Nearly a year ago, I stepped away from posting to this blog. I’ve heard from so many of you since then, and I am so grateful for the love, concern, and prayers that you gave me. I don’t know what part they played in getting me to this place, but our Father does and His reward for you is more than I could dream. Still, I bless you and THANK YOU! Much of the past year has seen me grappling with my life in a way that seemed long overdue, and I just couldn’t write about it. In particular, I was asking myself this question: What am I doing?
When I first stopped writing on the blog, it was because of a HUGE spiritual correction. I was not in the Spirit, I was not living in my new creation, and the fruit of this was death. I knew that I couldn’t write another word until I was certain that it was Christ in me speaking. I was in great despair over what I’d done and who I was. This was familiar ground, and I found myself angry at the familiarity. “What am I DOING? What am I doing with my life? What am I doing with the Lord? Here I am AGAIN!”
What am I doing with my life?
I made a choice to wait, really wait for God to move before I moved. And so I did. In doing so, I learned that waiting isn’t passive. That’s not a statement of mere revelation anymore; it’s the voice of experience. Waiting on God is a furnace that burns out effort and torches pride. As I waited, every single area of my life began to fall apart, and I do mean EVERY area – my health, my sleep, my house, my finances, my relationships, everything. I fell into a deep depression and couldn’t get out. I thought, “My life is circling the drain and I can do nothing to stop it. This isn’t what the Christian life should be according to everything I’ve read. What is wrong with me, God? WHAT am I doing?”
I must confess to you that I have long struggled to be in my life, in the moment, as it was happening. I have never been fully engaged with my own story. It’s a terribleness that I truly hope few have felt. And it created great spiritual torment for me. How can I fully surrender a life that I can’t seem to get IN? It’s been a crisis for me for a very long time and is the source of a deep despair and desperation that never left my heart. In the last year as everything spiraled down, that despair became so acute that I could actually feel it. How could I still be so disconnected to my own life? How could I sit there, paralyzed, while my world fell apart around me?
What am I doing with Jesus?
Strangely, even as things got worse instead of better, I knew that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t understand why God wasn’t intervening to stop my headlong tumble to the bottom, but I knew He was there. I flailed and railed and tried everything I knew to stop the slide, but nothing worked. I wondered if I was an apostate. Was this what it was to fall away from the Lord? And if so, why did I still have such awareness of Him? I have never felt so stupid, so helpless, so lazy, so irresponsible, so depressed… I was a failure beyond my worst nightmares. Now what?
I came to the end of me and stopped trying. I was sick for two months and then hit with a physical and mental fatigue that wouldn’t leave. I had no energy, no answers, and no healing. But as I sat in the desert of my failure, my complete nothingness, I discovered that I was actually IN my life. It was truly MY failure. I had nothing left to give or say or do or be. My life, and it was finally mine in all reality, was nothing. I was nothing! But at last, I WAS. I don’t have words to describe this, so I won’t try.
What am I doing? Who cares! What is HE doing?!
In the beginning of this post, I said that this past year found me grappling with my life, but that’s not actually true. The Holy Spirit did a hidden work in my heart to bring me to the place where I was willing to be grappled with, and then He grappled with me. He did it all, not me! He is everything, so I don’t need to be anything. But it’s one thing to say that and quite another to LIVE IT. I prayed for the scripture to explain not just the last year of my life, but the whole of it. Martha gave it to me.
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us…
Ephesians 3:20 AMP
I kept asking, “What am I doing?!” And while it’s a question worth asking, there’s another that matters much, much more: “What is HE doing?” The Holy Spirit is at work and He is able! As Martha has told me again and again and again, a genuine “yes” to the Lord, however weak and feeble, is all He needs from us. I gave Jesus that feeble “yes” and He went to work. I can’t change yesterday and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m in my life now. And that’s His doing. I can’t imagine what comes next and I don’t have to. Getting us to the place that is “infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams” is His to do and He is able!