life, My Faith

Unmet expectations

As I look at a lot of the current new books, I’m struck with a common theme. A lot of them tell the story of unmet expectations in some area of life (or every area of life). It’s just not what we thought it would be.

I get it. I mean I would say a good majority of my blogs from the last year at least touch on that theme because ya, this was not the plan I had for me. In that I’ve run the gamut from sad to disappointed to angry to afraid, and probably any emotion in between.

So if everyone is struggling with the same thing, from big authors and speakers to little me, what is the problem? Maybe the problem lies in the fact that we’ve been told so much that we can do whatever we want and be whatever we want that we think we have control over all the things. That we can set a map for our life and expect the journey to stay on course.

But the reality is we live in a fallen world and on this side of Heaven, bad things happen and there are all kinds of things at work in that. I’m not going to pretend that makes me feel any better about any of the things I’ve faced, but it is the reality of this life.

But the amazing part is, no matter what happens to me and no matter how I feel about any of it, God is still in control and He’s still good.

I keep thinking of a quote from Chronicles of Narnia. Susan asks if Aslan is safe. The reply is simply:

Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king.

Walking with God isn’t safe; it isn’t the easy way out. Yet we continue to wrestle with the same thing: is God good? Is He kind?

I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers but what I do know is the answers to those questions are absolutely “yes”, but what I also know is this. There are so many times when I want to say no. I don’t feel like He’s good. I don’t feel like He’s kind. When my circumstances feel very much unkind, I feel like maybe that alters the person of God. But it doesn’t.

The thing is the kindness of God has nothing to do with my circumstances.

Sure, I request for my circumstances to change. I would love to feel well, have all the energy in the world, and not have to undergo any medical testing this week. But the fact that none of those things are true doesn’t alter the makeup of God. He is who He says He is no matter what my current situation makes me believe.

The problem lies with me. He doesn’t change. I change. I change a lot. I’m pretty fickle. Just when I think I’ve gotten it all back on track, the train slips off again. The last week or so, since Goals Weekend, I’ve been pretty confident in the fact that God has it all under control and no matter what happens, we’re fine. I’ve been content in that knowledge and the love and prayers of my people. But today, fueled by exhaustion and the heart tricks that still come, I become overwhelmed by the whole thing again. Fear creeps in and the unknown feels very big and very scary.

And it’s in times like this, I struggle with whether or not a good God would make me do all this. Can’t I just sleep in Friday and get ready to host my people instead of going to the hospital for tests?

But this is just one trial. Even though I feel like there have been too many, it’s just a small blip on the radar and hopefully we will soon be on to bigger and better things, emphasis on better.

Maybe the focus should be on what I am supposed to learn in this season instead of why I’m back in a hard season again when I thought I made it out. Like the quote above says maybe God wants to change me before He changes my circumstances.

I’d really like the circumstances to change though, to have new themes to write about. To not worry about whether or not we ever figure out the crazy heart things on this side. These seasons have been challenging and not entirely fun, but have held a lot of good and a lot of blessings. But once again I’d like to reach a new season, hopefully a season where I only see doctors at work. For now, trudging ever forward, even when it’s hard and scary and all the things, confident in the knowledge that Gods goodness is NOT based on my circumstances. Thank goodness.

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