Saturday, May 11, 2013

God won't leave you where you are.


God won't leave you where you are.  God loves you too much to give you a life that won't challenge you to grow and become more whole.  And so we are challenged - daily, weekly, monthly.  At the same time that our lives are filled with blessings, they are also filled with hardships that encourage us to change.  If we can see those difficulties as the gifts they are, no matter how challenging or even horrible they may be, we can grow, we can become more whole, we can become deeper and more faith-filled, grace-filled people.

Still, sometimes we also all need a "break."  That old adage about things coming in threes comes to mind...as well as the saying "when it rains, it pours".

There have been several times in my life when it felt that there was just too much coming at me, that there wasn't a single day without a new struggle, new pain, new trauma and new heart-break.  That the difficulties and traumas went on for far too long.  Each of those times ended (as all times will), but in different ways.  Some simply fizzled out, replaced by good things and other challenges.  But there is one time in particular I want to share with you today.  There was a point of struggle in my life, almost a decade ago now, in which things were so very, very hard in so many ways.  And so I prayed for a break.  "Just a few days, God!  Please, I know you want us to grow and learn and be more whole people, better able to love your children, more able to serve with grace and love.  I am grateful for the challenges as well as the blessings, for this very reason.  But I need a break.  It's been a long, hard, uphill climb, and I haven't always acted with grace, peace or wisdom. I know I have sometimes contributed to the hardships of my own and others' experiences, for which I am deeply sorry; but still, God, enough is enough!  It's been hard for a long time.  And I desperately need a break."  Some of the things I had feared the most had happened (like facing financial catastrophe), things I never could have imagined had happened (like trying to help a child who was being abused, and ending up being threatened by the abuser), and life had thrown boulders in my path that had made it impossible to go forward in the way and direction that I thought I wanted to go.

And yet...and yet, the break that I prayed for came, not at all in the way I expected, not at all in the way that I thought would bring new life or hope or deep, deep joy.  But God knew better than me.  The break came.  New doors opened and solutions were found and I felt myself freed and released, suddenly and absolutely in ways I didn't and couldn't imagine.  I found deep joy.  My spirit had been released from a prison that was partly of my own making and which had held me tight for far too long.  I felt a life blooming within once more, much more deeply, much more whole, much more profound and much more connected to the Divine.  Spring was also part of that equation - the sunshine that shone with such strength and warmth and beauty.  I would walk outside and the breezes felt like angel's kisses, Ruach, Spirit, touching and blessing and calling us into life.  But I think it was more than that.  The truth is that sometimes the things we fear the most end up being an open doorway into new life - beautiful and amazing.    Sometimes the hardest deaths can bring the most wondrous and awesome resurrections.  Out of that dark time I found new life glorious, filled with God's light, God's life, God's hope, God's blessings!  I knew that the break would not last.  There were and always will be more challenges to come.  More hardships to face.  More growing to do.  God did not leave me where I was and God will not leave me where I am today.  God continues to call us to grow in new ways once again, to be open to change, to listen with more depth for new insights and continue to strive for closer connection to the Divine -to thrive through all of what life hands us.  But I know from that experience that resurrection is real.  That it comes.  That blessings abound within and after crises.  And for all of that I am deeply, deeply grateful.