a broken still

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Don’t measure God's mind by your own. It would be a poor love that depended not on itself, but on the feelings of the person loved. A crying baby turns away from its mother's breast, but she does not put it away till it stops crying. She holds it closer. For my part, in the worst mood I am ever in, when I don't feel I love God at all, I just look up to His love. I say to Him, "Look at me. See what state I am in. Help me!" Ah! you would wonder how that makes peace. And the love comes of itself; sometimes so strong, it nearly breaks my heart.

- George MacDonald


Sometimes it is easier to write poetry than it is to put words to the emotional maelstrom that hits me every two, three days. I know I could write facts about events. I could even attempt to identify and process and organize the mess of me so that I am at least comfortable with where I am. But I don't always have the capacity to do anything but feel.

I wish sometimes I was less intense, that my reactions to life weren't so passionate - one way or the other. Over the years, I have come to accept this part of me, recognizing that God created me this way in order to glorify Himself. I am very Peter-like sometimes - a son of thunder. Or daughter, rather.

I have a favorite quote about relationship: "I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). I admit, I treat my relationship with God with that "roughest courage" most of the time.

Pete says that God lets me get away with things he'd get struck dead for - you know, the point-blank, "I don't agree with You on this God" or the "I know, but..." or the "I don't get this, so I'm not going to deal with it right now." I think God knows I learn through experience, and He knows better than I the measure of my trust, the depth of our relationship. He is so kind to me, so patient.

It is truly the solidest thing I know.

Even on the days when all I can do is feel my human, when I can't make sense out of anything past the brain fog, when my temper is short and the cats get caged (because they really are too much trouble sometimes!) and the house gets wrecked because I need a physical outlet and not even music or writing or venting releases the pent-up emotion of change.

The day began for me with a sense that God is doing something new: the year of still I have lived is going to change soon, the waiting-for-direction is coming to an end as He reveals the work He has been doing in my heart, as He opens my vessel up to pour out for more than my family. The joyful anticipation mingled with equal parts terror and annoyance sent me into a frenzy that began with a justified nesting instinct for getting the baby's bed up and ready and expanded into a whole-house rearrangement that just. wasn't. working. with the furniture I own.

This, of course, grew into discontent over the state of our finances and "why can't I just go out and buy what I need for this little guy - I never even got to do this for Piper!" I saw my contentment slipping away. Well, actually, I sent it packing. The idea of the bigger house we've just turned down was growing more and more appealing, even if it would cost us several thousand dollars we don't have to make that move two streets over. A whole room for Button would be much easier than trying to make him fit...

At the end of the day, Pete took us out for donuts. We cleaned until 11:30, went to bed with Piper (who had merely napped at 7:30) at midnight, and I woke today to find I had enough again.

Living outside of my old condemnation leaves only the embarrassment of looking God in the eye and telling Him what happened (as if He didn't know already). I almost dare to ask Him "why did You make me this way?" and realize that the 14 hours I spent on my feet yesterday is a good indicator of how much endurance I will have for labor, a factor that has been scaring me lately - I've been so tired, I've wondered how I will get through it. Pete laughed last night over my furniture-moving stubbornness when I told him that "you can move anything if you're willing to move it an inch at a time."

I wonder if God feels that way about my heart.

I underestimate the patience of Love, the fullness of Gospel-grace. I try too often to deal with my own fears, to measure out my own strength. I think I assume it is too much for Him - doesn't He have other work to do? Shouldn't I get this by now?

The love comes of itself; sometimes so strong, it nearly breaks my heart.

Then there is no more room for words, for justifications, for fears - He is God, and there is nothing left for me but stillness in knowing Him. Peace I feared lost. A long, deep breath of remembrance - His provision, His work, His rest.

In my memory of frustrated yesterday, even in my glimpse of finite tomorrow, I won't lose the today-Truth of His unchangeable I AM.


This post also linked at Holy Experience for Walk With Him Wednesday.

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


Melissa_Rae said...

Aaah! I needed to hear that. I had the exact same kind of day yesterday and was feeling so guilty about it! Your honesty is encouraging & refreshing. Thank you for sharing this. I also feel like I'm living life at one extreme or another. Finding someone who's at peace with that I'm themselves helps me to know that it's not something about me that needs to change. God bless you today and I pray that it's a better day for you!

Cassandra Frear said...

I like:

"It is truly the solidest thing I know."

Yes, I feel that way, too.

How do people manage to live without him?

L.L. Barkat said...

You were not too late. And I will link.

Sometimes the 'still' is what we wait for again, even before it is gone.

S. Etole said...

What wisdom there is in your husband's words ... "if you are willing to do it an inch at a time." Oh very patient God is with us.

Maureen said...

I so appreciated "you can move anything if you're willing to move it an inch at a time"!

I clean when things bother me. My husband doesn't exactly get it. Fortunately (or maybe not), I haven't been doing much cleaning lately.

Namaste. The stillness is in the believing.

Trish said...

Praise God, His is willing to move our hearts even if only an inch at a time. Yes, His love for us is ever so patient, long-lasting and merciful.


Danielle said...

I was struggling with contentment yesterday too, when I found out one of my friends were going to redo their basement, right after having put in an addition and put in a new fence in the past year.

I'll pray we can learn contentment together.

Lisa notes... said...

I am so thankful for people who are passionate and who face life head-on. May the Lord continue using your passion as a blessing for him and for your family.

I love your statement:
"you can move anything if you're willing to move it an inch at a time." Even our hearts. Very profound.

Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...


Your words penetrate.

I rest in the "stillness" of the I AM ... right here.

FaithBarista Bonnie said...

Kelly, thanks for leading the post with the George MacDonald poem. It was like water to my soul.

"I underestimate the patience of Love, the fullness of Gospel-grace.. I think I assume it is too much for Him - doesn't He have other work to do?"

Have you been peaking in my journal?

It looks like we both have love on our minds today and this week. I enjoyed this post from start to finish. I felt. Thank you, Kelly.

mom2six said...

"I've been so tired, I've wondered how I will get through it." This is so me lately - just exhausted even on days when I literally do nothing but sit in the chair and read to children. Thanks for your words - how will I get through - "an inch at time."

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