Dreaming Differently

Friday, September 19, 2008

I don't have time or energy to write out all the things that have been happening in my heart over the last month. I've wondered where the books are from people who have really walked into relationship with the Lord. Now I'm suspecting that they don't exist because it is the stuff of poetry, of lyrics, of volumes and oceans and mountains.

It has to be lived.

No one else can tell you how to walk with God. He treats each of us individually. He is not a God of generalizations. He is a God of hearts. And he doesn't create anything exactly the same. This used to boggle my mind. Out of millions and billions of snowflakes, none of them are identical. Actually, I guess it still boggles my mind.

No heart that He has created is like another heart. We have similar personalities and tendencies, and we all share a sin nature that is constantly striving with God for mastery of our lives, but each of our hearts has a deep beauty and a life story all our own. Somehow, in the coming and going and rising and falling and climbing and flying of life, this story is all about Him - whether we know Him or we don't, whether we choose Him or deny Him.

A month ago, I admitted something to God about the way I feel about Him. Or about the way I feel about how He feels about me.

For a couple of years, He has consistently been telling me that He loves me.

"Yeah God, I know."

But I didn't. I'm still not sure I do. Not to the depth or the height or the width or the breadth of it. I feel like I'm gingerly stepping into the ocean of His love, afraid of the big waves. "Just little ones, please God. It's so beautiful, I just want to stand here on the shore and..." ache to be lost in that expanse I see.

My admission to God was this: "I don't matter to You."

This is why I've been ducking Him. This is why I've been trying not to be noticed. This is why I have been angry, why I have pushed Him away, why I have not let myself feel or cry or try.

There was a wound. There was an illness. There was a crazy cycle of attempts to trust and hope and keep dreaming and keep loving and keep praising.

But nothing happened. The wound didn't heal. The illness didn't disappear, but worsened. The attempts felt more and more shallow, and eventually ended.

Four summers ago, after nine days in the hospital and no diagnosis, I found out that God cared more about His work than about me personally. And no amount of truth-telling could answer the lie that fixed itself in my heart the day I left the hospital.

There was a doctor who needed to hear the name of Jesus Christ. God told me to speak it to him. I fudged it the first time... and I stayed in the hospital two more days. On the day I left, he returned to my room for no explicable reason. "Dr. ____, I'm supposed to speak the name of Jesus Christ to you." This man, with all his education, his new age philosophies, and his answers, drew back from a sick girl who had peace as if he'd been slapped.

And I hated God for it. I knew I'd see this man in heaven.

There was a nurse who broke down in tears as she said goodbye to me, telling me that she was a believer who had been too afraid to speak for God in her job. The witness we had in the hospital night after night as we prayed and yakked about God had really challenged her to share Him with others.

And I hated God for that. I had no answers, and I was leaving with no hope that I was going to get any.

I walked away from that experience knowing that God was always faithful to Himself. Always pursing His glory. Always working out His plan.

And it didn't have anything to do with me. Not really.

At least, that is what I thought.

I am still sick. I will probably be sick for the rest of my life. The wound I carry may always be the thorn in my heart to keep me real. The reconciliation I prayed for may never happen. We had to leave our first home. We just uprooted from the place I've come to know as home over the years. I'm not cut out to be a great mom, and I'm too selfish to be a good wife.

At least, I thought, I have my dreams. But one by one, I've watched them fizzle and die. I get something I think I want, and I can't hold onto it. It becomes a burden. It becomes more than I can handle. All I can see is the dream that wasn't my dream. All I can see is that I can't have them. And I know better than to ask God for them.

The week we left for Charleston, as I was apologizing to God for my anger with Him, He pointed out that He knew how much it hurt. Told me it was okay to cry. To grieve.

Do you think that in grieving, we learn to let go? That perhaps in acknowledging that the dream is gone, we allow Him to enter the loss and fill the void with Himself?

We decided yesterday not to make an offer on our dream house that is now under contract with someone else. We had crunched and re-crunched the numbers. The $6,000+ we spend every year for my health needs clinched the decision for us. If not for that...

But I noticed something different in my reaction. Instead of resentment, instead of hedging my bets and assuming that God wasn't going to let it work because what I wanted didn't matter to Him, I realized that my hands were open. I didn't want to push it to work just because it seemed so perfect for us. We needed a miracle for it to happen the way I wanted it to, and while we could have done it, it would have been so, so hard for us in the long run.

I know that I matter to God now. I don't know when that happened or how it changed. His pursuit of me probably has a lot to do with that. He keeps telling me that He's everything that matters. He's my inheritance and my portion. I'm grudgingly beginning to accept this. I think this is faith, living believing, even if He isn't visible or manifesting Himself in tangible blessings.

I think this is part of knowing Him. I can't just surrender everything in one walk down an aisle. There is too much of me for that. Too much of Him for that. It's strange. I used to think He wanted everything - all my desires, all my dreams. But now, I think He's not even interested in all that. He just wants me. He just loves me. He doesn't need me to be happy or content or fulfilled or cool so that he can want me.

Anymore than He needed Dr. _____ to believe in Him so that He could love him. Anymore than He needed the nurse at the hospital to be telling everyone about Him so that He could be Himself with her.

I don't have to be used by Him to be loved by Him.

Is it in being loved then, that we are used? It's not our attempts to get into ministry or say the right thing or reach out to others?

I am learning that being human and living in our fallen world means that we groan. We bear a wound that will not heal until our ultimate restoration with God Himself. I think perhaps I experience this groaning more deeply than some simply because I am such a passionate person, because I do dream.

Is He really worth it? I wonder this. I can't be honest and not wonder this. If He is who He says He is, I think He is worth it. But living in the light of that... well, who He says He is will take me a lifetime to discover. And then some.

I am ashamed now of what was in my heart about the people He wanted to touch in the hospital, but I hope that someday, I will really rejoice when He chooses to use me.

You know how you feel when someone you love has a dream come true? When they get something they have really wanted? You know how the best feeling in the world is seeing someone you love have the time of his life? I think I want to love God that much. I think this is how He feels about us.


PaperYarnGirl said...

Beautiful, honest, and inspiring.

dancebythelight said...

Thanks for so openly sharing your experiences and your heart.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog almost daily, or whenever there are new posts. And Id like to thank you for your openess and honesty. The way you relate to God sounds very much like how I relate (or dont) to Him. Thank you.

Kelly Sauer said...

Thank you all for your comments on one of my "deep posts." Sometimes it's tough putting stuff out here, wondering what my readers will think. I'm such a words of affirmation person, and when I don't get comments on these posts, I really hope I haven't offended anyone!

Anonymous: Thank YOU for your comment. I'm glad that there are people who do read my blog - it makes it worth keeping up! If you keep a blog, it'd be awesome to read yours! I suspect I'd enjoy it!

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