The Way is Difficult

The emotions I am battling are super ramped. I keep praying. I wake up quoting the 23rd Psalm. My body aches. My greatest fear is to make a mistake that would hurt our ability to operate. Every day I trust God for the money we need to keep going. The battles are constant, fighting to protect ourselves. My days are piles of paperwork. Each hurdle I have to jump. Everyone else can say “I don’t know how” or “I don’t understand,” but I don’t get that privilege because someone has to tackle the confusion. My role is to resolve and to survive a constant state of “resolving situations,” I have to have some serious resolve. Only Jesus infuses me with the constant resolve that spills out of me.

Giving up is not an option for the calling on my life.  Not a day went by this week that I could do what I wanted. My life is too hectic for me to easily step away. The mortgage lender needs data right now. The injustice has to be fought and someone has to write the appeal letter. The promised renewal still is not renewed and the entity has to have an advocator. If we want to buy fuel on holiday, the gift cards have to be ordered. Our health insurance policy is not valid next year so a new one must be secured.  School has to be completed every week and the kids need the oversight. Articles are needed for a monthly newsletter.  Everyone needs to eat dinner and food requires preparation.  A fraudulent charge has to be removed from an account. Government paperwork has to be filed. The house needs to be cleaned again. A sick friend needs encouragement and another friend is getting married. The broken-hearted text should get a response and appeals need to be issued for an upcoming fundraising effort.

A friend asked my husband, “why haven’t y’all read the books I gave you?” If our friend only knew our time constraints. If he only knew how exhausted we have been, fighting wars that no one knows we have to fight, listening as we are told by others all the things we are doing wrong and should do doing right, verifying our children are receiving an education, responding to urgent needs, praying for people to experience Jesus, providing venues for others to give their lives away, and finding time for random outings. Consider our lives as one big case of misunderstood.

Maybe all the relational, paperwork, decision making, complaints, anger, mandating, overseeing and implementing is culminating  into a case of the panic. Ultimately, we are not good enough. Troubles always abound. The battles only subside for moments, but never go away. If one fire happens to go out, another one ignites.

Overstimulation. People are everywhere and they all want love and need it. With all my might, I try to focus and really listen to the person who has talked incessantly for hours. I think I was asked how I was, but then the person kept talking and never circled back.  At some point I need silence before I crack into a million pieces. My kids want to sit on top of me, people want to meet face-to-face, my emails and texts are filled with heavy and hard. God has called me way out into the deep, the overstimulating deep, and I am going to drown if I do not depend on His strength and mercy. He can do my life, I can not.

The pursuit is relentless, this love He has for me. His relentless pursuit of me, in spite of my “what-ifs” and my fears. I am a train wreck, all freaking out on the inside, wondering why life has to be challenging, lonely and battle after battle. His pursuit of my heart always stops me from wandering, from quitting and from apathy. Something about His relentless pursuit of me, compels me to continue to relentlessly pursue Him. The way is hard and the journey difficult, but His love somehow always has me wanting more. More of Him is worth more of the constant warfare, more of the pain of obedience, more rejection from those who are “allegedly” with us, more courage to live on little, and more loneliness as we question who are our real friends.

Where are the crazy Christians, willing for the pursuit of Christ to cost everything? Who understands how we survive on less and less every year? Who can we talk to about the struggles of our days? We have a privilege to pour out to the sick, the poor, the distressed and the brokenhearted.  We are those people so we understand. If I could cry myself to sleep, most nights I would. Every night I collapse into bed, all used up, for the life God has chosen for me. I am not some martyr looking for sympathy. Everyone wants to be understood, to be able to share the real and it feel normal because someone else understands. So many days I feel so confused, why is life with Jesus costing us so much, when others profess Him and their lives appear much easier and look as if their obedience costs so little? Are we missing something? What pain, sorrow and difficulty are these dear ones battling that we cannot see?

Jesus said the road would be narrow and the way difficult. And it is. (Matthew 17:13-14)

Difficult. More difficult than I ever imagined when I surrendered my life to Jesus at age five. The way of Jesus is costing everything. My time, my money, my kids, my husband, my friendships, my career, my reputation, my possessions, my pride, my sleep, my entertainment, my quiet, etc. Every bit of “my” has to die, so Jesus can replace all the “me” and “my” of life with Himself. Jesus’ time, Jesus’ money, Jesus’ kids, Jesus’ husband, Jesus’ friendships, Jesus’ career, Jesus’ reputation, Jesus’ possessions, Jesus’ everything.

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