When I first started out on this journey to write a faith inspired blog I was filled with all kinds of motivation to share what has happened along my journey and the things that I have learned. The content of my blog has changed/grown in the short 5 months that I have been writing because my relationship with God has changed and grown in many ways. It’s not a steady upward growth. Many times it feels like a see saw of emotions.
It’s like sitting in Calculus class and feeling completely lost one day and the next you think you finally get it…until something else is thrown into the equation and you have to “relearn” how to work through the new problem. However, steadily you gain a better general knowledge of how to work through and learn from each new equation thrown at you.
I started reading a new book a couple days ago. I was drawn to it by the description and also because it is by one of my favorite faith writers. She described herself being in a season of life that I could relate to all too well! I was completely surprised to find out that she herself had to deal with similar issues. This woman, who I had grown to respect and cherish because of her faith and her strength, had the same devastating and heartbreaking reality as myself.
I initially wanted to read the book because I wanted to see how her story ended. I wanted her to offer me hope and encouragement, maybe even some good advice on how to get to the same ending as she did (assuming she got the ending that we both so desperately pray for).
However, as I sit here after reading only a third of the way through her book, I am amazed at how my perspective has changed. I still want to know how she faired in her desert time because I care as an admirer of her work and of her faith. But she has helped me to see my own situation in a different light, the same that she herself had to discover through her own searching. I know that I am able to understand her and to gain from her words only because I have been growing in my relationship with God. He has given me the sight and the wisdom to understand.
To use her words in my own translation… God has allowed my situation to become dust in order to make something new and better. Like the potter who takes dust and adds water to make clay, God (THE potter) is fashioning me/my life to become a new vessel without the cracks and holes that it had before.
To have your life turned to dust does NOT feel good. It feels empty and chaotic. The slightest breeze threatens to carry pieces of you away. However, if I stay under the cover of God’s sheltering arms, the breeze will be hard pressed to stir me.
The other illustration she gave that resonated with me was feeling like I have been licking the floors of hell itself. That satan’s whispers of “not enough” have pressed my spirit so low that some moments, even some days, I feel like I am being held down under the weight of his spike tipped boots, begging for God to relieve me of this pain. Craving for normalcy to return as I watch the world around me go on living with their happy lives and loving relationships.
The only way to get out from underfoot though, is to strengthen myself with God’s love for me and to live loved. To show compassion to not only others, but also to myself. To ignore the feelings of “not enough” any time of I want to judge myself or to listen to all of the heartbreaking words that others say that do nothing but threaten to rip the past years of my life to shreds.
The life that felt like an adult coloring book. You had spent time drawing the lines and creating a picture that simply awaited to be colored in. This is how she described her life. Her husband, her children and herself had spent the past 2 decades creating this drawing and she had been looking forward to the next season of her life, when her children were grown and out of the house. When her and her husband could finally spend time adding color to the picture. Then it happened. The news left her feeling as if the entire canvas had been wiped off in a single swipe. Where were the past 2 decades of this life’s story? Why does it no longer exist? Why did it have to be destroyed? Where had her normal gone?
God promises that he will never leave us. That He will never forsake us and that He will lead us to something more beautiful than we can comprehend. But first, we have to have faith. We have to trust in his timing because he will not give us something that is before his perfect timing or outside of his perfect circumstances. That we must always turn to him for direction as a child depends on a parent.
When I want to beg with God for him to recognize the changes that I have made, when I want to live my new life openly and unrestrained, when I want to pick back up where it left off, when I thought everything was normal and just needed some tweaking without completely blowing up a bomb in my face…I have to remember this. I needed to be made into ash. My life needed to be turned to dust. I needed to gain from the past experiences in order to understand exactly what God is turning into dust. He wants to remold me. He wants to create a life, a marriage, a family, a purpose, a testimony that is not of my past alone but is something new and unblemished. I need to stop allowing the breeze to catch the pieces of my dust and letting them swirl around chaotically, but rather, to stay under his loving embrace and allow him to mold me when the dust has settled.
The potter never gets the creation perfect the first time. The clay has to be constantly spun, wetted, shaped, bent, pressed on, taken away from and added to. It takes time and testing. It takes patience and love. Even when it is finished it still has to be fired. It has to withstand one final test of extreme heat in order to solidify what it is meant to be before it can be used.
He will not bring about outcomes of which he hates. He will not change or bend his rules. If anything happens outside of his law, it is not of himself and he will deal with it accordingly. I can’t try to hold on to pieces of my past self that do not fit with his wishes, or the clay will be made weak and will not withstand the fire.
My life right now is not what I had imagined it would be. It is not what I dreamt of, nor what I dream of it being. However, I DO have faith that God is at the potter’s wheel, adding water to my dust and is gathering me to be shaped into something beautiful and whole. Something that will be able to hold all of the blessings that he bestows on me so that I can care for them. That the cracks and the holes of my past will be gone one day, that I and my blessings will be contained in the life that He created with his loving hands.
As painful as being made into dust feels, I try to be thankful because of the hope that it brings and because of the relationship it has allowed me to build with my maker. That when I take the time to embrace this season, I can feel his loving hands cupping me and molding me.Tags: change, Creator, Dust, faith, God, Heartbreak, It's not supposed to be this way, Lysa TerKeurst, Newness, Potter, Struggles
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