At The Cottage Background

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I am feeling seemingly lost.
Where do I begin....?
I realize that this post may be more cathartic. Meaning... more for me than anyone else.
That isn't normally me. But today... tonight... I need it to be.
I am hoping that someone... somewhere.... may be able to connect. To hear my heart and find that it resonates with theirs.
But I am not writing with the intent to hold on... I am writing tonight with the hope of letting go.
This may not seem "Christmas like".... but I think it may be closer than you think.

I have been praying all night.
Asking God to show me things.
To be honest, I didn't really want to know. Because if I did, it would mean unpacking once again the things that I try so hard to keep neatly folded up in the recesses of my heart. The things that I don't want to deal with. Especially not now.
Things that are kept where only I can peek in and see when I need to understand the deeper parts of who I am. The me that only very few people are allowed to see. The me that I would rather stay hidden from everyone.

God sees it all.
No matter the season or the day.
I know that He sees it now. And he knows me. Better than anyone.
I know that I can trust Him... but even He at times isn't allowed in when it hurts like it does right now.
Over the past few days I have tried to push down the "stuff" and sit on the overflow that has been trying to seep out of my tightly kept case.
Telling myself that I am dumb. Ridiculous. And just needing to try harder to be who it is that I am trying so hard to be.
But I can't do it. Not today.
And it isn't until I am faced with the reality of the seemingly insurmountable hurts that I have dealt with my whole life that my tightly wound control begins to slip, no matter how hard I try to grip it for control with all that I'm worth.
I know that those around me don't understand it. I hardly understand it myself.
But I am so grateful that I do know the one who does. Especially now... especially tonight.
Tonight I asked Him.
As I closed the door on the last guest, my heart whispered it with the click of the door.
Why do I feel this way... the way that I do every time I am face to face with something that brings me into clearer focus?
Especially right now? During one of my most favorite times of year?
This isn't exactly the right time for me to be delving into "my stuff" right now.
God has an interesting time table. One far removed from our own.

Have you ever wanted to understand? Even if it is at the most inconvenient of times? A time like now?
Have you ever really wanted to understand why you hate it when someone jokes a certain way?
Or  isn't considerate of how you may feel about those certain particular things?
Or why it is that you sometimes feel lost in a room crowded with people?
Why you feel unloved when you know that you are?
I have asked. I am still asking.
I don't always get the answer that I am looking for.
But tonight... tonight, for whatever reason He chose to, I did. He answered me.
I wanted to fall to my knees with His response.

My pain.... past and present has been due to a lack of faithfulness.
From those that I trusted.. and from those that I have wanted so much to be loved by.
I guess I already knew this... I can venture to say that I had an inkling of what it may look like.
But for some reason, His giving it it's rightful name put a whole new perspective on how I need to allow Him to deal with things... with my past... with my present... and ultimately with me.
I was deeply wounded as a child due to unfaithfulness.
I have been deeply wounded as a grown woman due to that very same thing.
And in the midst of this revelation and before I could really analyze further, I saw me as He does....
And in light of this, I also saw my own unfaithfulness.
In seeing what I hate from others... I saw what I myself am guilty of.
In seeing what I am wanting from others, I saw what I struggle to do in my own relationship with my God.
My lack of wanting... of really trying to be the best that I can in my relationship with Him.
The one relationship that I have deemed more important than all others.
He has never stopped being faithful to me.
He has never stopped loving me. Or trying His very best to show me that love.
My parents have failed me.
My family has failed me.
My friends have failed me.
My church has failed me.
My husband has failed me.
And even my children have let me down.
But the One thing I can count on... the Only thing that I can ever be sure of... is Him.

He sees me at my worst... and hopes for my best.
He watches as I fall... and is there when I reach out for His hand to pick me up again.
He mourns at my losses, and bears with me in my pain.
He is gentle and loving, and tenderly wipes my tears every time they wet my face.
He corrects me when I need it and doesn't flinch at when I get angry.
He listens when I cry and try so hard to figure out the things that I just can't understand.
He patiently waits for me to see... to truly understand that He is enough.
That He always is and will be enough.

It doesn't minimize my pain, or make me have more clarity in all the things that may confuse me at times.
But it brings a comfort, and a humbling, in knowing that in my own unfaithfulness.... He is still faithful to me.
From the moment my life began... His faithfulness was already in motion with me.
During this journey that I have been on... while I have struggled and failed... tried hard to make things right... striven hard to try and figure out who I am and what it is I am supposed to be doing with this life.... He has stood steadfast in His belief of who I am, and what He has created me for.
It adds significance to who I am becoming.
This knowing brings clarity to the really cloudy moments when emotion has murked up the crystal waters of my life.
When the storms have raged in my heart, He reminds me that only He can calm the storm.
Only He has the power to change and govern over my situations.
And He understands.
He understands it all.
Even when I don't.
Even when I am feeling like I do today... lost, and just a little bit alone.
I know that I am not.....

