12 November 2007

A Jug of Milk

I'm one of those who cry over spilled milk. So do you mind if I open the top and pour out my frustration and hurt and confusion all over the countertop?

Maybe I shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm not good with finding that line of where you should stop, so I'm going to tell you anyways.

I don't know what I'm doing. And I don't know where I'm going. Don't get me wrong, I have a to-do list the length of Santa's naughty or nice list, but as far as what I should do next? Yeah, I'm lost.

You see, I feel like I've gone no where. I feel like I turned onto the path I thought God wanted me to take and drove, drove, drove, but in the end, isn't that the same tree I've passed now twenty times?

I've been here before, asking for affirmation and receiving only silence.

Crickets.

Jeanne Guyon says, "Will you worship God when He's far away?" (so I shouldn't have put that in quotes since I'm paraphrasing...)

People say, "If you're far from God, guess who moved." Maybe sometimes that's true, but not always. Did Job move? Habbakuk?

Speaking of Job, why didn't the author give us a timeline? How long did he wait in his sackcloth before God met him? A few days? A week? A year? Do I need to don burlap?

Or Habbakuk, waiting, waiting, waiting at that post. And then God gave him a yucky answer.

Yes, yucky.

I don't like who I am right now, all messy and teary and Mara.

My sister-in-law told me last night how she watched Stranger than Fiction the other day and thought of me, of course. The DVD has those extras, as most DVDs do, you know, including an interview with Emma Thompson. Emma said something about writers being depressed.

"And I thought, 'But Heather's not depressed!'" she told me.

How did I pull that off? I must be a better actor than I thought I was.

If I've been here before, shouldn't I know how to handle this? When you walk through these doors that you thought God opened for you only to find an empty room and all the furniture's been moved, and, look, black mold creeps up the door frame.

So then I think, well, maybe I should go get a Ph.D. But then where would I be? Another degree that got me no where.

Or maybe we should start thinking about having kids. But then I hide in the closet trembling and barely breathing--oh! shh! shh!--until the idea leaves.

Remember that lesson I related about the fire burning bright? I said I want to be the kind of Christian that smolders and radiates heat. Now my flames don't lick as high in the sky, and I wonder, are the coals at least hotter? Could you toast a marshmallow? Because the night air's chilly.

14 comments:

Heather Diane Tipton said...

ok i'm being bossy... CALL ME

Willowtree said...

Hmmm, you sound a tad conflicted.

Oh, don't worry about not having a timeline for Job, timelines in the bible aren't worth squat! Don't forget, it was the bible that said the earth was created in 7 days, then all of a sudden the religious leaders backtracked and said it's not to be taken literally...puhlease!

Megan DiMaria said...

Even your sad, frustrated words are beautiful words. Bless you.

The Lord is using you now, still. Be still and let Him hold you in the palm of His hand. You're not far from God, He's clasping you in his grip. The darkness is from being cupped in Hands. The world may shake you around, but you won't fall out.

Praying for a sense of peace and purpose for you, little sister.

A prisoner of hope,
Megan

Jenny said...

Megan says it better but our hearts are the same. Holding you in mine and lifting you up. BTW, the Job timeline thing? It's the one after God came and spoke that gets me. A paragraph for all that restoration but nothing about first being willing to believe, or how long it took to step out in faith and convince a wife who has lost all those children to try again.
Hold tight and curl up into Abba's chest. Listen for His heartbeat. Rest a bit.
Love you!

L.L. Barkat said...

Sometimes we don't get anywhere until we get here, this place of I-just-don't-know. Blessings as you wait... whether in the closet or out here in broad daylight.

Heather said...

Thank you all for the encouragement and sympathy! I definitely needed these words.

Gina Conroy said...

Been there, felt that. Still do, especially if I stop and think about it! But the only thing I know to do is thank God for the moment, whatever it is, even if you've got no clue where you're going or how long it will take to get there. Sending our cyber hugs!

Pamela said...

when you mentioned the Biblical characters, for some reason I thought of Jeremiah. Wasn't he the one who laid on his side naked, with his bare bottom exposed??

He did't know what or why he was there either, if I remember the story correctly.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Saw you on TWII.

Praying you'll feel God's presence in your life today. Keep drawing near to Him; He will draw near to you.

After my first husband died at the age of twenty-eight, there were times I felt very alone. One night in particular, I reached my hands toward Heaven and cried out, "Jesus, I need you! I need to feel your touch."

I did not feel anything, except the Holy Spirit reminding me to claim God's Word.

The first verse I prayed back to God was Deuteronomy 31:8, "And the Lord, He it is who doth go before thee, He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee, fear not, neither be dismayed."

May the words of our Savior and God speak peace to your heart today.

Your sister in Christ,
Susan Kelly Skitt

Jenn said...

I don't really have anything to say, except that I think I know what you're talking about.

Robin said...

Heather,

The thing is, for all you HAVE shared, there's so much more there, so much more under the surface. Some, acknowledged (by you), some, probably not.

You KNOW all the "right" responses, the "what-to-dos", even what you'd say to encourage someone else who was in the very position you're in now. You KNOW these (stupid, but not stupid) things, and so WHY can you not resolve your circumstances or your next step with your knowledge.

Why, indeed....

The mysteries of God? Perhaps....

You know His ways are not your own.

And because you believe He has purpose and intent in your life, that you're called to share His life, His love, you've got to wonder why it's so hard...why it's not clearer.

I look at you and I see a world of possibilities--you're so much farther "ahead" than I was at your age; you're on the cusp of something big and I'm sure you've got what it takes. You.have.what.it.takes!

Don't be undermined, don't second guess your giftings. They're seen...they're in the process of being known.

Although I'm not a huge fan of John Eldredge's, I read a book of his last year and it rocked my world. I guess in the good kind of way, but it sure didn't feel like it--"Waking the Dead". It's one of his older works, but the title caught my eye...I felt like the walking dead. And me...I'm so FULL of LIFE, it felt awful. One of his premises was how any move of our heart AWAY from the things we know to be true of God is not of God; that satan knows what we're capable of and he FEARS it...so he'll do anything he can to thwart our potential...and to attack our hearts. The dwelling place of God.

Sooo, dear one...be encouraged. You're worthy of attack; indecision, confusion is not of the Master Creator. Can He use it for your good and His glory? Of course :).

I'm saying a lot without saying much, but I just want you to know so many of us have been where you are...you are not alone, and I know others are joining me in praying for you.

peace....

Heather said...

Thank you all. You have been so encouraging. I'm glad I shared because God used you to affirm that even if I'm not getting affirmation (notice the irony!), He will use this stage.

Robert said...

your pouring out your heart does remind me of the prophets heather I like frederic buechner his books often have these themes spread within I wander in the deep dark waters as well and as you said so well maybe God meets us when we cant see/feel Him meeting us??? so glad i found your place heather you really DO have so much to share peace be yours

Anonymous said...

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