There are times in your life, moments really, when you know what you are experiencing can only be the work of God. I am in one of those moments. There have been four of these clear touches over the last two weeks. It has left me stunned.
I had been struggling with several situations over the past month or so. I could not let the emotions of the situations go. They circled my brain constantly and I allowed them to taint other relationships. I allowed them to control me. It made me angry and bitter. Angry because of how people were behaving and angry because I allowed it to impact me. Bitter because their behavior was negatively impacting those I loved and bitter because I couldn't make it right.
My relationship with God has been rather lax over the past 4 years. Sure, there have been moments of clarity, but largely murky and undefined. My purposeful commitment, my focus, my drive were simply missing. Someone told me that it takes fives years to "recover" from a traumatic life event. I have experienced that, as I round into the 5th anniversary of my sister's passing. I can recognize this same journey in another friend who is about 1-2 years behind me.
Over this past month, I was so mired and wrapped up in such mess that I could not think straight. I could not release it. At the bottom of the pit, I had a choice...to confront the issue head on which would have resulted nothing short of total disaster, permanently destroying relationships. OR, I could turn it all over to God.
It was late, late one night in August as I was trying to fall asleep. Future confrontational conversations were swirling and playing out in my head as it had for nearly a month. I felt my shoulders tense, my head began to pound, my anger rose. At that moment, I was utterly defeated. I let out an audible sigh. Then, I slowly and timidly slid my toe into the waters of forgiveness and restoration. My conversation was brief, yet to the point. Take it all, God, take it all from me.... take the thoughts, the irritations and bitterness, and take my hurt. Help me to forget this. Help me to stop the negative feelings. Remove it all. I woke up several times during the night and prayed the same prayer. Take it ALL.
From that time forward I have continued to receive confirmation that God is at work. Little signs that may appear to be insignificant alone, but together you just know. The timing of these moments are so perfect in their execution that they are the work of the perfecter of my faith. The all-consuming thoughts have now been reduced to fleeting moments. The time spent dwelling replaced with praise and prayers. My vision to this journey is that I used to have a little piece of yarn running between God and me, thin and a little limp. Now, I have this thick cord, strong, full of lots of little cords all woven together.
My gratitude has been so overwhelming that I nearly fell to my knees at one point. Not only do I see the impact in my own heart, I see it in my family. Sadie brought me her bible last night which she had marked in several places. She wanted to discuss some of what she read. The others have amped up their praying, though I have not prodded them. My own focus has been in growing in Him, trusting Him.
I am in awe. I would even go so far as to say shocked. I don't know why I am as He has never left me. He has always been there. My eyes were elsewhere so I did not see or feel His presence. Lord, give me the strength to never let my eyes stray again. Life is too good where I am now.