30 Jul

The Last Place You Look

Sometimes I just get tired.

I don’t want to do one more load of laundry or cook one more dinner. I don’t want to read one more book or teach one more lesson. I don’t want to write one more blog or encourage one more woman on the phone. I don’t want to lead a Bible study, support my husband, parent my children or even get out of bed.

Sometimes, I just want to do nothing. To do what I want to do.

The truth is I have felt that way for the last few months. I have tried to deny all that God has laid in front of me. Spouting out things like, “I would like to be the one people take care of now and then,” or “Why can’t someone else be the one to encourage others?”

And the more I stamped my feet and demanded to do what I wanted. The farther away from God I felt.

The farther from God I felt, the harder it became to do the things.

Until I couldn’t feel God. I was snarling at my life. I was joyless…is there a word for a joy deficit, cuz that’s what I had...I think I owed people joy. And nothing was getting done.

—-

I wrote those words a little under two years ago. In the wake of a season of difficult circumstances — death of loved ones, health crisis and God calling me to do something I just didn’t want to do.

I stumbled across those words tonight as I was cleaning up my blog. And I just stared at the screen.

Stared.

Cried.

And began to wonder who I owed joy to now.

All at once my life came into focus through the lens of my own words…my own life…and that’s just weird.

I am struggling with heartache. Pain. A season of loss and I feel lost.

Angry. Sad.  Tired. Joy-less.

In this season of  being glued to the couch and wanting to pretend life wasn’t marching on, God whispered, the Spirit blew through, and I knew. God called me to get up….the Spirit planted words in my heart. And it was time to move forward. But I sat on the couch, waiting for God to send me a sign (another one, a bigger one, one with red lettering that flashes!). I sat on the couch waiting to feel joy…waiting to get happy again.

My grandfather sat in his chair, his body weakened by age and life. I searched each drawer, cupboard and nook in his tiny assisted-living room. I found the paperwork he asked me for and laughed, “Isn’t it always the last place you look?” “Well, I should hope so…why would you keep looking if you found it,” he chuckled back.

These words ring in my head….my heart.

I’m waiting for joy. God whispers, why are still looking you have joy?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

This season of loss and following God when I don’t understand is growing my faith in ways I never imagined. I’ve been able to tell stories of whispering Jesus’s name for peace and reassurance when nothing else would help. Stories of amazing provision and peace when nothing about our situations seemed like they would work out.

YES! My faith is growing. I am persevering. Jesus…the Word….the living breathing saving grace of God asks isn’t that enough? And I choke on my self-pity and egocentric behavior. If I’m honest with myself…nope. It hasn’t been enough. I keep looking for something else.

Truth is I want something tangible. Another candy bar. A funny movie. A good hair day. A phone call from a friend. A Target shopping spree.

I want to say the right Christian words. To hold up the facade that makes you think, dang she’s got it all together, but God girl to God girl…truth is I don’t live like God is enough.

I know that I know that I know, God is calling me to write. My blog. My story. His grace in my life. Bible studies. Words that pour The Word into a parched world of women who lose themselves on Pinterest and in junk tv in hopes of finding the secret to their joy. When I study my Bible. When I dig around and find meanings and phrases. When I ponder the infinite God in the tiny details of my life. When I pour out what He pours in….I am joyful. I am happy. And even though I know, I keep looking…and I can hear my sweet Grandpa’s words “why would you keep looking if you found it?”

So, here I sit today. Writing. In the office that my hunky hubby help me carve out in our home. My space filled with books, commentaries, precious treasures and the sweet-spot calling that Jesus whispers to me.

last place you look

Jesus calls each of us to pour out what He pours in. To give him away. It looks different for each of us, living out what He’s designed for us, but friend I can promise you this….being with Jesus….chasing Jesus….giving away Jesus is more than enough.  It is joy. It is everything. And I’m going to stop looking, because I already have my joy….

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

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