*sits down with dubstep remixes streaming through my headphones and prepares post*
I know I’m a negligent blogger.
(My sincerest apologies, y’all.)
I know I keep saying that I’m really busy. And that’s the truth, honestly. I’m dealing with a TON of different things right now, and honestly I can’t really say them here. It’s different medical issues, combined with the challenges of growing up, combined with life itself, and… Yeah.
Y’all know what I’m talking about, right?
It’s just, been hard. And long. And dark.
I figured I owed y’all a bit of an explanation, though. I can’t tell you much, and honestly you don’t want to know that much. But I thought I’d just say a little bit, since y’all have so nicely and patiently put up with and supported me during my negligence.
God’s allowed me to face a really hard trial for a little over a year now. It started out as mostly just stress (and honestly a bit of a bad attitude as well), but then it grew into a lot of junk that no one ever wants to deal with. And I’ve been diagnosed with some things that, yeah, no one wants to ever deal with them either.
I’ll admit something that I hate telling people, for various and good reasons. I’ve had moments of being angry at God throughout this trial. They’re not often, and during this season, He’s drawn me closer to Him in ways I didn’t know, but there have been times when I have literally yelled at Him in anger.
So, yeah. It’s been hard, to say the very least.
My mom made the comment several months ago that my posts have gotten darker over the past year. I had a friend make the remark that the girl who ran the blog had changed since she knew me.
It’s true. I’ve changed, a lot. And honestly, I don’t know if it’s for the better of for the worse. My head and heart are in a conflict there.
My choices say that I’ve changed for the worse. You look at my decisions in life, and… Yeah.
But my heart says something different. And that’s kind of what I want to talk about here today. My heart says that God has worked some things out for His glory, despite the diagnosis and the choices and dark days of anger.
You see, He’s taught me about several things through this trial. And three things immediately stick out to me: His grace, what it’s like to truly be loved, and what it’s like to love others.
(We’ll break this down bit by bit; don’t worry, I won’t overwhelm you with random things in my life. There *is* a point to this post.)
Firstly, His grace. In case you couldn’t tell, in January, I finally learned about the grace of God. Do a search of posts from January and February, and you’ll see what I mean.
PEOPLE. I still get chills thinking about it… There is no condemnation any longer. There *was*. But there isn’t anymore. That sin I committed this morning? That sin I committed yesterday? The one I’ll commit tomorrow? Yeah, those – He doesn’t see them anymore.
Are you scratching your heads, too? It doesn’t make sense. BUT IT DOES.
It comes down to His love. The most joy-giving thing you’ll ever know, I promise you. It’s love that literally frees you. The blood of His Son has freed you; He bled and died because He loved you THAT MUCH. It’s incredible.
I could go on and on and on. I really could. But I’ll save that for another time. Another ramble, perhaps. (Or maybe not… My Bible’s right here on the couch beside me, maybe I’ll form a post right now and post it later and we’ll carry on like nothing happened.)
But since I’ve already talked about that before, we’ll move on.
Last year, before I moved, I went through a really hard time of feeling lonely, like I didn’t have any friends. I mean, I had friends, but I didn’t feel like I had anyone I could be real with. No one that really cared, really knew me, who could really see beyond the smile I gave everyone. No one saw what was beneath the mask.
(I actually prayed that God would let there be some lonely girl in Pennsylvania waiting for me when I moved there, so we could hit it off and be best friends and she would completely understand me and yeah. It was going to be perfect.)
But God knew that I needed something sooner than that. So He let me move to figure out how to place people in my life and use the ones that were already in my life to teach me some lessons.
Can we pause here just to say, God’s lessons are frequently insanely hard?
He doesn’t do things the easy way. Did you ever notice that? We read about how following Christ is hard, and we agree and repeat the words ourselves… But then we face a trial of our own and say, “God, why is this so hard?!?!?!” He’s sitting there going, “Ummm, I told you it would be… You made that decision when you chose to follow me and give me your life. I’m your Lord, so just know that I’m holding your hand through this, okay?”
*resuming my loneliness rant*
Albeit, He had people come and go over the past year. People I thought would stick with me for a long time just left. People I expected to be like those who just left have hung around. (What did I ever do to deserve that? Oh, wait, I didn’t – I just serve a good God.)
It doesn’t make sense, really.
*pausing again to interrupt with an important interruption*
God doesn’t make sense. And I’ve come to see that more and more over the past year and a half. HE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. But what’s even better, is that’s okay.
He’s not supposed to make sense. If He made sense, He wouldn’t be God. He wouldn’t be infinite, and we wouldn’t be finite. That’s why we question and doubt. And it’s okay.
*let’s pick this up and see if I can keep going without interrupting my train of thought by chasing rabbit trails, shall we?*
He orchestrated the people in my life to meet the needs I had, each at their own time, some longer than others. What’s really cool as I think about it is, my friends have played different roles. Some I feel comfortable telling things to, others I don’t – but they’re all still there, supporting me in their own unique ways that God placed them there for.
God gave me a best friend who’s always there to listen, hug, preach, whatever I need, to help, a friend who cares more than I ever thought was possible. (And who worries too much – stop it, okay?)
He gave me a friend to let me ramble about random things, who actually really understands what I’m going through, and gives me permission to call them at midnight when I’m dealing with stuff. (And is amazingly beautiful, just so everyone knows.)
He gave me a friend who doesn’t understand what’s going on, but loves in the best way they know how.
He gave me a friend who makes me laugh.
He gave me a friend who gives great e-hugs.
Isn’t God just amazing?
*Hang on. We have to enjoy the soft grass I’m sitting on here and the sun turning a golden orange as it sets. And the fact that I just had a peanut-butter filled donut. God is amazing. Okay? Okay, carry on*
I’ve learned that even though it feels like I’m alone, that I am NOT alone. Not only is God always with me, but He’s given me friends that truly love me. Even when I don’t feel it. Even when we’re in a fight. Even when it hurts and times are hard. Even when I make stupid choices and pay the consequences. I am still loved.
And now… Yikes. I could say a ton about learning to love others. But I won’t. For time’s sake, you understand.
But wow. This trial has taught me a lot about a world of pain I never knew existed. Well, I guess I knew somewhere in the back of my head that it existed, but I had no clue about what it t meant or how real it actually was. I didn’t know how you felt dealing with a trial like this, what it looked like, or how much you would question God.
I didn’t know the pain. But I do now.
And God’s using that for His glory.
I can hold the crying sister who struggles with stress.
I can pray for the brother dealing with darkness.
I can love and be loved.
And it’s liberating.
I can feel it like it’s my own pain – because I’ve been there. I can help others who know my struggles, only because I’ve dealt with them myself.
If God hadn’t had me dealing with this trial, I would never be able to hold the broken heart of my sister and feel my own heart breaking for her. I would never be able to know the pain of hurting for my brother in his own fight. I wouldn’t know how to respond or help or pray.
But I know now.
Only because of God.
(Isn’t that how all things happen anyway?)
And I hate this trial with everything in me. But in the pit of hell or the highest point, God is with me. Right? Right.
His grace *is* enough. I can do this. And He is strengthening me with every passing day.
And for you, my brother or sister, He is strengthening you, too.