Purging

I’ve been away from writing on this blog frequently because I started a second project (www.lovefirstparentsecond.wordpress.com). But I miss being able to share here. And I have something to write about, so, voila. Here we go.

My husband and I recently moved to a temporary apartment in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. A lot of people have been asking questions like, “How do you like it there?”

I’ve been really tempered with my speech because I’ve only wanted to express gratitude for this shear gift that God has given to us and what He’s doing in our lives. But the whole truth is that our new life is a gift AND it’s incredibly hard to be in this place. It’s not that I’m a pessimist.  I have to learn how to “be” right now. Hold your judgment and let me explain.

Being in such a perfect place is like forced bed rest. Your first inclination is to try to force yourself to stand up. You  quickly realize that you’re on bed rest for a reason. Then the second thing you do is just veg out. But that only lasts so long. And then the third thing you do is sit in silence and just think. There’s the tough part.

Just sitting here is like a computer compressing downloaded files. I’ve already gone through tough times and reflected on them, but now, the weight of six years of cataclysmic change is pressing into my bones. Add that to the fact that my doctor dropped a big health scare on me, and normal family dealings, and you have a woman who is paralyzed.I can barely pray. I often ignore phone calls. I hate responding to email. I don’t know how to explain this pain. I don’t think any of you can think of me other than a whiny brat right now. But when you go through it, if you go through it, you’ll get it.

My comfort during this very confusing time has been Ecclesiastes. Most people think of Ecclesiastes in regards to it’s most famous quotes:

There is no new thing under the sun.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

And thanks to Dave Mathews Band, the most famous, “A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to       drink, and to be merry.”

But Ecclesiastes has so much more than a couple of zinger lines.  The Message’s introduction says that the book reminds us that we should “call (to) a halt our various and futile attempts to make something out of our lives, so that we can give our full attention to God — who He is and what He does to make something out of us…. (Ecclesiastes) functions not as a meal, but as a bath. It is not nourishment; it is cleansing. It is repentance. It is purging. We read Ecclesiastes to get scrubbed clean from illusion and sentiment….”

After six years of striving. Six years of fighting to make something good out of bad mistakes. Six years of working for God because I knew that my life could only be redeemed in His hands, Ecclesiastes comes in and breathes life. It reminds me that it’s okay to mourn, even after you’ve gotten through something difficult. It infuses me with hope that there’s not a laundry list of spiritual practices that I have to do. It’s submission to God and that’s it. It reminds me that even though I’m tempted, because of exhaustion, to just indulge, that that’s not going to restore me. It takes away the power of current intense situations. And maybe most importantly, it instructs me to make the most out of what God gives.

Right now, God’s given me a place to rest. And so, rest I shall. By loving my husband and kids in a way that I’ve never been able to do before. By spending time outdoors. And by <smile> writing to my heart’s content.

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