Friday, March 15, 2013

i am

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Romans 7:16
February 8th marked one year since Serge's first seizure.  February  15th was Julia's third birthday. February 27th, one year since Ellie found Serge and James in China and March 8th when I first met her. A lot of significant events to remember!  All of those anniversaries have caused me to reflect more than usual, as though I needed a reason. 

There is nothing about my life the past year, or the several before it for that matter, that has been tragic.  It has, however, been a trying season.  The problem in finding words to express the trials is that the difficulty of it all only makes sense if you see the totality, the confluence of events, my life intersecting with the lives of those I love.  I can't describe that as a narrative.  I need a Venn diagram to capture it, the action in this messy barn of mine.

Instead of God giving me words to recount a bunch of events and hope that I don't come across too whiny, or melodramatic - which I would - I feel like that what He is saying is more along the lines of; Stewart, the things worth sharing, the things worth remembering and recording are the lessons learned. The circumstances are incidental. Circumstances are just tools in My workshop anyway.

I have found three themes so far.  They build on each other.  The first was the previous post on keeping faith when things did not turn out the way you expected them to.  The second is on having an accurate view of myself which is what today's thoughts are on.  The third one is on having a true view of God which I will address later.

At one time I would have been able to describe myself in a number of ways; Christian, wife of Serge, mother of two, friend to many, only child of precious parents, homeschooler, chicken farmer, goat raiser, bread baker, ambitious cook, occasional gardener, avid reader and writer ...  my life felt full and good.  I liked it.

I no longer have that same list. There have been several additions and quite a few subtractions.  Most of the adjectives that were removed were not really my choice. Losses like that stink. They go unnoticed by friends and family. There is no funeral for the changing of the seasons in one's life, but there is grief! It hasn't been pretty, not one little bit of it. I did not let anything go gracefully, and in some areas I am still clinging. But it has brought me closer to God, who subsequently has asked me to consider who I am without all of those descriptive terms.
When the wheat grinder collects dust and the chicken pen sits rotting in the field from lack of use, who am I?
When there is no longer time or emotional strength to home school my children, who am I then?
How does that "sweet, submissive wife" thing in all of those Christian marriage books work when the Lord pulls the rug out from under my husband in multiple areas and he doesn't know how or can't lead right then - who am I?
When you have spent the past 10 years "preaching" to the young women who bounced in and out of your life that 'children are a blessing from the Lord' and you should have as many as He will give you ... who am I when He gives me one at 45 and the pregnancy isn't as easy as the other two and people do not embrace it with me and not everyone supports us in it and she doesn't even sleep through the night for 16 months(really!) ... just who am I then?
When you answer what you think (but sometimes wonder) was God's call to adopt, and instead of uniting your family it seems to rip it at every seam, who am I then?

When the idols fall, when it is just you and the Lord left to walk it all out and you realize that your contribution is about 0% ... that's when you find out who you really are.

It is then that you figure out:

Rhetoric is easier than reality.

I am "...wretched, pitiable, poor, and blind ...  (Rev 3:17)

That is who i am.