I contemplated naming this post “G-d is a Jerk,” but then it occurred to me that that would probably be a breach of the second commandment (or the third, depending on how you break up your commandments). So I didn’t (although I think that it probably would have gotten me more click-ity clicks in the old blog post feeds).
And why was I going to give this post such a controversial title?
Well, because (once again) God is making me do things that are completely messing up my plans.
This week was supposed to be my last week here in Kentucky. I was looking forward to going home to be with my family and back on the farm where there are some new little critters and kitties for me to see.
Then Clarence asked if I could stay a little longer. I said that I could give him two weeks and that was it. I was quite adamant that I was going home in May.
Then God happened. Two weeks ago, I was in the throes of making my final going home plans when suddenly I got the very distinct feeling that what I was doing was wrong. There were some very good reasons why I should stay and I knew that it would be better for some of the other people around me if I stayed…and I suddenly realized that me leaving would be selfish. This “you’re wrong” feeling took me so much by surprise that the first thing I did was go to my room and have a good cry. Because I had really wanted to go home, and now I knew that I couldn’t. As I have heard some Kentuckians put it: God had “laid it on my heart” that I needed to stay. And so I’m going to stay. Until August. And whither then? I cannot say.
The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t just crying because I wanted to go home. I was crying because I know that my faith has not been what it should be.
I’ve been kind of upset with God (oh, what a foolish thing to be!) for a while now. The fact of the matter is, I hate that I don’t have a plan. I hate that I have no idea where I’m going. I hate that I’m nowhere near to having the life that I thought that I would have a few years ago. The fact of the matter is, although I generally pretend that it doesn’t, it really bothers me that I’m not married and maybe never will be. It really bothers me that, for a girl who would list family and farm as the two most important things in life (after God), that I might never have my own family and that I might not live in Michigan and that I might not live on a farm. In short, all of the things that I most wanted, I might never have. And that really bothers me. And I’ve been discontented because of it.
That’s why on that day in my room, while I was crying, I couldn’t help thinking: God, why can’t I ever have what I want?
And it’s not that I haven’t had beautiful experiences and that I’m not enjoying my time here in Kentucky. Because I am. I just…want things to be the way that I want them to be. And I know that that’s wrong. And I know that God is way smarter and way kinder and way more wonderful than I will ever be. And I know that whatever he has planned for me is for the best. But it’s easier to tell myself these things than to believe them with my whole heart to the point where I gleefully declare “Yes, God! Whatever you want, I’ll do it!” And I want to be able to do that. So badly. But I’m just not there yet.
C.S. Lewis has a wonderful sci-fi trilogy, the second book of which is titled Perelandra. And in this book, one of the characters says this:
“One goes into the forest to pick food and already the thought of one fruit rather than another has grown up in one’s mind. Then, it may be, one finds a different fruit and not the fruit one thought of. One joy was expected and another is given. But this I had never noticed before—that the very moment of the finding there is in the mind a kind of thrusting back, or setting aside. The picture of the fruit you have not found is still, for a moment, before you. And if you wished—if it were possible to wish—you could keep it there. You could send your soul after the good you had expected, instead of turning to the good you had got. You could refuse the real good; you could make the real fruit taste insipid by thinking of the other.”
When I read this, I knew that I had been sending my soul after the good that I had expected, instead of the good that I had. God has given me some truly beautiful gifts over these past few years. And yet I keep pining after the gifts that he hasn’t given.
The fact is, I shouldn’t constantly feel like I need these extra things to feel loved and happy. God’s love is enough. God’s love is MORE than enough.
God, let me know that you love me. And let me know that that is enough. Let me know that that is more than enough.
Because until I do, I’m going to be crying in my room over the fact that things are good, but just aren’t good enough.
Which, I am completely willing to admit, is just silly.