I’ve been fighting off a lot of bad vibes lately. Feeling like one of those little pac man guys. Constantly rerouting my thoughts to avoid hitting walls or being eaten. Or whatever it is that happens when the ghost gets you. I do a pretty good job, most days. A deep breathe and a prayer and I’m back to being genuinely happy and at peace with where I’m at in life.
But some weeks, irony and disappointments do more than sting. They gather together, hitting me one after another, rapid fire, until I lose my cool.
Why did I sign myself up for a weekly front row seat to watching women panic over the very blessing I pray for?
Why have all these daycare kids suddenly started asking me if I have children?
Why does Baby Dedication at church have to immediately follow another letdown?
Why am I not running more than 40 miles per week? That gut telling me to temporarily back down from my regimented running is now the biggest it’s ever been. I miss speed. And endurance. And clothes that fit.
Next thing I know I’m stomping my feet and thrashing my not-skinny-feeling-jeans on the bed like the super mature and composed 30-something lady I am.
Pissed that I don’t get to be in full control of my charmed life. Sulking, as I stand in a pretty house that I share with the love of my life, in an affluent city, within an affluent country, holding a phone full of texts from people I treasure.
Oh woe is me.
I’d like to say those moods fade out as fast as they come in, but that’s not the case. I usually whine and complain and stalk around with a terrible attitude, far longer than I should.
I have a lot of dreams for my life. And that’s fine. It’s okay to want things, to hope and pray and work hard for them. But it gets ugly in a hurry when you get so wrapped up in yourself you stop asking for guidance. Every time I find myself emotionally derailed it’s because my heart isn’t aligned with God’s.
Ann Voskamp posted a blog last week that couldn’t have come at a better time. In it she makes an amazing heart analogy, comparing a physically failing heart in need of a human transplant with an emotionally failing one in need of a faith transplant. She focuses on emotional heart failure as an inability forgive people who have hurt us, but I think it can apply to a variety of situations. Such as, oh I don’t know, an inability to surrender fear and frustration.
“I sure wish I knew how to fix this — I shake my head, turn the water hotter. “Because I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
In a heart beat.
I stop. Hands in hot water.
I can hear it in me.
Me with a tumor, me with heart blockage, me with a failing heart…
That’s the point:
Your heart can’t forgive the tactless not-so-great Aunt.
Your heart can’t forgive the words that should never have been said, your heart can’t forgive the remark that was more like a blade and left a mark how many years later. Your heart can’t forgive the step-mother, the side joke, the backhand, the over-the-top family that just gets under your skin.
Your heart can’t forgive. That’s why He gave you His.
When you don’t think you can forgive what she’s said about you —-
When you don’t think you can forget what he’s done to you —
When it’s His heart beating in you — you can forgive in a heart beat.
I look up from the sink.
The Christmas tree is there by the fireplace — and it’s right there, what all the hard relationships, gatherings, families need at Christmas:
The Tree is where God’s grace does heart transplants:
God takes broken hearts — and gives you His.
I should be huge, this Christmas. I should be wearing a bow above my belly, with a tag reading: Do not open until January 18th. Ron and I should be taking prom pose photos in front of the tree, our hands shaped like a heart on my stomach.
But I’m not. We aren’t. And man that makes me salty, some days. Not just because the Good Lord gave and took away, but because I don’t know when He’ll give this particular gift again. It could be next month, it could be never. And I know I should be okay with that. I should want what He wants, because His plan is always best.
But sometimes my heart struggles. It develops a frustration tumor, a faith blockage. I’m so focused on my child, I forget to acknowledge His.
God sent Jesus to save us all. To heal a broken world, and restore its hope. He’s the great redeemer, the giver of new life. The one gift we can never overuse or outgrow.
May we not forget that this week, and throughout 2016. He is with us, He knows what we need (didn’t say want). And He’ll willingly give it…all we have to do is be open to receive.
2 Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.
Feelin’ like I got a front row seat
To watchin everybody be happy
Can’t even paint a smile on my face
It’s so hard to not complain
Gotta try, not to say,
O God, what about me
‘Cause I know
That’s not the way
That I’m supposed to be
Get me outta my mind and into Your heart
It’s not about me, it’s not about me
So I’m gonna start
Playin’ my part in Your design
Now is the time
Get me outta my mind