Mothers carry an immense emotional weight for a family, and when they are gone too soon, all of that worry, concern, and care doesn’t evaporate or dissipate. Even though I try not to, it’s hard to not carry some of that weight on my shoulders. When I’m pretending to be more or better than I really am, it ultimately leads to disillusionment, sadness, and finally retreating. Obedience means being honest to God about where you’re at. Obedience means admitting God has a better way of doing things. I’m ultimately better when I focus on being a child of a God instead of performing a role I was never meant to play. Sometimes I find myself wondering “if I could go back what would I tell myself?”
- Grief isn’t well organized or linear. It’s sort of like accidentally dumping almond flavoring into your batter and realizing it flavors the entire batch. And you didn’t really want almond flavored cookies.
- If your identity is placed in anything other than God’s view of you and his unconditional love things are going to be so much more difficult.
There’s a reason they say hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately God doesn’t work this way most of the time. At least that’s not how things have been going for me lately. Lately God has been calling me to pure and simple obedience. Which to be honest, I took a little bit of pride in my ability to be obedient to God. So obedient that he didn’t even need to remind me. So good at it I didn’t need to be refreshed, corrected, or disciplined.
9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10 The Message
God treats me as I really am, not as I pretend to be. And to be honest, this last summer (maybe longer) I pretended I was a lot happier than I really was. It was easier. It seemed like an ok survival skill to pretend that I was excited about things. That I could talk to people easily. That I wasn’t unnecessarily worried about my family. That Two Years was a big enough buffer for grief to abate. But I’m made made in the image of an ageless God who has set my heart to eternity, and no buffer is going to stop me from not being homesick for that place.
And here’s the hardest part: I don’t even really know what the point is half the time. Which is incredibly irritating and confusing. God says something and I have to respond. And try as I might I really don’t know what the end result is. I don’t get to know the consequences I avoided by saying “yes” to God. I don’t get another bite of the apple of knowledge. I simply have to walk away from the snake telling me to eat it. It’s like someone giving you the ingredients for a recipe one at a time and you have no clue as to what you’re making. Obedience requires humility, self-control, and restraint. It means heeding the warnings of an omnipotent God and admitting you really don’t know anything at all. It means not filling the shoes of someone who is gone and accepting that your own shoes will do.
God is interested in the health of the tree, in making sure we are abiding in him and not in our own accomplishments. He doesn’t want to just fix cosmetic things on the surface. Sure a multi-vitamin, journal, and exercise help me a whole lot. God wants to get to the root of things. He uncovered a disobedient heart, and invites me to the freedom of being who I really am.