This is one of those weeks when my emotions seem to invade every piece of my life. I am not a fan of days like these. I like to feel in control of daily life. This week, I feel like life is jumbled into a pile of spaghetti with pieces going in an endless array of directions, and I am not able to find the beginning or end of any one piece.
Have you tried to buy private health insurance lately? I tried to buy mine for next year only to be told I need to wait a month because they aren’t completely ready with the new plans for non-exchange customers. Lovely. I was hoping this chore was the one thing I could get accomplished this week. I wanted to feel comfortable knowing this piece of life was taken care of. Instead, I feel even more unsettled.
I went snow blower shopping. To get the model that fits my property’s requirements, I will have to spend more than I had hoped, but the retailer will get rid of my old, broken machine for me and deliver the new one. I could buy a less expensive model but it would probably break down sooner rather than later because I would use it beyond the specifications it was designed for. I loathe buying machines. I hate even more having to do it by myself, without a partner to share the burden, and the consequences. Grief tries to flood in once again.
My five-year-old washer keeps giving me an error code partway into its cycles. I looked up the code, and it seems I need to replace the filter screens in the water intake hoses. Okay. Not a big deal. I should be able to accomplish this. In my heart, though, it is another reminder I no longer have a handyman-in-residence.
I received the forgiveness I requested (“White Lie”), but I am still having trouble with moving beyond. Let it go, I tell myself. Just let it go. They forgive you, feel it is of no consequence. God forgives you. What I feel is fear. Fear that I will not see sin for what it is before I fall into it. And next time the consequences may be more serious. How can I forgive myself if my heart thinks I will just slip into sin again? How can I feel spiritually safe with myself?
I heard on the radio a woman talking about her recent diagnosis. She was expressing gratitude for the station’s programming which was encouraging to her in the difficulty she is facing. I heard the fear in her voice, and the memories rushed in. I remembered what it feels like to face medical uncertainty. And I sobbed. I asked God why this life has to be so hard. I prayed for her, a stranger, to have the courage and strength I know too well she will need.
My inclination is to blame my current state of emotional confusion on hormones or on the time change last weekend. Truthfully, both are playing a role, but fixing blame does not help me. There is nothing I can do about the time change except wait for my body to adjust. And hormones, well, I don’t have much control over them either other than the healthy habits I already avail myself of.
I could easily slip into a downward spiral of emotional morass, but I choose instead to see what God would have me learn:
Life is full of annoying chores. Any time and energy I spend worrying about what might or might not happen tomorrow or next week or next month is wasted. Eventually, I will be able to buy health insurance.
“‘So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'” Matthew 6:34
My loss is eternity’s gain. This life goes on whether I participate or not. Allow grief to lessen, knowing God leads me through my struggle. Move forward with life, no matter how hard it feels.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.” Psalm 116:15
No matter how I feel, God never leaves me alone. No matter what circumstances occur in my life, I do not face any of them alone. No matter how disheartening. No matter how frustrating. No matter how upsetting. I am never alone.
“‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.'” Deuteronomy 31:6
God’s grace is always big enough for my sin. God wants my heart, wants me to want to be with Him. His grace makes His forgiveness always possible. As His child, no matter how far or how often I slip, His forgiveness is always, only, one confession away.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
This life is not the end; each day is new; God is faithful to those who love Him. The hard days of this life move me to want the next life, eternal life in God’s presence in a resurrected body, even more.
“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I will have hope in Him.'” Lamentations 3:19-24
This life is not going to be easy, simple, fair or always happy. Because sin is a part of every day on this earth, because earthly perfection was lost with the first bite of the forbidden fruit, this life will have hard days, days of jumbled emotions and fractious thinking. If I choose to endure and persevere, I will find blessing.
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
All Bible quotes are from Zondervan’s Classic Reference Bible, New American Standard Bible–Updated Edition copyright 1999 by Zondervan
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.