Wow - it's been almost a month since I've posted anything. Needless to say, beyond excuse, this month has been hellish. More than any other reason, I haven't blogged because I couldn't. I couldn't allow the possibility of sharing or venting about certain things going on in our life and in our church. For those who don't know, Paul is the volunteer associate pastor at a small church here in good ole' Alabama. Our small church has 6 families currently, and about a month ago, we found out that our pastor and his wife are resigning from their position. This announcement came just two days after finding out that our best friends in the church had decided it was time for them to move on to a new ministry. As the "second in command", Paul has been put in a complicated position with the decisions to be made about our church, and in turn, that has put us in a hard place. If you read previous blog posts, we were already in a hard place, but in light of the past month, that old hard place seems soft in comparison. I struggle with depression somewhat regularly, but this past month, I've been beyond depression...the term "depression" would invoke some sort of emotional response to life, but I have been to the point of being so numb, I barely realize how I get from one place to another, and I have missed out on relational necessities within my family, my friendships, etc. It's almost metaphysical...it's very strange.
I have moments where light breaks through. I have been able to laugh at my ever-changing son. I haven't fully given in to the desires of my sinful nature. I haven't run away, even though every rarely used muscle in my body is screaming for the door. I didn't know how to describe it fully until this morning. I was randomly led to a batch of sermons from the Together for the Gospel conference that happened a couple weeks ago. I'm hearing C.J. Mahaney preach about losing heart as a pastor while I'm writing this, and I've had to pause the writing because I'm astounded at the parallels between what I'm writing and what he's saying. The scripture passage he's speaking from is in 2 Corinthians 4 where Paul is talking about his call, his struggle and his "but not" moments. The pathetic struggle for me is whether or not to allow God to give me a "but not" moment. This has been an ongoing struggle for me since I gave my life to Jesus when I was 18. It's so easy for me to let the enemy block me from allowing God to handle my crap. I feel like I need to fight this fight for myself. I've gotten better over the years at seeing and grasping perspective, but that has pushed me into a different part of the struggle - of not letting myself process what I'm going through. So now I'm trying to wade through the waters of processing vs. fighting, of fighting vs. trust. That's what this all comes down to, and what I feel like God spoke to me yesterday as I was finally giving Him some of my time, rather than the TV or food. It comes down to trust and surrender. Am I going to surrender myself, our family, the decisions that have to be made, and the future to God, and trust that He has it all in His hands? Am I going to allow the Holy Spirit to imprint upon my heart the "but not" truths that Paul talks about in his letter? Am I going to hold fast to the principles He has already taught me, and allow God to remove the barriers that need to be removed from my heart?
My answer is...I don't know. I feel like I have to let the breath out of my lungs and let my head fall below the surface of this fight. We've been treading water for so long, fighting in our own power to gulp down air...and I'm exhausted.
Okay, God...okay. You can make even this dust beautiful. I can be somewhat settled in the fact that You and your plans are a mystery right now. Help me. Be my strength.