I’m trying to break out of this Whinese I’ve been speaking lately. But learning a new language is difficult. Actually, it’s not like I only speak Whinese… I guess I’m just a little rusty at some of the other languages I speak: Gratitudish, Wittyman, or Ponderese for instance. After I wrote the whole “Hard Knock Life” schtick I didn’t feel better. I thought it would release some of the negativity I was carrying. Nope. Didn’t work.
I kept wondering why peace has been alluding me lately. What is my problem? Why am I so stuck? I tried writing down 10 things I was grateful for.. the Gratitudish language. It felt contrived. Forced. Fake. I tried harder. I wrote 10 things I know to be true today. Kept thinking of depressing things… like my friend’s husband is a jerk-face for leaving her. So I tried to keep it positive, tried to realize that I didn’t need to “feel” peace to have it. I didn’t need to “feel” warm and fuzzy just to know God cares for me. But I still fought. I wanted to feel.
So I stamped my feet and came down with a terrible case of entitlementitis. You know, the condition you get when you demand things that you aren’t getting until your head swells so big it can’t fit in the car door properly. Yep, got it bad. Not only was my head all swollen, I think my stomach followed suit because boy did I feel bloated and sick. I wanted to crawl into bed and isolate. Or maybe curl up on the couch with a big ol’ ice cream cone watching mindless T.V. Instead I met with some really smart friends.
At least I thought they were smart. Do you know what these friends had to say to me about my horrible condition? They told me to pray about my lack of peace. “Uh, I AM praying. It’s not like I’m turning my back on God right now. I need Him! I know that. I am not stupid, you know!” Then they asked me again, but in sort of a different way… yet it was really the same suggestion. “I’m not deaf,” I said. “You already said that, and I told you I am praying.” Gosh. What is THEIR problem, I thought. So I started doodling on my notebook 10 things that my friends say that irritate me and the first one was:
1. They tell me things I already know!
Then I stopped. Wow. The entitlementitis was complicated by the sudden onset of pride-ection (for those of you who don’t know what that means it’s when you come down with a combination of pride and perfection ). Okay, okay. I surrender, I told them. I am a mess. I am focused on the dark, painful stuff and I am choosing to stay there. Sure it’s dark, dreary and cold outside and there’s so much gray and brown outside that I wonder if I will become blind when the colors of springtime finally make their debut. The colorless outdoors fits with the deadness I feel and the worry I have for all of the pain and hurt in the world. I have friends suffering from cancer, a dad with mental issues, a mom exhausted from it all, a friend who lost her sister-in-law suddenly, friends getting divorced or who are so depressed they sleep for days on end. And in it all, I wonder why God isn’t making himself so known. So felt really. I want him to come down here, plop down on my chair and a half and invite me to curl up next to him.
I seem to have lost touch with my all-time favorite word: hope. I have no hope. I don’t hope for God’s presence, I just hang my head because I don’t seem to experience it right now. So I focus on what I don’t have, rather than what I do have or what I will have one day. No hope = no peace.
Slowly it is revealed to me that I may not feel the peace. I may feel down and lethargic and burdened because of the legitimate hardship and suffering of those around me, yet my smart friends were right when they pressed me about my spiritual condition. Peace was beyond my grasp because I was trying too hard to fight all of these battles and uncertainties on my own. (They’re smart enough to know that even though I have been praying, they are weak, feeble prayers filled with doubt and self-centered fear.) So today I am willing to take a strong dose of Spirit-filled prayer and a swallow of the elixer of humility so God can rid me of these conditions I have so earnestly held onto the past few days.
As for today… it’s passed since I started writing this blog… It is tomorrow now… or should I say today… and this is what I know for now:
1. Even when God’s love seems far, something in me trusts that he never strays.
2. I am blessed with amazing, servant-hearted, wise friends who are way less selfish than me.
3. Life can change in a moment, without any warning.
4. I can’t stop life from happening no matter how hard I try.
5. The Colts are not going to the Super Bowl this year.
6. I am scared I will fail miserably at a bio I’m writing for a friend.
7. If he hates it, I won’t die from the failure.
8. When my husband is a jerk-face one day, it doesn’t mean he’s always a jerk-face.
9. My friend Holly knows how to clean a kitchen… and I mean clean!
10. My oldest son turns 11 tomorrow (which is really today) and we have been given another day to enjoy his gorgeous face, his creative mind and his sensitive heart.