We were all out in the yard the other day, helping to water the plants and pulling weeds. I had a few minutes to myself on the side of the house, the hot sun beating down on my hatted head. I was reflecting on weeds as I pulled them, knowing they have been used in spiritual applications many times.
Some weeds are actually pretty. They look like happy little plants. Some have flowers or bright colors, like dandelions. They look so harmless, so green and alive. But as I struggled to pull out the roots of these seemingly harmless plants, I remembered that they aren't harmless. When allowed to grow unchecked, they choke the life out of the healthy plants you want to grow. Sometimes the roots come out so easily, others have to be dug out with more force and thoroughness, else they come back again and squelch out life.
This time in our life has been so challenging. We have been and are being thoroughly de-weeded. And it hurts. One day I feel grace and peace enough to get through the day and the next I feel so messy inside. I don't know which way is up and which way is down. Sometimes I can't hear God's voice through the chorus of voices in my life. This has been a harder week for me. And it's only Tuesday....
I've been fighting God on a few different things and that's a yucky place to be. A lot of people have a lot of great ideas of where/what/who we should be right now and it's all born out of love but sometimes God doesn't have the same ideas. I think that I'm coming to the realization that I've been hanging on to some things that I was sure God was going to give us since He didn't "give" us any of the other things we asked for. I've realized that maybe I thought Ben had to let everything go and I could hang on to a few last wisps of dreams.
But no.....God, in his gentle, not-so-gentle way has been quietly pulling out roots and speaking to me about giving in and fully trusting Him with everything. I won't go into too many specifics because I'm not entirely sure how this will all play out in the next week or two but I think maybe God has been saying no to a lot of things lately, like every single bit of housing we have been applying for/looking at, including the one we fell in love with last week, because He wants us to give it ALL up. Every single little thing. Ben has reached that point already and is in a place of a lot more peace than I have been in. He already had to fight through giving up his dreams and any ideas of what a job or the future would look like. It was and is an incredibly painful process. One I wouldn't wish on anyone.
I had to give it all up, too, just not quite in the same way. And the last thing I've been hanging onto is the idea that maybe since we obeyed and walked away and gave up so much, He would bless us with a nice place to live. A house, perhaps, with a yard for the kids to run in and bright windows to welcome in the sunshine. A nice neighborhood, excellent schools, happy neighbors. The whole nine yards. It seems like such a small thing to hope for.
There is an apartment we have been offered; that I'm positive I can get tomorrow if I want. But I don't want it. It's old, ugly and cheap "apartment-y" looking. It's really small. It's not in the area I wanted to live or wanted my kids to go to school. No, it's not in a bad area and is by pretty good schools but it's not what I wanted! I have been fighting it so very hard. I really, really wanted the brand-new house with the cheery yellow laundry room and the pretty soft gray walls with white trim. I wanted the big backyard and the brand-new deck so we could sit out back on the nice evenings and be still and content. I wanted space and color and a feeling of home!
But God doesn't want me to have it right now. I don't know why. I am struggling to let go of the why. He wants me to want Him. Nothing less and nothing more. Just Him.
I think that I'm not the only one who will have to give this small dream up. I think our families will have to let go, too, and just trust that we will be okay. We will thrive and grow and be okay if our focus is above and not here on earthly things. We are being called to deeper things and a deeper outlook on life that the world doesn't understand. We look crazy from the outside and not many people know what to do with us. But God does know what He is doing and I am praying for the courage and the strength to believe that.
Even if I don't understand it.