(( warning: this post is going to end in a wildly different place than it starts ))
Sometimes I wish I was better at getting mad.
When normal people get upset they have ways of dealing with it. They lash out irrationally, stomp their feet, yell, scream, do something!
I, on the other hand, tend to internalize and try to remain "slow to anger". I believe in that - I believe that it is better for me to try and be mature and, I don't know, sort of "zen" about things as opposed to throwing a hissy fit.
The only problem then is that when I really need to throw my hands in the air and freak out (or should let myself do that), I'm not very good at it. I don't give myself permission to be mad at people or situations. I tell myself over and over that if things don't work out, it's not meant to be. I tell myself that if something I had my heart set on takes a wildly different turn that what I'd hoped, well then my plan didn't match His plan, and I should be grateful that He's watching out for me and making sure I don't get caught up in my own mess again.
And truthfully, last night I was overcome with that pure joy of the Lord when I had one of those elusive moments of clarity realizing how overwhelmingly blessed I am to have a Father who cares about me this much.
I have felt so on the brink of a new season in life lately and I need it. I need it so desperately.
Sunday morning, as I was driving to church, I came to a stop light, looked to the sky and said, "Hey, you know what God? This is as good a time as any. This is a day of resurrection, of new beginnings, and I'm ready. I'm ready for it. And I'm all in. Even though I know You're going to lob a few more fireballs in my direction, and You know I'm going to get scared and try and back out of it, know that I don't want to. Or I don't want to want to."
And then later that day, after I saw another hit coming and braced myself for impact (for the record, it hit, it hurt and hey, whaddaya know, I'm still here), I found myself alone in a bedroom trying to keep it together and, again, looking to the sky and talking to God.
"Well played," I said.
He's using this.
He's using this for His glory and I can't get over this amazing feeling that accompanies realizing that. Because I've never been able to really say that before.
So much of what I've hated going through the last two years is now what I can look back on and rejoice. I still don't like it, but I'm grateful.
When I wrote this post a year ago, I was completely unable to see getting to this point. And while in a lot of ways, I'm still trying to say "okay" and mean it, I can feel that I am not going through these things for nothing. He's using it, He's using me, and how insane is it that I could be part of His plan?
(( cut to me trying not to cry happy tears as I type this at Starbucks ))
Here's the thing: two years ago, when the happy little bubble I was living in burst and, for the first time, I decided to fully lean into God, my life changed.
When I realized that telling friends the only thing getting me through each day was God, and they responded with not even knowing I was a Christian (some of these people having been dear friends for almost three years at the time) I knew something was wrong. Not that I was being mistaken for a heathen of anything, but people didn't look at me and see Him. It scared me. Because for the fist time I realized that I didn't want to be known for anything I did myself. I wanted to be known for Jesus.
In a heartbeat, my life goals rearranged themselves and without knowing how to put it into words back then, I can look back and see how in that moment I wanted to step up and play my part in the Kingdom of God.
And now? One of those aforementioned friends who looked at me like I had lobsters coming out of my ears when I said He was the only thing getting me through the hardest times, has trusted me enough to ask me to walk with her as she navigates her own hard times, not necessarily trusting me but trusting Him through me, if that makes sense.
And I am so honored to be a part of her life, and His plan, I can hardly breathe!
Could it be that people in my life are actually starting to see past me and see Him? Because I am so good with that. I am really, really happy about that. Because He is so. much. greater.
And none of it, none of it at all, would have been possible without the hard times, and getting angry, and being sad, and learning to trust something so much greater than myself.
I have no idea what's coming.
I'm still having a hard time letting go of things and taking the leap, and realizing that I'm not waiting for Him, but that He is waiting for me to get this new season rolling.
He's going to keep it up until I trust Him. He will keep stripping me of all the things I want until I focus on what I need.
And if He trusts me enough along the way to use this hard season to bring His light to others? Well shoot. I suppose there's not much more I could hope for.
So bring on the waves - I'll step out onto that water.
Call all the giants - I'll have my sling and stone aimed.
(( And turn on the radio - clearly I've been listening to a lot of Casting Crowns ))