“When it rains, it pours.”
I’m pretty sure whoever coined that phrase was not talking about the weather.
But since it’s been, well, raining and storming and flooding around my part of the country, this phrase has become both a literal and figurative truth in my life.
Last week, I talked briefly about the pull of emotional eating–about how my diet changes forced me to go to the true Source of comfort–but I didn’t expound much.
Today, I’m going to expound. And I’m not gonna lie, this is going to be an all-guts-bared kind of post. Because the truth is, rain does come.
In my life, it has taken the form of many things lately.
On the home front, my $3,000 surgery bill has been capped off by roofing problems on our house, which has led to major leaking, which has led to mold. And oh by the way, my husband went to replace our front porch lightbulb last night and discovered yet another major leak. Where it’s coming from, we don’t know yet.
Let’s see, what else? One of the many thunderstorms to blow through here caused a lightning strike in our backyard, snapping a tree in half…mere feet from our kids’ trampoline.
Not to mention the natural “storms” that come with summer break — whining and complaining, short tempers… (and that’s not even talking about the kids yet).
On top of all this, I’ve hit disappointments in my writing career. Anyone who writes Christian fiction is no stranger to this. Earlier this year, Family Christian Stores announced they were filing for bankruptcy. This contributed to the overall unstable environment already permeating the industry. Add in another publishing house closing their fiction doors, narrowing the slots for an unpublished author like myself, and it can be downright depressing.
I wish I could say I’ve handled all of these things with grace and trust and contentment. But the truth is, I’ve cried, gotten frustrated, asked “why” more times than I can count, even yelled at God and told Him I’ll come to trust Him eventually, but I’m frankly not very happy with Him right now.
(I warned you this wouldn’t be pretty.)
The ironic thing in all of this? My life coaching group, which has been meeting all summer, introduced new homework last week. I’m supposed to write a vision statement for my life, detailing what it looks like if everything I want in life is happening one year from now.
Can I be honest? (Not that I haven’t been so far… :))
I can’t even bring myself to write this statement.
I know, right? Me, the writer of the group, can’t even summon the words to verbalize a vision for my life.
Because what if the things I really want in life don’t happen? What if these dreams and goals God has put on my heart end up crumbling to dust? What if He ultimately tells me no, and the whole purpose in this is to learn something in the journey?
Not that learning something isn’t enough. But I secretly want more. And the fear that I’ll never get there can be paralyzing.
Have you ever gone to a church service that seemed orchestrated solely for you? Heard a message or sermon that was eerily too close to your current place in life?
Well, last Sunday was that day for me. The worship alone had me blubbering with tears. As I sang the words about trusting God in every season, inside I was telling Him, “I’m not sure I really believe this right now. This season feels like more than I can handle. The never-ending house problems, the rejections in my writing career…This isn’t what I signed up for. But deep inside, I know words dictate actions which dictate feelings, so I’m choosing to sing this song and hope a sliver of the truth will get through to my heart somehow.”
And then in the sermon, I heard that sliver of truth.
I was reminded that Moses spent 40 years leading the Israelites around the desert. Forty. Years! (That makes my 6-1/2 years of writing for publication seem like a whisper of time.) There was nothing about that long-ago exodus that was easy, but God provided daily manna–just enough to get the Israelites through.
And something even more amazing? God let Moses vent his frustrations! Just read Psalm 90:13, and you’ll see the proof.
AND, get this… The same God who let Moses ask the hard questions, who let him accuse God of “sweeping people away like dreams that disappear” — the same God who let His own Son come before Him, crying until His distress turned sweat to blood, honestly admitting He wasn’t sure He could go through with the crucifixion — that same God gives me permission to bring my unfiltered emotions to Him.
No, He doesn’t promise life will be easy. No, He doesn’t promise to do things my way.
But He does promise that if I lift my eyes and keep coming to Him with my honest questions and fears and doubts, He’ll eventually give me the strength to get off my knees and start walking again.
And maybe, just maybe, if I build up enough momentum, He’ll help me pick up my pace and run.
And if I keep my eyes on Him, even through the fear and lack of trust, maybe He’ll even give me wings and let me soar up high like an eagle.
That’s the only hope I can cling to right now.
While the rain is pouring and nothing makes sense and I’m downright exhausted and weary from trying to keep it all together, God promises to lift me up above the clouds. Maybe not in my timing, maybe not in the way I would like Him to…but according to His perfect plan.