I’ve had to examine myself a lot lately. Have you ever had that feeling that all is not well in your heart, but you couldn’t get your finger on exactly what is bothering you? It’s a gnawing feeling. It doesn’t relent, and you have to examine yourself in an effort to keep bitterness or anger or resentment out of your heart. I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt those things welling up. I have so much to be thankful for, and I really am. There was just something that felt heavy. There was something I couldn’t see. When I did see it, it hit me with the full force of an 18 wheeler.
The truth is that those things were rearing up in me over reasons that were all about me. The way I saw life panning out has been interrupted. Doesn’t that always get us- when life gets in the way of our plans? Don’t we feel wronged, even if it’s not deeply wronged, when what we hoped seems all but lost?
There was some of that coming in, and by the time I noticed it, I had already given it more ground than I realized. I was sad. I was defeated. I didn’t understand why. Why were there things that were always going to be hard or at least harder than I expected or planned? Why was there so much more to do just to get to okay? Were things always going to harder than I wanted them to be? What would happen when I am no longer here to carry that weight?
These thoughts kept me up at night until I looked at myself closely enough to see them and what they were doing to me. Robbing me of peace. Shaking awake the reality that in some ways, everything would not turn out how I thought. With ruined dreams, slain hopes, and a picturesque life taken away, I had to figure out what was more important, what was most valuable. Were those things it? Had I hoped in them? Had I trusted that things would just go the way they “should” so much that them not going that way had shaken me?
I was half praying and half thinking through what was happening in my heart and mind, when a song I heard years before came to mind (link to video below). It struck me like a lightning bolt, and I could not be more thankful.
Though You Slay Me. In this I remembered that what He is doing is for my refining. What He’s doing is for His glory. What He’s doing is preparing me for eternity. What He is ruining is my way so that I would seek to know His. What He taking are my dreams so that I might know the destiny I was created for. What He is slaying is my desire to depend on anything besides Him, and in that, He is setting me free from the expectation of what things are supposed to be in my mind so that I might know that what He has is better. In crushing me in all of it, He is showing me the grace of receiving a beauty that is coming when I clutched the ashes of what I thought was over. It’s not over. He is not finished being good or doing good for me.
What is coming is more knowing and living in the truth of His sufficiency in all things. What is coming is splendor and joy through the exalting of the name of Jesus, whether or not life has ease. What is coming is deeper foundations being built into who I am because He loves me enough to show me what He has for me beyond what I planned for me.
What does that cost? Letting go. Living the hope I know to be real, and trusting His Father heart to meet me and minister to me and restore in me what was meant to feel like loss. I am not lost. I have always been in His hand. He has always been working for my good- especially when it didn’t feel like it.
What’s next? Waiting. Trusting. And waiting some more. This waiting is with the greatest expectations that what is coming will not wound but will bring with it the joy that I’m promised in Him. If you’re in this place too, hold fast. The things that hurt are not meant to break you beyond what needs to be wrenched from you.
What is coming is glorious. What is coming is for your good, and will work about a weight of glory that will be in you now and with you for eternity. Every bit of it matters. Every bit of it is seen. In every bit of it, you are being loved.