Recently my personal life has more resembled Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate events rather than any sort of fairy tale. I blame this mostly on the incredibly weird dating experiences I’ve had the last year or so. While I rarely write about my relationships, I do have to say that they have recently teetered between mind blowingly ridiculous and heartbreaking.
In all honesty, I feel a little like a brittle rubber band. Kind of like the ones wrapped around old stubby colored pencils that are thrown to the back of a junk drawer. However, one day the rubber band is discovered and needed for another use. But after only a couple tries at being wrapped around something new, it snaps.
That describes a point I hit a short time ago. In a succession of events beyond my control I had hit a wall. But that wall was superseded by the ridiculous actions of another person that sent me careening over the edge. My emotions were barreling toward that moment where hysterical laughter and weeping meet with the ferocity of fire consuming dry and thirsty trees. Part of me was seriously considering giving in to totally lunacy then I remembered I was at my desk.
My coworkers didn’t need one more reason to think I was insane. And I suddenly realized I didn’t want to cry streams of mascara, causing me to resemble Heath Ledger in ‘The Dark Knight’. So my heart was forced to not imbibe in it’s desire to outwardly express it’s inward pain. But it was still there… lingering.
However after a few minutes of panicked misery – Someone – tapped on the door of my heart. As the awareness of that sunk in, I was reminded that I was not alone. My pain, heartbreak and confusion were being seen by that Someone who desired give me comfort, healing and order. I so welcomed His embrace.
A few days after this incident, I was chatting with a friend who was curious about my most recent foray into the dating world. I told her that it hadn’t ended well. Like any good friend, she offered sympathy, acknowledging that it must have been difficult.
I thought about her words for a moment then looked at her and smiled. My response was “yes, but the Lord has been faithful. It has been hard. And I’m not stuffing down any pain or disappointment. But just because people are disappointing doesn’t mean the faithfulness of the Lord changes. So I’m resting in that.”
Later I thought back on those words, feeling slightly amazed by them. Confession: I haven’t always felt that way. The things that have been inflicted upon me by other people or my own stupidity always seemed to be Jesus’ fault because He let it happen. But the longer I live, the more I know of Him and experience His grace, love and chastisement, the fallacy in my way of thinking becomes evident.
While God causes and allows things – He truly does use all to my benefit. I have a choice in my response to what He’s trying to work in me. More times than I care to admit or remember I’ve resembled a bratty child. You know – red faced, screaming, giant crocodile tears oozing down my fat little face.
However, the things I’ve gone through recently have only served to make me more aware of His goodness. His faithfulness, mercy and grace. Out of so many things about Him, Jesus’ unchanging nature fascinates me. And only leads me to trust Him more.
I don’t know who is reading this or what circumstances are being faced. I know life is difficult – sometimes more so than we could have ever thought possible. But I also know the easy way out is to give up. To be bitter. Or to be passive. I’ve struggled with all those things myself. Nonetheless, the challenge to myself and anyone else is to look for the ‘yes – but’ in your circumstance. Seek the Lord. He is more than willing to show Himself to us if we would but pursue Him with our whole hearts.
In doing that, our lives might resemble Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events to family, friends… even the world. But I’m pretty sure to the Lord it looks like glorious refining fire and a chance for us to grow that much closer to Him.