*A note before you read this. After doing an audit of my blog in 2022, I have decided to leave content that speaks to the Christian I was at the time this was written. I no longer identify as Christian (and haven’t for a very long time.) I chose to leave these posts because it is who I was then and it is important to me to be honest and true with every iteration and evolution of self that I experience. I may decide to add comments to the end of posts like this as well
In this (long) series:
Sometimes Things Don’t Turn Out As I Planned
Shepherds Aren’t Always Nice
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 1
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 2
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 3
How Things Come Together When God Tries To Get My Attention Part 4
Things still seem disjointed as I’m telling these stories. To rein the main points back in and wrangle them back into some semblance of control, maybe I need to recap a bit. Or at least touch on some main themes.
I took over operations of ccPublishing, mother company to Relief Journal and The Midnight Diner with no prior experience. Since the company has been in my control, almost the minute I took charge, my mom fell ill and I spent every day I could with her until I watched her breathe her last. I’ve hidden my emotions, my grief, by making myself busy. Too busy. Which is pretty typical for me. I probably would’ve just continued on that path, that cycle, except that a person I respect believes and feels that I come off as cold and unemotional and sometimes don’t appear to be conversing, but instead want to be obeyed.
For whatever reason, it was this person’s statements coupled with the major messages of The Relevant Conference that led me to this point, this broken place. It was my roommate, Brooke, who brought to light and asked questions that made me admit that I do indeed shutdown, disconnect, turn off all things emotional.
It’s not that I don’t experience these emotions at all. I just refuse to do so in public. Or in front of people I don’t trust.
And I’m sorry if you’re reading this and think you’re not worthy of my trust. That’s not the case. Not at all.
The fact is I don’t think I truly trust anyone. Maybe my husband. But I don’t even grieve in front of him much. Yes, I have cried in front of him. I have cried in front of a few people. Not many. I have told him everything I’ve written here. He knows. I let him comfort me…uhm…sometimes.
But most times, I just want to be alone.
And I can’t figure out if that’s actually bad.
I think I trust God. (I believe. Help me in my unbelief.)
But if I’m going to be honest here
then I will have to admit a few things
In learning about God, in my understanding of how things might work when you give Him control—things happen that hurt (like this stuff I’ve been going on and on about all these days.) Things happen that hurt worse than what I’ve been talking about. I’ve been told that there’s reason for it…
Count it joy in trial
Endurance, proven character, hope, faith
So. If these things happen to carve me into who I am, if I am clay in the Potter’s Hand and He is forming me into His creation and I am bending to His will, and if these things are preparing me for things to come…
what is to come?
am I being prepared for something even more painful?
my mind wanders, it goes to bad, ugly places. The book of the Bible that I don’t want to read? Job. My mind goes to those places. Where everything is stripped from me. Because if I’m upstanding like Job, maybe God will tell Satan, “Here is my servant, Michelle. Do with her as you please, but just don’t take her life.”
maybe i really don’t trust my God, maybe i think He is going to continually hurt me with this pruning, with this refining
and when i hear about others who have never faced tragedy, maybe i wonder why they get to be blessed and loved and protected?
and i think, holy crap—maybe i am being blessed and loved and protected and maybe things would be much, much worse
in my suffering, i don’t feel very loved or blessed or protected
i go alone to my place, i get on my face before God and i pray like David. i pray and i plead and He gives me a little more strength
i tell Him what i’m afraid of, why i’m angry with Him, where it hurts, and i tell Him how sorry i am for arguing with Him
forgiveness washes over me, and like a song i heard, i forget forgiveness is Weightless because everything else was so very heavy, dragging my sore body down, but He takes it, all of it, more than expected.
We have these conversations, God and I. It’s mostly me. I talk a lot. I complain even more. I’m very rarely grateful, not enough though.
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear,” says the Lord.
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but Godwasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?”
That prayer at the conference, the tree that said, “I am the vine,” the one I gave away like He told me to do, the one that said, “and He whispers in the wind,”
He was answering (whispering) before I knew I needed to ask something.
(sorry again) …to be continued.