Have you ever had to go back to square one? Have you ever worked through something really painful, only to have the wound reopened? Have you ever rid yourself of a demon, who later snuck back in through an unlocked window? Do you know the frustration that comes with these situations? Have you experienced the exasperation of extending a journey when you are already tired?
I think we all have.
Since my last, very exciting, post I have had surgery on my right hip. I am currently 7 weeks post-op and feeling better, but still have much work to do. Some of you may have no idea why a healthy, 22 year old would need hip surgery. The answer is: I tore the labrum in my hip playing soccer my freshman year of college. I played for three years with torn cartilage being pinched by my misshapen hip bone. Some of you may wonder how in the world I did that, but the story of that miracle is for another day (one that is coming soon.) The crazy thing about this? The labrum in my left hip is torn as well and in 3 weeks I will be having a second operation.
This may not seem that bad since I am recovering well from the last surgery, but for those who know me well you know that I cannot stand being sedentary. I love being the "go-to-gal", being involved in anything and everything, and simply being a "doer". Needless to say, I am not looking forward to starting over the healing process just 10 weeks after my first surgery and only 5 weeks after I started walking again.
While this is going to be a challenge physically, it is not the demon I speak of.
This past summer, I had an internship in inner city Toledo. I wrote about it here. While I was there I experienced so many amazing things, but the most difficult was solitude. I was, for the most part, by myself in a city I had never been to prior to moving there. I encountered the challenge of relying solely on the Lord for my comfort and my companionship, which is the kind of life I asked for and when it was given to me I longed to run from it. I did a pretty decent job running away from the solitude until my internship supervisor (now one of my most dear friends) sent me on a mandatory solitude retreat for 3 days.
So for 3 whole days I was by myself in a hermitage in the woods. Talk about facing some fears! During those days Jesus did not appear in the flesh like my mind somewhat hoped for on several occasions; however, I experienced a peace and rest that surpasses any explanation I could offer here. So my life should be totally different than before, right? I should be experiencing His peace daily and not want to fill every minute of my time with service instead of filling it with his presence, right?
Wrong. Clue the unlocked window.
I thought I had dealt with my issues regarding silence, solitude, and resting. I am finding it is going to take more than 3 days for that to happen. I let my busy calender and selfish desires creep into my heart again. I let them rule me, instead of the peace of my King. So, here I am. I am living 3 hours away from my soon-to-be husband, 2 hours from my very best friends, and in a town where I know absolutely no one. This is what I like to call situational irony. I would be much wiser to call it God.
For the past few weeks I have been fighting the silence. I have been running from it and longing for what used to be and what is to come. I have not often cried, but when I have it has been out of an overflow from my spirit. Why? Because I have been avoiding the very reason why I am here. The Bible has a few stories about people who ran from God's purposes....I don't think I would enjoy the belly of a whale.
This all leads me to my point. I am currently standing at the base of an all-too-familiar mountain. I wish I had a name for this mountain, but all I know is that it involves fear and the most painfully clear mirror one could imagine. The wonderful and most difficult thing about this mountain, is there is absolutely no way I can climb it by myself. I need my sweet Jesus, the powerful Holy Spirit, and the abounding love of my Father. I think this is precisely the reason I have been brought to it.
So now is a time I am so thankful for the patience of God. I am blessed that, by His grace, He willingly walks me through lessons He has already taught me and up mountains He has already helped me climb.
What are the mountains in your life made up of? Do they look like mine? Are you afraid of the silence and solitude it takes to hear Him? Have you allowed God to show you the things you need to overcome?
I pray that both you and I may rejoice in the places we have been led and that we would allow God to re-teach us the things that are vital to life in Him.
::By His Grace & For His Glory::