And then another.
They come slowly, haltingly; a bit like how my walk with God feels right now.
And then another.
Cautious; careful, yet hopeful. And knowing that truly, there is only one direction to walk. Only one that leads to life. Because every other path is futile. I have known this for many years now. But these days, the knowledge is “new every morning.”
My hand is better. And here’s the awful thing: I feel so ungrateful sometimes. My hand is better, but not fully healed. I can type, but I cannot carry a suitcase.
Can one be partially grateful? Is that not just ingratitude in formal dress?
And yet, every day I am stronger. And every day, I think, my faith is stronger. Every day, I am grateful to Him for the beauty I see, for His presence, even when I can’t feel it. I have wrestled with God. I still wrestle, some days when the cat gets angry at me for leaving her alone too much or I’m late to work or I can’t find what I need at the store–the days life just doesn’t go in my intended direction. I now walk with a limp. His limp.
I am working now. It is part-time; it does not cover the bills; but it is fun and it is interesting and it gets me out of the house. Some days I am overwhelmingly grateful for it and other days I am desperately afraid that God has forgotten me still. Some days I firmly believe this job is God’s will for me and other days I think it is just something I have found to do until God comes back from his fishing trip. “Oh! Her! [slaps His forehead] I completely forgot…”
I’ve been waiting to write because I wanted to wait for the denouement—I wanted this whole odd, painful period to make sense. I wanted to tie this up so neatly, with a bow (red, perhaps, shot with gold)—a gift that would encourage and uplift. A gift that would at least make sense to you… and to me.
But then I realized that it may never make sense, this side of heaven. And if I wait…well, all that will do is silence my voice. The voice that God gave me. The voice He expects me to use for his glory. The words of praise He deserves.
So I write, and the questions swirl around me and the answers elude. I sing through the pain. I pray, and sometimes it’s less prayer and more raw, anguished cry: “Have You forgotten?”
And the question lingers: Maybe it isn’t so much about finding the answers, as worshiping through the questions, the fear and the doubt? I know that is the “right” Christian response to difficulty and trial. It’s funny how quickly the “right” Christian response can turn trite and banal when you’re the one living the question. But as I find the courage to do just that—worship through the question—it seems the angst stills and I find God’s peace at the center of the storm.
Maybe that’s what He’s trying to teach me.
There’s a meme going around Facebook that so fits my mood right now. The first panel is Jesus with his arm around His child, smiling and saying, “….where you see one set of footprints is where I carried you.” In the second panel, Jesus says with a bit of a shrug, “…that long groove is where I dragged you, kicking and screaming…”
I laugh every time I see it. Mostly because I get the sense that right now I’m leaving a very long groove.
But at least He hasn’t let go.
And I’m still singing, even as I walk through this life with a limp.