Who is like Him?
What other god cares like He does?
What other god shows me my own faultiness and unworthiness, but still lovingly wraps me up with His assurances that with Him I am going to be okay? If I just trust Him. And if I just allow Him to be who He needs to be in my life.
What other god would see me for who I am... as I resist and wallow in my own torments, whether they be past or present, and comes to meet me to tell me that He still loves me?
Reminding me that although many have hurt me, and many more may wound me, He will never leave me. Never forsake me.
I am asking myself now... how faithful have I been to Him?
How many times have I clocked in my time, to only go back to my "other" life?
How often do I reconsider decisions based on my own wants... my own desires... and not on Him alone?
How often do I try and satisfy my own needing to do "things", instead of acting out of a heart fully devoted to loving Him and wanting more than anything to serve Him with everything that I have?

How often has He wept over my unfaithfulness?
How often has He mourned my walking away, not fully understanding that  He is left standing longingly... wanting more than anything for me to love Him more than I have? More than I need to... and more than I should?
How often.....?
Sitting here... with Christmas all around me... with visual reminders of the One who chose to come for me.
Who still comes for me every single day.... to save me. Who gently takes my feet in His hands and washes away my dirt and filth from where I have been.
Who wipes my tears and Who's gaze never ceases to make me fall on my face in abject gratefulness when I am hit with the impact of His love for me.
The one who is so undeserving of it all.
The one who doesn't deserve His faithfulness because I am fully aware of my own.
I don't know what you have been asking....
I don't know where you have been searching.
And though it may sound so cliche to say it.... I am going to venture out and say it anyway.

He is the only answer to every question.
Jesus IS the only One who can heal your pain.
He is the only One who knows... really knows what it feels like to be hurt... beaten... left and forgotten.
And only He knows the deep things that you and I wrestle with and can sympathize because He has felt them too.

It's true you know?
He really did come.
He really did live.
And He really did die so you and I can have the hope that I am so desperately clinging to right now.
In this moment.
He IS my hope, that I will someday stop running from the things that nip at my heals and try to devour me at my weakest points.
He is my hope, that I will be able to share, and stand victoriously knowing that He is all that He is, and all that He has ever been.
Me standing confidently because I've watched Him do it. Over and over again.
I can  assuredly believe that because He came into this world, a light to our darkness, that every single one of us can take a deep breath, resting in the knowing that nothing and no one is outside of His control.
That He has it all, and holds it all in the palm of His great hand.

My worry... my fret... my pain... my suffering... my joy... my sorrow.... my laughter... and my tears.
All of it was taken on in the form of a baby that no one knew... that no one really understood, so that I could live.
So that I can cry out to Him, in complete trust and vulnerability, knowing that He cares... that He already knows.
And so that I can on my own have a relationship with the only living God, who can listen and hear when I speak to Him, because of what Jesus did for me. It is more than a possibility. It is a reality.
All for love.
All for us.
I want to be worthy of that love.
I know that I never can.
But even in knowing that... I know that my Savior has made a way for it to be plausible.
He is as alive today as He was that night so long ago.
I am sure of it.
I have been reassured of it.
And even as I am made more aware of the unfaithfulness in my own life... I am made more aware of His faithfulness to my life in this most profound of seasons.

This Christmas isn't just about birth.
It is about resurrection.
It is about hope.
And it is about the One who has been trying time and time again through the ages to get our attention....
He is asking us to listen.
I am asking Him to quiet me.

Even in my hurt, and with these tears.
In the middle of it all.... He is here.
He hasn't left us, but is still very much present in our lives.

What are we going to do?
Are we going to listen?
Are we going to stop and allow Him to finish the surgery that He has already started?
We can't run to be healed.
We have to be still.
We have not been forgotten.
By those that are tangible... maybe.
But not by the One who didn't leave us forgotten.
We are found... when we are found in Him.
He isn't far. It only takes opening up your eyes to see Him.

I pray that as we enter into the next few days of celebrating His birth... whether this season brings joy for you or not...
I pray that your hope will be found in Him.
In the impossible situations... and the unfounded and unjust circumstances... that you will be reminded that on that night so many years ago, that He entered into impossible situations and faced unjust circumstances, and overcame them all.... for you.
He is more than able to handle whatever you and I may face.
But we need Him to face them.

We are all going to different places... faced with different circumstances.
But we are all under the same God.
The same ageless and faithful One.
The One and only God who has and ever will love you and I with a love so great that He was willing to live so that He would die to save us....
Whatever it is that we need saving from.

God bless you this season.
May it bring in a fresh revelation of who you are.... who your meant to be... and a far deeper and greater understanding of just how Great your God really is.

 ... until another tomorrow.

 "Praise the LORD, all you nations;
   extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
   and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
   Praise the LORD." Psalm 117:1,2         

 "Who has believed our message
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
  Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.
  He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
   Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
   for the transgression of my people he was punished.
 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
   and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.
  Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
   and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
 After he has suffered,
   he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
   and he will bear their iniquities.
 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53