Friday, June 8, 2012

A Desert...(not a dessert sadly!)

I wanted to write two days ago.  I started writing 3 or 4 different times.  It just didn't feel right. The majority of my blogs since last August have shown how much I have clung to God and how much my relationship with Him has grown - not that that is why I started my blog or what it has to be about.  It just sort of happened that way.  What a journey spiritually I've been on.  You see, I could not have survived this move without Him.  Anyone who knew me five years ago - even a year ago - would have said "no, she'd never be able to move away from everything she knows."  And they are correct!  I could not - but with Him I could!  While I thought for sure that when we moved last August I was going to be in a depressed and dark place - He took me to a mountain top spiritually - allowing me to cling to Him and experience relationship with Him like never before...and growing my faith tremendously.

But now...we are settled.  The 'time of change' the 'challenging experience' is pretty much over.  Things seem normal.  And now...I am in a valley spiritually.  A desert.  I wish I could say I don't know why.  Any relationship that I don't spend any time with at all is bound to suffer.  So, being the awesome, forgiving, and patient God that He is - He is still right there even though I've not had time for Him.  So I cry out.  Several times over the past few weeks.  Yet, silence.  I know He is there.  I just have not been in constant communion with Him like I was when I felt like I needed Him to survive.  I guess it is humanness to not cling to Him like you are dying when everything is going well and normal and comfortable...  I need Him in order to survive every day though - not just during 'challenging experiences.'  Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't enjoy times of change and hardship - but wow...the comfort I had in Him was like nothing else.  And now that I've been there...I miss it.

Instead of blogging two days ago I read this devotion on Psalm 63, When God Feels Far Away.  Here is a portion of it:
It begins with permission to declare the desert:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
It begins with a statement of the present reality. But then it moves to a memory:
I have seen you in the
and beheld your power
and your glory.
The Psalmist remembers who God has been, the times that were rich and vibrant and emotionally satisfying. And once he remembers who God is, even if he can’t feel God now, the Psalmist can move forward and praise:
Because your love is
better than life,
my lips will glorify

The effects of not spending time with Him don't just end with me not feeling close to Him and missing whole life is affected!  My last few blogs are evidence.  I have struggled with comparisons, jealousy, depression, anger, a judging spirit, and a need to please man and earn their acceptance.  I've felt confused as to what He wants me to be doing.  I've tried to make my loneliness (from not being with Him) better by eating, shopping, praise from others, busyness, and being a 'part' of things.  This seems like the theme of Ecclesiastes...I've mentioned this before.  Solomon tried to put so many things in that God-sized hole in his heart and none of them worked. 

I confess that I didn't want to blog two days ago, because others in my life seem like they are walking so closely to Him and I am ashamed that I am not.  But, it is normal for all of us to have mountains and valleys and He knows what is best for me.  So, I will put that ungodly comparison out of my mind, mind my own business, and move on.  He is not done with me yet.  He still seems quiet as I start to call out to Him again, but "because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you!"

Emily and Mrs. Plyler
Evan and Mrs. Gordon
Emily and Evan are enjoying their last day of school today!  I will have a fifth grader and a second grader in a few hours...which I can hardly believe.  There are some new families who have moved in across the pond from us and they have kids Emily and Evan's ages - they are thrilled to have some new friends close by!  Emily received an award for being on the honor roll every grading period and she has gotten perfect attendance this year. She competed on the Knowledge Bowl at school, too.  Evan's teacher has kept him in the top of the reading groups in his class this year and seems to have a knack for spelling like his Dad.  I'm so proud of them.  They both have had great experiences this year, as have I, and we have been blessed at this school! 

I agreed to coordinate a Welcome Wagon for our school's new families for next year.  Since it is definitely a passion of mine to connect people to other people for support and encouragement - this fits in perfectly.  As I thought about it I remembered the Ministry to New Mothers theme verse 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  Obviously being in a school it isn't a Christian based group or anything, but my desire for doing this stems from the comfort I received so I can comfort others since I've been there...just like it was for the ministry to moms.  A group of us (10 moms were excited about this!) will be writing up a booklet for new parents this summer.  

Jeff and I celebrated 14 years of marriage on Wednesday. We didn't do anything special...but we did do a lot of reminiscing.  I am so thankful that as we have changed, grown, matured, endured stuff, made mistakes, celebrated, hurt - we have become even closer. The saying is true - "I love you more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow." Jeff is truly a gift to me...every day.

We are looking very forward to some fun summer weeks ahead, spending time with old friends and new ones!