Saturday, July 28, 2007

Longings

I decided I should share a journal entry from a few days ago. This is not like me. I don't share my journal entries. Not because they are too private by any stretch, but because they are too boring. :) I'm not sure why this one is any different, but here goes!

July 27, 2007
I have been discontent. There is always a little bit of discontentedness in the back of my mind but some days it is much stronger. Today it was stronger. Discontentedness is generally a bad thing, but I'm not sure that this is. I'm trying to put my finger on what exactly I am discontent with.

I long for something bigger, something that will require my all. A greater every day purpose perhaps? But that is not quite it.

Sometimes it comes to my mind as the lover I hope to have someday, sometimes as children, sometimes as other countries, sometimes as a danger worth facing, sometimes as anything outside of this house and family, sometimes for peace within this house and family, sometimes I think it might be music that I seem to remember having felt, but can't remember actually having heard.

But any one of these things is not quite it, either. In my most honest moments I think my longing is too great even to be satisfied by the culmination of all these things. Am I just hard to please? Am I going to be a hopelessly discontent person for the rest of my life?

I know that all of these things at once can only happen in One Place and with One Person. So, although I hope that You will be granting some of these longings, or rather some of my longing, I realize that my real desire is for You, and the eternal perfection of a life with You.

This knowledge does not help me become content as I mostly feel heaven is a long time off. But I don't know that, do I? I can live as though heaven happens tomorrow. I only need enough contentment for today.

The oddest thing about the discontentedness that I mention in this journal entry is not that I am discontent, (which as I said has been going on more or less since I was born,) but rather that I am quite content at the same time. I used to be discontent in a very different sort of way.

In times past my discontentedness would fester for about a month or two and then I would come to Mom to spill it all out in anger and tears. At that time I was very sure what I was discontent with: myself, my Christianity, and God. I knew that He was my only answer . . . but He didn't seem to be answering anything.

Over the past months, maybe eighteen now, He has been expanding my little mind. He has been telling me that I wasn't content with my Christianity because I had created my own god.

The god I created was not a blood sucking idol. He was a very decent, encouraging, wise sort of chap who chanted "keep it up, try harder, you're almost there!" and

"You really should have read your Bible today. It is going to be awful since you didn't. But don't worry, I know you'll do better tomorrow. Tomorrow you will try harder." and

"Of course I accept you just as you are. I'm just asking you to be a little kinder to your family; that is not too much is it?" and

"I love you unconditionally. Why else would I come and die an agonizing death for an insignificant person like you?" and

"Dear, dear, IF you love me you will keep my commandments. You keep saying you love me, but look at all those commandments you keep breaking. This is all you can give me? Of course not, you just don't love me enough."

Did I say decent, encouraging? No, my god was demanding and manipulative, always keeping me on the downhill slope. Telling me to try harder, telling me I wasn't good enough, telling me he deserved more.

I did try. I tried to love him. I tried to obey him. I tried to be good enough. I tried to believe hard enough. I tried to be more humble. I tried to confess my sins. I tried fasting. I tried praying.

The outbursts came every now and then when I was honest with myself that it wasn't working. But I knew it should work because God is not a liar, so I tried harder. The last outburst I was more honest than ever before. My 'god' WAS lying to me. He knew that I didn't have any more to give, he promised peace and joy. I didn't have either.

After that, things gradually changed. Very slowly, very gently, one step at a time, I began to take God at His actual word and stopped trying to figure everything out and make sense of Him. I told Him I wasn't trying any more, I didn't understand anymore. I told Jesus that I would believe, in spite of my experience, that He was indeed good. But to believe anything else . . . I just didn't know. If He wanted me to have any greater understanding of Himself then He would have to build it Himself.

So He built. He continues to build (or is it heal?) me. For the first time in my life the 'good news' is actually good enough to try to explain even when there is so much that I don't understand yet and so much that sounds foolish.

All those things that I think might be the answer to my longing? they are just ways that I haven't had the opportunity to experience God yet. So am I content or not? Well . . . I am deeply happy (my circumstances are not always happy, but I am.) And yet, I want more.

My aim is to know Jesus,
to experience the power of His resurrection,
to share in His sufferings,
and to be like Him in His death . . .
(Philippians 3:10)




4 comments:

Bailey said...

Awesome post =D
It's really something to think about,for me...
Luv yew=)

Cassie said...

all I can say is...

Me too. Exactly.

Thanks for sharing so honestly. love you! Cass

Feeny Family said...

Lauren, you have such a gift of expressing your heart!
~Meagan F

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