Coping with Being Human and Being Christian
Yesterday, the weeping came and I couldn’t stop it. It was entirely out of my control.
I am looking to move. I am on disability after more than 20 years of teaching elementary school. I live in California. I will start on Medicare in a month-and-a-half, which, with the HMO payment, will decrease the disability payment by nearly $200.
After living with other people, paying rent, for nearly 4 years, it is time for me to live on my own. I have at times been a burden to these others. At times, I have quietly coped with a lack of privacy; personal space; the freedom to express an opinion about needing quiet. It is my self-made bondage, not wanting to intrude on the extreme generosity of others.
It has been very lonely at times living with other people. I am a single woman, 63, and I’m ready for the solitude of living by myself. Yet I am fearful about giving up half my check or more to rent.
Most of the time I trust in God’s word; that He has a plan for me, that he will present me with the perfect, affordable place, where I can work on Branches – the curriculum – spread His light and love, build His kingdom, and be at peace.
But then there are those other times…like yesterday…when I wept an ocean. When fear and doubt took me over, ravaged me, left me utterly exhausted.
Drifting in cyberspace from State to State, now even looking at the UK to see if I can find an affordable place of respite, something more than 500sq ft, a 1BR/1BA somewhere quiet, by water, or in the country, with a patio or deck, and internet connection…with a washer and dryer in my own place. Somewhere I won’t ever have to move again. Is all this too much to ask, to even hope for?
Pulling out the printed Psalm, I read to calm myself:
“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.” (107:29-30)
Only the fear and doubt and confusion return, like the crouching lion Peter warned about.
A friend appeared, via email, reminding me that His angels will lead me where His waters flow pure and sweet and cool.
As someone who desires to be authentic, who wants to tell the truth, I must say that in this lifelong journey of following Jesus, it is not always easy. While most of the time, it fills my heart, many times it hurts. It’s a struggle. And the struggle is between the “doing” – what I think I should be doing to help myself, doing what others expect of me, doing it the right way – and the “being” – the total surrender of giving it up to God, the absolute trust that He will provide, just as He has promised He would, the separating of myself from the “shoulds” and walking side-by-side with him.
This morning, as I prayed and wrote in my journal, two words of wisdom popped out at me. One from some who wrote Scripture, another from one who studied Scripture – both evoked from the Holy Spirit.
The first from Paul, who wrote to the Romans in the first century: “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (12:2)
The second from Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest*: “A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.”
Coping with being human and being Christian means riding the roller coaster and hanging on, having faith that God is in the driver’s seat, and the ride will end well and smoothly. Today I have faith; today I am an overcomer.