Class of We Made It

Coping with Being Human and Being Christian

Yesterday, the weeping came and I couldn’t stop it. It was entirely out of my control.

I am looking to move. I am on disability after more than 20 years of teaching elementary school. I live in California. I will start on Medicare in a month-and-a-half, which, with the HMO payment, will decrease the disability payment by nearly $200.

After living with other people, paying rent, for nearly 4 years, it is time for me to live on my own. I have at times been a burden to these others. At times, I have quietly coped with a lack of privacy; personal space; the freedom to express an opinion about needing quiet. It is my self-made bondage, not wanting to intrude on the extreme generosity of others.

It has been very lonely at times living with other people. I am a single woman, 63, and I’m ready for the solitude of living by myself. Yet I am fearful about giving up half my check or more to rent.

Most of the time I trust in God’s word; that He has a plan for me, that he will present me with the perfect, affordable place, where I can work on Branches – the curriculum – spread His light and love, build His kingdom, and be at peace.

But then there are those other times…like yesterday…when I wept an ocean. When fear and doubt took me over, ravaged me, left me utterly exhausted.

Drifting in cyberspace from State to State, now even looking at the UK to see if I can find an affordable place of respite, something more than 500sq ft, a 1BR/1BA somewhere quiet, by water, or in the country, with a patio  or deck, and internet connection…with a washer and dryer in my own place. Somewhere I won’t ever have to move again. Is all this too much to ask, to even hope for?

Pulling out the printed Psalm, I read to calm myself:

“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.” (107:29-30)

Only the fear and doubt and confusion return, like the crouching lion Peter warned about.

A friend appeared, via email, reminding me that His angels will lead me where His waters flow pure and sweet and cool.

As someone who desires to be authentic, who wants to tell the truth, I must say that in this lifelong journey of following Jesus, it is not always easy. While most of the time, it fills my heart, many times it hurts. It’s a struggle. And the struggle is between the “doing” – what I think I should be doing to help myself, doing what others expect of me, doing it the right way – and the “being” – the total surrender of giving it up to God, the absolute trust that He will provide, just as He has promised He would, the separating of myself from the “shoulds” and walking side-by-side with him.

This morning, as I prayed and wrote in my journal, two words of wisdom popped out at me. One from some who wrote Scripture, another from one who studied Scripture – both evoked from the Holy Spirit.

The first from Paul, who wrote to the Romans in the first century: “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (12:2)

The second from Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest*: “A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.”

Coping with being human and being Christian means riding the roller coaster and hanging on, having faith that God is in the driver’s seat, and the ride will end well and smoothly.  Today I have faith; today I am an overcomer.

*(1992 Oswald Chambers Publications Assn, Ltd, September 14)

18 comments

  1. Beautiful… you are beautiful. Your trust and faith IS strong, He will not let you fall – you are his beautiful child. Ah yes – that roller-coaster ride – scary, but exhilarating too 😉
    Hold on dear one – I think the ride is about to get exciting. Just hold on – He will make a way.

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    1. Yes, I’m holding on. I can feel things changing inside me, and that’s where it has to start. Am letting go and giving it all to Him. He knows my heart, and I must trust that He has already made a path…I just don’t see it yet. Bless you, my friend.

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  2. Oh Susan. I do understand. Sometimes the ‘standing’ is so much harder than the ‘doing’. Just knowing that God is in control should be enough, but sometimes we just can’t handle much more and God knows that too. I have lost homes, lost family and friends, moved countries, started over, been divorced…well, you know all this from reading my blog so I won’t bore you here with all that.
    Just to say I will be praying for you as you face some major life-changing decisions. Remember, He will give you the desires of your heart.
    This scripture came to mind as I read this here and which I share with you now, from across the other side of the sea: ‘For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and the hills’ Deut. 8:7
    It’s ok to admit the struggle, the doubt, the fear. God understands. Some days are better than others. Just know that you are not alone in this. I pray His peace and comfort surrounds you today xx

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    1. Thank you. The tears this week are tears of an open heart. The prayers and support are overwhelming, and I know God is holding me up, reminding me to be still and know that HE is God. Thank you for Deut 8:7. I just wrote that in my prayer journal.

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  3. The Father is in absolute control Susan and as we say in my family, all is well! It’s as the Father likes and if he likes, it means it is good. I know words are easy to say, but the spirit shares in both distance and time. I will wish you a good day today, and another when tomorrow comes. My mama taught me this, a day to day living, for we are only witnesses on a daily basis. Perfect Peace.

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    1. Thank you again, my sister. So many reminders today that His daily bread is in His word, and therein lies His perfect peace.

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  4. Mich-in-French · ·

    I am thinking of your Susan – may Father God direct your steps and open doors for you. God speaks with one voice and He loves so completely – I know very soon your post will be speaking of the victory you will be experiencing soon. I will be praying too – lots of love and blessing xx

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Mich; I am listening. Reminded again today to ask, seek and knock with persistence.

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      1. Mich-in-French · ·

        A friend gave me this scripture today and I feel it will encourage you today – Micah7:7 The correct way to hope and wait for the Lord is to steadfastly expect His mercy, His salvation, and His rescue.

        We will believe together xx

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      2. Thank you, from my heart to yours.

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    2. 😀 thank you MIch ❤

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  5. I have had my share of living with others. Sometimes it is a lonely experience. When we are down, it can feel even more intolerable.

    I can sympathise with feeling so uncertain about what lies ahead – where we should live and what we can do with our time. I’m desperate to move from London, but there does not appear to be any obvious direction. I have reluctantly chosen to stay where I am. Part of me fears this might be blocking what “is meant to be”. On the other hand, I do not have the strength to deal with any mistakes.

    None of this will make you feel better, but just wanted to say how I understand.

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    1. Thank you, Cat. Sometimes, just resting in God’s strength and love is all we can do at the moment. And sometimes, just letting a friend know we understand (and not try to “fix” them) hugs the heart. I felt your hug. Know that I’m hugging you, too.

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      1. Thanks Susan. Peace be with you!

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  6. Our world is a hard place of thorn and thistle…shown no more prominent then on the head of our Lord Christ Jesus. I still have hope with every new day but my hopes are not so much in here anymore as much as they are in Heaven. I do hope your faith will be fortified by those oceans of tears and doubts. I believe it is because of those things that we are able to know the answers. Without fear, how can we know courage? Without doubt, how can we know we truly believe? I pray you will have the dream of being where you need to be with God’s blessings. Loving you from Florida.

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    1. Wow…our thoughts crossed paths in the ether. Before I saw your comment, I sent you one on your blog with my email. Hoping to exchange emails so we can check in more regularly. Was thinking about you and praying for you as well, and wanted to check in, as I hadn’t in a while. Blessings back to you, and email if you wish. Love back ‘atcha, reflecting His shining face on you today.

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  7. Noelle Davis · ·

    You’re amazing , friend! I am praying for you! Angela never responded and my friend, Jamie is looking..love you xox

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Thank you…some days are just better than others. Today, I see His light. That is enough. Bless you, my friend.

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