So it’s been awhile and I’ve been thinking. “Ah…” you say. “I hope your brain is okay, it’s been so long.”
Well…I’ve had a lot to think about. I took a long look at my life and its direction, and I wondered…am I happy? More importantly, do I enjoy living? And you know what? The answer scared me. How many days have I spent just getting through each day, month and year? Surviving in a world that should not be this exhausting. Surviving in a world that moves ever faster as time goes on. Did I fall by the wayside and not realize it?
It’s been 4 years since I had my ultimate nervous breakdown. It’s funny how you can finally put your finger on the moment when you could no longer journey on. That is a moment in time that becomes more poignant as the years pass and you can still point back to that moment. A moment that has come to define you. A moment that has to be overcome, for wallowing in sorrow does nothing to make life worth living.
It is humorous for me to remember what set my walk with God in motion. As a young Christian, seeking to build that relationship with Jesus, I prayed for faith. The kind of faith that missionaries have to have to put their lives on the line for the Gospel. Be careful of that which you wish for. My life took a steady slide downward into the depths of despair after I asked for this faith. It has been a bumpy ride ever since. But I have to say I don’t regret it. Would I do things differently if given the chance? Perhaps but probably not. For my 3 children are the most wonderful gifts God has given me, and I would not change that for anything.
While I was thinking over the past few months, my present situation has been filled with grief and longing. We were stuck in Houston. No way out. Then someone stepped forward to rescue us. Someone involved in some illegal business. Time after time we asked ourselves while calling out to God, “why?” Because our living situation ranged from a beautiful house on a hundred acres as well as a farmhouse complete with goats and chickens, and then to a condemned hovel in an area that was ugly and filled with tarantulas and scorpions.
We survived. Feeling beaten up and broken, we moved on, only now we were becoming more entrenched in what was surely enemy territory. Dragged from one place to another, losing pretty much all of our possessions. Hungry. Beaten down over and over again. I think maybe the final straw for me was in Vail. What a beautiful house filled with partying and annoyances, at least for me. Our provider lost everything, and now we were involved in these mad dashes to make a little money here while scamming someone over there. It all culminated into a point where I was awakened from a nap by the sounds of police yelling and beating on the doors. On my birthday. A police raid. I walked out with my barking dog to a line of men with guns pointing at me. Surely this could not have been from God?
One thing I’ve noticed through the past year is that I’ve been forced to live trusting only that God is there to take care of me and my family. People talk about living by faith, and some of them believe that’s what they are doing. But I tell you, unless you are trusting for every morsel of food, every payment on your living space, every time your car starts up, you do not know the fullness of totally living by faith.
I know I’ve been a poor example. I’ve fallen apart more times than I can count. I’ve been a hermit, hiding from the evil of the world, watching as it grows more evil day by day. I’ve been ill enough to take a trip to the hospital because I was so full of despair.
There came a point where I was so down, I didn’t have anything to lose, so I decided to stop worrying since there was nothing I could do anyway. I gave it to God, such as I had done many times before. Only this time, there was no point to worrying because there was nothing in my situation that could be fixed. I felt trapped with no way to get out of the situation I and my family had fallen in to. Believe me, the devil is always there to suggest to you that God doesn’t care. It can be pretty easy to believe when the person who takes credit for “saving” you is not a Christian. You can be surrounded with naysayers. It is a fight like no fight before. It is hell on earth.
There is a spark inside that refuses to be extinguished even in the midst of despair and hopelessness. Praying for faith to continue is the only thing that can help. While you find yourself in the middle of a situation in which no matter what, you are the failure, you aren’t given the time to look at your situation. You don’t have the time to realize how you’re being played by the enemy by one of his minions.
When you think about it, you realize you had it wrong all along, you just didn’t have the truth to help you see. So you look at the Bible and the stories and themes it presents. This is what I did in my attempt to connect, my desire to have the relationship with the great I AM that has been promised to me and to every other person who so desires it. I discovered the theme that runs through the entire book. A theme of love that dwells forever. An idea of those lost who are saved by faith. The wilderness that ends in rescue and redemption, and then it made sense. We had been delivered to the enemy for a season to show his minion the true way to eternal life in Heaven. That season draws to a close with sad results. We move on.
We’d had it all wrong. You cannot have the relationship with God you desire and still have your eye on the world. You can be a resident on this planet, but you are not of it. The people who are running around trying to have everything really end up having nothing, for you can take none of it with you. For so many these few belongings will be all they ever have. Forever.
In developing a relationship with God, you have to rethink everything. Food and shelter are a necessity, as are clothes. If you find yourself without these, there are ways to find shelter, and there are places that will help you climb out of the pit of despair. If you call out to God, He will answer. Once you’ve got the necessities figured out, that’s where it gets hard, at least for me.
My mother’s death is what triggered the spiral that had been drawing me down for years. I fell, and I fell hard. I had to have everything that made a person worthwhile, at least in the world’s eye. I found that things are just that: things. One day you have it all, the next day your life becomes turmoil, and you stand a good chance of never figuring your way out of it if you don’t trust that God will answer your prayers.
I did not have the strength to endure. I was at the bottom. The thing that bothered me the most was what the world would think of me. I wasn’t good enough by the world’s standards by far. I was defective and an idiot. I had no idea what lay before me, how much farther there was to fall. And I thought I was trusting God for my life.
In spite of myself, God took favor upon me. It was a long journey, but I believe that I am much better off for it. He has shown me that you can never anticipate His works. You can never even imagine the solutions He provides. He truly does have the answer. And He will always provide for your needs. It is important to remember that while we want many things, we may not need them. In fact, some of our wants can be destructive. Some of our wants may jeopardize our walk with our Heavenly Father who is saddened when we reject the sacrifice made by His Son Jesus Christ.
It is so hard to keep going some days. The ailments are still there. I still get tired. But I’ve discovered that when I truly give everything over to the Lord, I find an inner strength that helps me prevail. And when it’s all said and done, I find that I have enjoyed the living of that moment, and that is a rare and wonderful thing indeed.