By Elisabeth Corcoran
When my crisis first began (about 10 months ago), I found myself praying ferociously; things like, "make all of this go away!", "show up! do something!", "give us our lives back!" I was completely overwhelmed, but I was doing everything I could to bring this before God as often as I could.
But then a few months ago I noticed myself moving to a new place of complete surrender, of me telling God that I'll go anywhere, do anything, whenever He wanted, even if it meant I'd be miserable for the rest of my life. But even that was circumstantial; I needed to get to that place of surrender and letting go, but it was still regarding this life, here and now.
Then I found myself at a place of feeling almost okay with the fact that it's really felt like God has "left the room". I haven't felt peace or power or strength or his presence (for the most part). In the midst of this, I have gotten frustrated with God. Why did He have to go and promise all those things anyway? I wouldn't be so hurt and confused and lonely if I never knew I were supposed to be feeling all those things. But then it occurred to me --- if God were to do everything He promised to, the way we thought He would (or should), his ways would be understandable and explainable and therefore not really higher than our ways. So, He didn't "lie" when He promised protection, strength, wisdom, power, and peace --- it just hasn't been looking the way I thought it would or should.
So I recently told God that He can stay away as long as He wants, I'm not going anywhere, I'm not walking away that easily. And He can even treat me (in my perception) not all that great, I'm going to keep on trusting Him. And here's why. Because author Larry Crabb says that while Christ is preparing a place for you and me, the Holy Spirit is preparing us to meet Jesus face to face. And our trials are what complete us, prepare us. And I desperately want to be prepared for that moment.
So now, here I am. I'm finding myself the past couple weeks not sighing as much, not as despondent, no longer wanting to be the depressed one, the one who gets pity, who's granted slack. Oddly, nothing in our circumstances has changed --- we're still months and months away from our situation being resolved (and it may not even resolve well) and two of my closest friends are still gone --- but I have felt something lift, something change in me.
And I find myself asking one question --- when all is really stripped away, and life is still hard, how do you move into and through your days with energy and passion and purpose and creativity and power? How do you truly make Christ what you find your complete joy in? This is my new mission, for this moment at least! To find my source of joy and to do whatever it takes to become a deeply joyful person, no matter what happens to me from day to day. No matter what happens at the end of this crisis. Because his ways are higher. Because He is higher.
May You, the God of hope, fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in You.
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