Full Circle

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy life fell apart three years ago today.   I began a year long journal of my spiritual journey.  The first entry was out of pure desperation.  I need to note that I’ve begun editing the journal into a book.

My faith is so lacking. I have none when it comes to myself and good things for myself. That is the problem. I should be praying and thanking the Lord for what is to come, but I can’t. I can’t get over the fear that nothing will ever be right again. Good things just don’t happen – prayers for me by me are just never really answered the way I think they should be.

That is the arrogance.

I know the Lord has a plan for my life, but I’m sick and tired of waiting for it. There are times when I feel like I’m nothing but a puppet, being manipulated. I know this is not true. I know I am little more than a spoiled brat.

I think the real problem is that I was raised and taught that faith was to guide every movement of a person’s life. I don’t understand any of this. I know that those with perfect faith seem to get the shaft in life and those who have little prosper. I’m ticked and I’m having a tantrum.

My mother was telling me about a sermon she recently heard. The premise was the reason those who truly believed did not have really beautifully answered prayer is because we were being taught a lesson in faith. Those who had little faith or needed a boost in faith had their prayers answered, quickly.

What a crock.

There’s no one to help.

I have nowhere I can go for help. There is no one, other than my sister, who has enough problems of her own. I am so tired, and weary, my mind is exhausted. I can no longer think. I’m completely burned out in life. It is like I am a shell, with nothing remaining. I’ve given up to the point where I no longer have hope…..

The following day, I wrote:

Maybe that’s my problem, I don’t understand faith. I have very strong faith to pray for others. I’ve seen amazing things happen. I’ve seen a twenty foot wall of flames simply burn itself out, before it gets to close to the condos where I live. I’ve seen those flames dance around a friend’s home, leaving it alone. I’ve seen amazing things happen when I pray. I guess I am such a spoiled brat I want a piece of the action for myself.

I was raised to trust in faith, to trust in the Lord, allowing Him to guide every aspect of one’s life. I have that trust, which probably not quite logical or reasonable. That’s what annoys me when I wallow around bitching and moaning that the Lord is not doing what He wants, when I WANT IT!

This morning I realized one of my problems is the fact that I am terrified of what is to come. Fear is not of the Lord. I know that. I know it can be like a depressing spirit, overwhelming. I suspect I shall be able to see my way through this mess when I learn to laugh and praise for the situation that is facing us.

Yes, I know it is the only way. So, why am I being such a jerk? Am I having a crises of faith or a tantrum because I am not getting my way?

I began my spiritual journey about a week earlier.  The day began in abject desperation.  Then, abject fear. On July 18, of this year, I came full circle, back to where I should be.

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

We all have our favorite verses. Since I was in high school, this has been mine. My cousin, Marley, gave me a button with the passage on it. I kept it penned to my purse, for years. While I was in college, I lost it. By that time, the verse was ingrained on my psyche. They that wait on the Lord….

I’ve spent my entire life waiting on the Lord. My father once said I was the most patient person he had ever known. It comes from waiting on the Lord, right?

I haven’t been very patient, lately. I’ve complained about the Lord’s lack of action, when I want Him to act, and not in His good time. I’ve threatened Him. I’ve lost faith. I’ve lost patience. I spent two years complaining. Then, I realized that the faith I complained about not having is a gift, not an automatic given.

I asked for faith.

Strangely enough, I’ve been given faith. In many strange ways, I’ve now come full circle, going from no faith to truly having faith.

“…You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. You can’t, in most things, get what you want if you want it too desperately: anyway, you can’t get the best out of it ….” C. S. Lewis

I began working on a prayer journal on July 29, 2011. It has been three, long, miserable, heart-wrenching, abjectly horrible years that resemble hell. I have gone to the depths of despair. I’ve been suicidal. I’ve given up, complained, bitched, accused God of hating me, questioned why I was born, and so forth and so on to the point where I suspect the person in the Bible I resemble most is Job. Complain that he did, he never once turned his back on God. I never have. I’ve accused God of turning His back on me, but I’ve never walked away from Him. Oh, trust me, I’ve wanted too, but never had the courage.

Full circle has bought me back to my favorite verse – they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall shall walk, and not faint.

Damn!

I am an Episcopalian. There is one writer we have a tendency to hold to almost the same standards and same respect as, well St. Paul. C. S. Lewis wrote: “God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

It is full circle. I never though I would find myself going full circle, but I have. I don’t know what’s to come in my life. None of us do. I do know that, for some odd reason, this long, miserable period of my life is over, finished, kaput. It has been almost three years to the day. Biblically there is a tremendous amount of symbolism in that, in the number three, also.

“…… Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be — or so it feels — welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. And that seeming was as strong as this. What can this mean? Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble?…”

It’s over, or will officially be over on July 29. The Lord does work in weird and strange ways. No, not really. We just think they are because we have an amoeba brain when compared to His vastness. Have I learned anything? I hope so. What I have learned is that it is difficult to be thankful and praiseful when there is nothing but bad news and hardship, day in and day out, never ending. But, I’ve learned what praise is.

I never want to repeat when I’ve been through. They say that when things like this happen, you wouldn’t want to repeat it for a million bucks, and wouldn’t take a million for the experience of it. That’s not true. I would rather it not have happened.

But, it did.

I think I’ve survived.

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

I can’t believe my faith survived, intact.
But, it did.
Weird…

P. S. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

I’ve decided to make a lot of changes in my life.  I need to, to re-establish control.  I also need to start working on edits and hit the publishing end of things.

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