Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Hard Gifts

I give up before I even open my eyes. The puppy cries. My heart cries too. How did life become all about surviving? And is it truly life when that's all I do?

The heart feels limp, limp as my wet hair after standing in water coming down. I hope it will wash away these feelings...but I'm not sure what these feelings are. Perhaps the walking dead? I feel dead and I wonder why these lungs keep breathing in and out. And some days I wish they wouldn't.

And I ask, why does God still care when my heart is so broken? Why does he want to pick up the pieces again, and does he really? And why can't I trust? And then I begin to remember.

I take a breath and practice...practice. I practice looking at the past, at remembering what God has done. And I see a little blond girl playing games outside, and digging in flower beds, and seeing all the flowers believing that she really did make them grow. And I see a face of trust. Where did that child bliss go? And do we really have to let it go or is it choice?

And I remember to give thanks for the past and the present. I see how easy it was to give thanks, because God seemed in control and I had nothing to fear. And I gave thanks for the ants and the flowers and the cold water on the counter. Trust - just complete trust. Childhood bliss was just trust? And I shake my head and a smile forms. I know how to learn to trust again, and is it really as easy as giving thanks? Can I have that bliss again?

So I count -
82 - Broken guitar strings and forgotten foot stools
83 - Shadows playing on the blinds and on guitar strings
84 - dusty pianos

I thank God for his blessings, and is he really a good God who loves me? And the more I count all as grace - as blessing - the more I see as gift and only a good God can give good gifts.

And what of the hard things in life? I sit back into the past, the table at the bookstore, Mom and Dad enjoying a muffin together. A smile turns my lips. And the question about the what ifs. What if something happens. What if we don't get the jobs we want and what if we loose what we have. And we know to keep trusting. Keep trusting because hasn't God provided already? And why would he stop?

But what about those circumstances, and how to make sense of the going ons.  And he's still good even if they're not? No, I shake my head. And I speak it, more to myself because I'm the one in need of hearing these truths. These things - the breaking and hurting and struggling - they are not just allowed to happen. They are gift. They are blessing. And I try to count them not just on paper but on the tablet of my heart. Because everything that happens is simply preparing us to be more like Jesus. More like Love himself. And who wants anything else but to be made whole? And so I thank him one thing at a time. For the hard and the easy, the ugly and the beautiful. And nothing ever falls outside the label of grace blessings.

I look around at the mess and say "blessing" (85). The calender has a sticky note with work hours on it. I don't feel the energy today. But still I say it quiet. "grace" (86). The weeds grow and I sit and I am lazy. And still I look to God and say "this is grace"(87) . The floor has just dried, and I wish that puppies knew to go outside..."blessing"(88). One at a time I count. And I say a prayer of thanks as I write them.

This love of God shown through his blessings...just as in salvation we accepted it, still each day we grow in our salvation by seeing his blessings and grace and naming them. And only when we name them as gift will we begin to live as though they are gift.

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