Friday, October 05, 2012

When We Don’t Understand

It seems as though I have entered a season in my life when God is asking me to change, but the reason for the change is unclear. I am sitting here in the middle of things and changing each thing in my life one-by-one – knowing that is what He wants and yet not understanding why. Little glimpses confirm my decisions, but the overall plan is fuzzy.

I don’t like change – even small change. Moving my seat at the dinner table unnerves me a bit – I have a habit of putting things in the same place over and over even if it doesn’t make sense after a while. I eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every day and the absence of coffee in the afternoon could undo me a bit.

Yet so many of the new things I decided to try after I started staying home with the kids are slowly being stripped away. I don’t understand why it is happening, but I know that He is asking me to do a new thing. He is asking me to give thanks – He’s telling me I don’t really get it. One night in desperation I cry out to Him – He tells me to open “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp - p. 30. Here is where the core idea of the book is expressed – that eucharisteo – a Greek word meaning grace – thanks – joy is the secret to the full life. He compels me to read this and He says, “You don’t get it.” It is true, I don’t. So I sign up for a new Bible study to reread the book. I go to the first meeting – the leader says, “I don’t know why you are here, but God knows and I’ve been praying for you.” And He knows and I know that what she says is true and we don’t really understand how it is all woven together.

I do not pray well and if praying is talking to God then I guess we don’t talk as much as we should. So I am reading – 6 chapters in 1 week to keep up and I’m writing new gifts – because 1000 written down over a year and a half haven’t left their mark on me. And Ann says in the book that to become a praying woman I must give thanks. That to get rid of ingratitude we nail it out by nailing in thanksgiving and it is physical and it isn’t a blanket of thanks, but a moment-by-moment physical act – it is NOW – when we give thanks and doesn’t that make sense? Grace is not for yesterday or tomorrow or even for an hour from now – it is NOW. Grace is given in this present moment – not thrown as a sugar coating over the past or iridescent hope for the future. It is the humility of the breath of life still present in this moment – knowing that we continue on because our purpose still has validity and that understanding, while grasped for, doesn’t matter. But this moment does and He is with us and we can choose to be fully present in this moment no matter what.

No matter what – when kids scream and things break, and we bleed from that cut and lack of words fester and our expectations fall short again. Grace is present here in this moment. We choose the gratitude or we turn away from the full life.

I’m in the middle ground…in a very slow, confusing, and aching dull transition that I don’t understand. But I pick up grace and thanksgiving and I go forward anyway knowing that His ways are best even when we don’t understand.


Mark said...

Very well written and powerful. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Powell said...

Thank you for your nice comment, Mark.