So here I sit. Time to write a blog post. When I was first asked to be an occasional contributor to this endeavor, the guidelines were the following: to share about how God is working at Embrace Church, to speak to where God is working in you, or describe what moments have caught your attention and are shaping your thoughts. So when you are in a season that is less than desirable to share, what do you say? Are you honest? Do you admit it? Do you spill out the ugly, the doubts, the anger, the humanity? Or do you share the parts you can spit polish enough to pass a quick inspection? But what is the point in that? I am just too tired to lie.
I feel out of sorts. I am insecure and lost. I feel incomplete and ill-equipped. I feel empty and tired. I have tried to run from it - it’s still there. I have tried to just be in it – it gets heavier. I know it is my nature to want to fix it, to deal with an issue, then move on. But it stays. My family is doing well. I am woman born in the United States with two healthy children, a home, a stable marriage and husband who is financially secure. I know we are prosperous, but I feel so broke.
My prayer life is spotty. With the encouragement of reading through Psalms this summer, I decided to get back on the horse of reading and hanging out in scripture. Truth be told, I am a skimmer and a scanner. Looking at the first section of Psalm, there are a lot of enemies lying in wait, imagery of lions and cries for help. As short sighted as it seems, I don’t feel there are enemies around me. I plug on. More speak of God’s wrath against enemies, when I come across Psalm 22. Verse 14 to be exact:
“I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.”
That. Is. It. The words somehow turn to bold print before my eyes. This is how I have felt. In two lines, King David has summed me up. With 25 words, a man who lived over 3,000 years ago, a man after God’s own heart, has summed up the inner most feelings of this middle-aged mom of two in Auburn, Alabama. It hits me like a stone between the eyes. So what do I do? I immediately stop reading, of course. I sit in this verse for the rest of the day, dwelling in my disjointedness, somehow seeking the misery loves company adage. I feel off? So did my main man David. Good!
The next morning, inspired by my newly found fondness for my soulmate David, I decide to reread what I am now viewing as “my verse.” But this time the Holy Spirit prompts me on. I actually finish reading the chapter. If verse 14 was a stone, verses 30 and 31 are a boulder.
“Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!”
No. THIS is really it. As I identify with David’s words, God is taking my face between His hands, lifting my chin and whispering “I understand you.” So figuring out why I am so disjointed isn’t the issue, it is a means to the end. It is where God smiles at me. I am one of the many of this future generation of which David speaks. And in his honest depiction of his feelings and his life, David has lured me in so I would then be ready to hear him proclaim about God’s righteousness. Yes, this is what we sing of in “Amazing Grace”:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun;
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
It is the beautiful drumbeat of the longevity of God, of prayer, of His faithfulness. Of His love.
I still feel like my bones are all out of joint. That has not changed, but I know that I am not the first to feel like this, nor will I be the last. Why? Because the Bible tells me so. If I would only look outside of myself and my dragging bones, I would see our Father asking nothing of me but to begin to believe that He understands me and loves me still.