My favorite 8-year-old friend said it best when in the midst of an emotional breakdown, he screamed "it just doesn't make any sense!" Of course, he was referring to the fact that doing his homework kept him from playing with his friends but in his little world, that is as big of a struggle as counting carbs and calories and saying no to my favorite foods is for me. and trust me, it's a struggle that causes much weeping and gnashing of teeth. It's hard to let myself struggle. Even harder than it is to let the kids express their emotion, which if you have any interaction with kids at all, you know is quite difficult. Last night, Jordan needed exactly what I need right now. He was exhausted beyond the point of reason and everything I said, no matter how I said it was met with tears and flailing body parts. He was overwhelmed by his own emotion. I told him what Anne tells me: that intensity of emotion cannot last forever, it will end because your body can't sustain it. He needed to be hugged and told he's loved and reminded that God is bigger than his feelings. He needed to feel safe. He needed to be reminded that even though he doesn't feel or believe that he's loved and precious at that moment, it's still true. and then he needed a piece of cake. :) Ok, the parallel breaks down at some point but in reality, his little heart is wrestling with all of the same things that my 26 year-old heart is battling. Does God really know what He's doing? If Jesus is enough, why are things so hard? Couldn't God have chosen a vehicle other than suffering to refine and sanctify us? Why is it so hard to believe truth in the midst of overwhelming, intense emotion?
I'm learning so much right now and in some ways, I hate to admit it because life is hard. but if I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that suffering pushes me into a place of desperation and dependence on a God who promises never to leave or forsake me. 3 year-old Camille and I had a sweet little conversation last night before bed as she was in tears, having trouble sleeping, scared of the dark. I was singing "Jesus Christ, shine into our night, drive our dark away, until your glory fills our eyes. Jesus Christ, shine into our night, bind us to your cross, where we find life" and she asked "Why does Jesus Cries?" :) I explained that "Christ" means Messiah, Savior, it means that Jesus saves us. to which she responded, "when it's a emergency, he saves us when we're scared?" Yep, he does. and He's always with us when we're afraid, when we're sad, when we're happy, when nothing makes sense. He's always with us and we can always cry out to Him. Camille and I cried out to Jesus together last night. "Jesus, help me"
I started back Taekwondo. So far, a great decision. I love it. What could be better stress relief than getting to hit things hard while shouting? and the exercise is awesome. 45 minutes of sweating that goes by fast because it's fun :) yes, please. There are big, strong men in my class who consider it a challenge to fight a black belt so I get to hit hard without being afraid of hurting them. love it! The nutritionist told me yesterday that I need to exercise for an hour a day. Yikes, that's definitely gonna be a lifestyle adjustment!
The whole "adjustment" thing seems to be a trend. Is there always something to adjust to? maybe there is. maybe it's God's way of forcing us to lean into Him because there is no shadow of turning with him, he doesn't change, his compassions never fail, as He has been, He will forever be. forever is a long time. and he's the only thing that never changes and never fails. he's always faithful even when it doesn't make any sense to our finite minds and hearts. He knows. He is El Roi, the God who sees. I want to say, like Hagar did in the wilderness: “You are the God who sees me, ” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13