Saturday, January 21, 2012

it's personal

I don't often write very personally on this blog. I'm not sure if it's because I don't want to feel that vulnerable -- writing openly about the more intimate details of my life on a public blog -- or just because that's not really my intent with this particular blog. At any rate, I feel like being a little more open with you tonight, so bare with me.

Sometimes I find myself feeling frustrated by various circumstances in our life (I know, who doesn't, right?). The fact that we're both 28 and only just get started in so many ways is especially tough for me to accept some days. But reading through my old journal I was reminded anew of one of the biggest reasons why and I think I needed to remember, though it is always tempting to try to forget pain and suffering. It wasn't laziness. It wasn't any lack of motivation on either of our parts. It was due to circumstances entirely outside our control. But circumstances that God used to help us grow and mature and to become the people we are today (who, by the way, are still very busy with that whole maturing thing!). Around the time I met my husband, he was just coming towards the end of a long struggle and subsequent treatment for Lyme disease at 21. He'd been so ill he had to drop out of school. I had recently fallen ill with Lyme as well (though at the time we met I was clueless -- all I knew was that I went from being a very active, healthy individual to sleeping 18+ hours a day, experiencing pain for "no reason", and a myriad of other strange symptoms), and it was probably largely that thing (that wretched, life-stealing thing!) that helped bring us together. It gave us an instant connection that we didn't have with our other friends. It's that "Ah-ha!" moment when you make that kind of connection with someone and suddenly you're not strangers anymore. I have to remind myself often that every little thing that happens in our lives is just another piece of God's plan for us ("For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11), so however hard it may be to bear at the time, or how much difficulty we have in accepting it with peace once it is past, we must constantly remind ourselves that this too was God's will for us, just as much as all the good things. It is easy to see God and His providence in a happy marriage to your best friend, having a nice home, or a job that you love. It is much more difficult to see in the midst of the storms and their aftermath, but He is there.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139 ESV)

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