I know there’s a problem when I am sitting in my room and feel like I have a dozen pieces of rope tied to me, pulling me in a dozen different directions.
“Do this!” one rope yells.
“No, do this!” another exclaims.
“I want to do this…” a beautiful rope whispers to me.
“What are you talking about- you need to do this!!” screams the rope wrapped around my feet.
None of these things are so called bad things. Half of them are just my different responsibilities. Cleaning, homework, even blog writing. I’m caught between what my heart, head, and hands desire to do to and what I feel obligated to do. What do I do?! The ropes pull even tighter.
I’m about to fall. Teetering, tottering, overwhelmed by it all.
“Kayla, what are you doing?”
A voice stronger than the wind asks.
“I.. uhh… ummm…” I splutter. However, in my heart I know I have been running away. Not physically. I show up to His presence every morning and survive because of quiet time with God. But I have so much to process that I talk the whole time. I’m running away from the quiet.
Why? I’m afraid. I’m afraid to sit and be still because there my pain will hit me straight in the face and, I fear, pull my heart down into the depths of despair. I become frustrated at myself because half the time I feel like I’m living out a joyful dream from Heaven, and the other half of life just looks like a vulnerable heart beating out in the open, raw, exposed, and sliced by separation. Yet I have so many “woah” moments where I absolutely love where I’m living! Then… I wake up on a Saturday morning and my mind wanders aimlessly around the streets of my hometown. Then I realize how much I miss my friends who left here a month ago. And without even realizing it, I am turning to chocolate pudding for comfort and try to justify myself that I’m “hungry” and played soccer the day before.
“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
I have seen this verse before. I’m naturally optimistic, so I’m encouraged by the fact that sufferings ultimately provide hope (and trust in God’s character). Yet what hit me last night was the second part. Hope doesn’t put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
God is love. He is a father who does not leave His children to fend for themselves, but graciously provides all that they need. He is the one that builds character in us, a strength and beauty that can endure through all suffering. He gives us hope. A call to His heart…. His soft heart beating courageously with immense love for us.
“What am I supposed to be doing right now?!” I ask. I have finally stopped and let Him fill me. Oh, God. The leftover ropes of obligation hang limply off my arms. This is what He responds…
His answer will never be outdated, never be forgotten, never be squelched by circumstances. His Love. May you hold on to it during this time, with all you have.