It was an attempt to worship. To rest in the boat while the of the sea of needs stormed around me. I printed out the page and sharpened all the pencils. I sat down and stared at the rings unsure where to begin. Then an idea! A homage to autumn. Golds, burgundies, offset with royal blue and a splash of pink just to be spontaneous. I set to work. This was going to be good.
The project took a week’s worth of “free time”, during which I lost the paper twice and the toddler hijacked most of my pencils. They are likely under the sofa, or in a shoe, or possibly the toilet. I decided to look past the treachery and persevere. I colored over scribbles, ignored the wrinkles and grabbed whatever stray pencils I could find to finish it. In the end, well… it was ugly. I know I should be proud of myself for doing it but it’s just not what I envisioned. Finishing it was anticlimactic bordering on discouraging.
I had lost sight of why I had started coloring in the first place. What was supposed to be worship became about results. My expectation eclipsing the joy of the journey.
I named her Journey Faith. She was fifth point on our star- a completeness and a readiness. She represented what was about to be. Shortly before she was conceived I had heard the LORD speak. “The calling has become the sending.” Four thousand people heard that same word but it was me. I knew it was for me. My husband knew it too. When we discovered that another child was on the way I e-mailed him her name.
It was the only name that we ever discussed.
I am not want for vision. Not for energy, ideas or passion. I wouldn’t even say I struggle to hear God when He speaks. But for this damnable expectation of how it’s all going to look. I had a list in my mind of what the past six months would entail. I had sharpened my pencils and lined them up. This was going to be good!
But “this” was a list of things that I had added to what the LORD said. A list of assumptions not instructions. “This” didn’t account for things like three children under the age of four, grieving, hormones or a whole bunch of other realities that are part of my life. Frustration. Why God? Why does everything have to be so hard? Why can’t it ever go the way I think?
And offense found it’s footing.
Pride; it runs deep and in it’s most primitive form it’s the need to know- to understand. But what I needed to know He spoke the week before she was born:
“Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.
I didn’t see it. I was looking for results, not a child-scarred attempt at worship. I heard “something new” but forgot that the way was through the wilderness.
And quite frankly this is humbling. A precious brother in the LORD once prayed over me “Stay in the place of brokenness because that’s where the power in your ministry comes from.” I could have kicked him in the teeth. Every hair on my body stood up in tension. BROKENNESS! Not so LORD! And I buck just as hard now as I did then. I’ve done my tour in brokenness. I’m not interested in revisiting it. God there has to be another way!
But there is only ever one way. And God… well His ways are perfect. He doesn’t needlessly cause His children to suffer. And He never wastes the trial. So I repent (re-think). Maybe this desert is actually a sanctuary. Maybe He is “hedging me in with thorns” because He sees what I do not and loves me in spite of myself- my weakness and my pride. Maybe brokenness isn’t so bad if here I find His wholeness. And maybe an authentic work of deliberate rest in the face of distraction is worth more to Him then a well-formed work of art.
God, help me see it. Help me see You. And help me not to grow offended with Your ways.
(This song embodies this theme for me)