Unembellished thought.

"Receive grace, live in grace, show grace and repeat."

- T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via tblaberge)

(via themessesofmen)

You have called me higher; You have called me deeper.

I’m struggling. There. Why are those two words so hard to say? I think I tend to have this perpetual idea that someday I will come out of this hike through the uphill muck and mire onto some wonderfully flat and easy going road. But that isn’t very realistic, as I know in my heart that the correct path usually isn’t the easiest. Let me be very clear when I say this. My life is not one big overwhelming cloud of darkness and gloom. In fact, I have quite a bit of joy and would characterize myself as happy. I just feel a gap of sorts between my head and heart as of late, specifically when it comes to my faith. Do I know that God is good, loving, faithful, merciful, orchestrating everything for the good of His people and His own glory? I do. Do I always feel that is true? Not really, if I’m being completely honest. Please, no lectures on the necessity to think rather than feel. 

To illuminate the situation a bit more, I began a career as a 911 dispatcher in January of this year and am about two weeks out from being completely out of training- which is an act of God in itself. I love my job; dispatching is the first job I’ve had in my life that I feel has kept me actively engaged, challenged, not bored, and still learning. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that nearly six months of seeing people at their worst or in the most vulnerable spot in their lives on the daily has not affected me. I’ve had more fear than ever before, with struggles like a reemerging fear of the dark from childhood as I also began living alone for the first time in my life, which thankfully has mostly faded again. I’ve seen my compassion for others break down almost completely at times. I’ve been tired as I tackle graveyard shift work for the first time ever. I’ve been worn. I have lost my patience. I have found disappointment after realizing that I am quite definitively not God- which is a good thing, but has been difficult to stomach when it comes in the form of loss of life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I also feel incredibly blessed that the Lord has given me the opportunity to truly speak hope into the darkest situations, which has been the calling I have felt on my life without really understanding it since Jesus changed my life and perspective after high school. I guess I just struggle with the reality that God is so good, even though we as humans are most decidedly not. I believe this with all my heart but my head tends to want to rebel, especially with this new view of our human darkness which I had not fully comprehended before. I waffle between doubt and a kind of awe that His goodness (and love) could actually withstand our darkness and continue existing without changing despite all of our human mess. But I guess that’s the beauty of the word holy, it’s set apart-ness.

In essence, my everyday has begun to align closely with the words of a worship song that has frequently been on my lips and heart since I first heard it shortly before beginning this career, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Lead me deeper than my feet would ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” It would have been helpful to me if there would’ve been a line about often feeling like you’re drowning in those depths, maybe a brief warning or caveat inserted in the chorus about how often and repetitive the cycle of floundering and being pulled back to the surface by Jesus would be. Because the very simple thing about walking on the waters, as evidenced by Peter, is that we are completely helpless when it comes to staying afloat. I am learning even more the only steadfast one in this relationship of God and man is God, even in the case of me and God. And thank goodness He is in control, and not I. 

The ultimate conclusion, I feel, is that as believers we must choose to live in the tension of the now and the glorious future. Even as my heart longs for peace and wholeness, and an absolute end to the rampant brokenness that has taken hold of every human life including my own, I must continue to follow and rely on Him in the present discord, recognizing that God Himself longs for an end to all the brokenness as well, and is choosing to use little old feeble us to help heal the wounds in some small way by enabling and strengthening us to be His hands and feet to the broken. We continue moving forward, walking with our eyes on Him, placing all the heaviness and weight we carry on Him, trusting that He will also ultimately heal our own brokenness as we tend to the battle wounds of our brothers and sisters, even as our hearts silently cry out, ‘Come Lord Jesus.’