usually starts out with something we've planned.  our plans get squashed by life's circumstances and we are disappointed.  but we manage to somewhat put pieces together, maybe not exactly how we wanted it, but life is manageable and we see we can walk with a limp. it's not pretty, but it still works.  and maybe this time, we're a little more cautious, our risks aren't as great.  but then even our small risks  (which are really our expectations and plans) are again damaged.  it happens this way until finally, we throw our hands up in the middle of our nowhere and adamantly demand for God to show up.  and i've come to understand in my own journey...sometimes He leads me to the middle of nowhere.  Because that's where He is.  He's in the middle of my now/here.  Do you see it?

He's now and He's here.  He is now & here.  we choose to blame in our disappointments rather than search for Him.  so we miss Him.  I had plans for this summer, i had goals to reach.  They were all well and good.  And then stuff happened.  Some stuff i could control and others were completely out of my hands.  God was in the things I could control and He is still in the things I could not and cannot.

I left my full-time job at the beginning of May for some personal reasons.  And as i look back on that decision, I could have handled it differently.  I knew God was asking me to leave that job, however, there were some things I could have handled differently.  But I'm human, and I make mistakes and i hopefully learn from them so i don't repeat them.  and since making that decision to leave that job, even though it looked absolutely crazy even to me, i know in my heart that i made the right decision in moving on from there.  I spent 35 days unemployed, desperately searching for a new job.  Most days were spent online, submitting resumes, following advice from the state of Michigan in seeking employment and of course, begging God to show me His way.  And then, He did.  It was 35 days of learning how to trust God again that while it was heartwrenching and most days were uncertain, I wouldn't trade.  He was in the middle of my nowhere, my confusion, my anger, my hurt and my disappointment.

I got hired to work at a nursing home, helping others, something I love and get joy out of doing.  I spent my first 2 weeks getting to know the residents and learning to enjoy their company.  And in the same week, i was offered the opportunity to begin a regimine of home health care for a few days during the week.  An opportunity to be Jesus to someone else in their weakest moments.  I was so grateful to be able to step into this new season of life.

And as abruptly as those opportunities showed up, my world was flipped, almost literally.  The morning of June 16, I spent talking with Jesus. Sharing my heart and gratefulness for the doors He had opened.  Asking Him to use my life to show others the truth of who He is.  I shared some frustrations and asked for Him to begin opening doors to promises and desires I have yet to see come to pass in my life.  And after that, i decided to go for a bike ride...something i had started to love doing.  I made it nearly 8 miles from my house when i decided i had better turn back.  A split second is all it took.  I passed a gentleman riding his bike in front of me and when i veered to get back on the sidewalk, i saw my demise.  I could smell it before it even happened!  The grass had been edged and my bike tire fit snuggly inside of it, abruptly stopping and hurling me over the top of my bike handles. 

I must have closed my eyes when i went over but i was airborne long enough to have the nearly audible thought, "this is gonna hurt, i'm gonna hit hard."  And i did.  my sunglasses flew off my face when my head hit the sidewalk, i could feel the heat coming from my arm scraping the pavement, blood grazing the surface of my right arm and knuckles. And i saw my deformed left wrist.  Bent inward toward my body and the skin bulging over top of my watch i desperately tried to get off.  i did my best not to get dirt or blood in the back seat of the new car that stopped and drove me to the hospital.  a mom and daughter saw me and stopped.  they wouldnt let me get back on my bike to ride home.  before almost passing out, they shuffled me to their car and talked to me to keep me awake.  after only 2 hours in the ER, i went home with a broken bone.  the pain i experienced was the most excruciating i have ever felt.  i spent the entire night awake, writhing in pain.  2 days later, i saw a specialist who told me it was worse than a broken bone.

Broken in 2 places (one wrist bone, and one arm bone attached to a wrist bone) shattered thumb fragments and a chipped bone on the outside of my wrist.  an injury so severe that it required surgery, that left me with a permanent plate and 8 screws holding a bone together.  in the midst of all that, the one thing that weighed heavily on my mind was "i don't have insurance."  which lead into, i just started a new job, and it's gonna take 3 months for this injury to heal, i won't have an income, and the surgery is $5000?  my world came crashing down harder than i did over my bike that day.

Since June 16, nearly 2 months later, i've learned that God is still God.  He was in my nowhere.  He is in my now & here.  and though things still remain unclear and even some unresolved as it pertains to when i can return to work and when my insurance will finally be cleared to cover over $5000 in hospital and specialist and surgery fees, God already knew.  And if He already knew, then He already knows how.  And life is not easy.  And i'll be the first to admit that there are days when i'm more overwhelmed with the unknown rather than His grace.  there have been days in the past 2 months where i havent sought His peace, but rather saw the overwhelmingness of life's circumstances.  There have been days where i've sat in a moment of silence, and let the waves of life's circumstances swallow me whole.  But there have been more days where I've sat in a moment of holiness and asked God to overwhelm me with His grace.  There have been more days where i've said aloud His promises and His truths and believed them.

It helped me to keep going.  It continues to help me keep going.  Even on the days where I want to give up, and some days i even feel like i have given up, He's still faithful.  He's still true.  And He's still in the middle of nowhere.