Friday, May 16, 2008

The Best Is Yet To Be -- Hope Chronicles 43

Life is hard. People say things and I get hurt. There are unexpected expenses of which the almost $4.00 per gallon gas prices are the least of the worries. Friends move away. The depression worsens and I don't sleep for almost 8 weeks. (Happily, the sleep has been better the last two weeks.) There a bills to pay and things around the house that need doing and I don't have the time or energy. And there is the loneliness.

I picked up a book at B&N to check out. I grabbed the wrong one. I read parts of it and knew that while I definitely identified, I was probably identifying too much. It was best not to finish it, save it for another time. But I will share a piece from it. It is called Suddenly by Barbara Delinsky. One of the main characters commits suicide and leaves the town wondering why. Paige finds some unmailed letters and in them Mara writes eloquently about being outwardly successful but being so alone. She says something to the effect of, "What really matters is that in the middle of the night, when all the trappings are gone, I am alone." Yes, that feeling resonates with me.

I've found myself telling myself that if this could be this way or this could be that way then my life would be fine. At the core of those things is having enough money to take care of what needs to be taken care of. (I'm not having much financial peace at the moment in spite of taking that class.) But push past that anxiety and you will find a world of "what ifs?"

  • What if I had gone to a different college?
  • What if I had stayed on staff with InterVarsity?
  • What if I had dated in high school or college?
  • What if I had turned left instead of right and met the love of my life around the corner?
  • What if, what if, what if?

But they are questions that won't get answered and keep us looking in the wrong direction.

Prince Caspian comes out today in the theatres. I'm saving money and not going right now. I don't know if it is good or not, but I remember the book and this marvelous conversation Aslan has with Lucy. She has seen him up high all day and wanted to go up to him but no one would listen or follow. When she does go to him, he tells her that much time has been lost. She starts to blame the others and Aslan gives a low growl. Lucy says, "Well I couldn't have come up alone? I couldn't have, could I? Oh, Aslan, am I not to know!"

A wise Aslan says, "To know what may have happened? No, child, no one is ever told that."

I think it is a mercy that we aren't told. A mercy and a warning not to go down the "what if" trail second guessing.

Two things happen for me. I focus a lot on what has happened in the past. I was severely abused. I was emotionally tortured. I had a crummy childhood and it is easy to be angry about that. The anger is justified, but it doesn't do much good if it keeps me stuck in a loop of looking and being angry over and over again. So, I get stuck in the past.

And I get stuck in the present. I get driven down by the bills and gas prices. I feel lonely at night especially. Spend time thinking, if x +b happened, life would be perfect. I focus on all the things that are not meeting up to what I want (husband and kids at the top of the list).

But when I focus so intently on those things, I lose perspective and I lose hope. Yesterday is gone. Today is fleeting. And the best is yet to be.

The best is yet to be. Jesus is coming to get me. Knowing that should make everything else pale in comparison. Jesus is coming specifically for me. I want to always be ready, emotionally, spiritually ready for his call. And he will usher me in to heaven, the best that is yet to be. All of this down here is about getting ready to meet God face to face. So, I should not devalue any experience, any person, any interaction. All of them may be preparing me to meet God.

Yes, they don't quite look like I what I might want, wonder, beg for, but they are part of my preparation before I'm ready for heaven.

Heaven is fact. Think about that. No matter how bad today was (and it was dozy for me), the best is yet to be. It works if you had a great day too. You can look and be thankful and then stand in wonder, "The best is yet to be. This goodness will pale."

Hope is recognizing the murk and mud in our lives, acknowledging the past, plodding through the present, but fixing our eyes on what is yest to be. And it will be the 5 star galaxy kind of best.

Today, as I lapsed into my lament, I found myself thinking, I don't need a what. I need a who. Particularly I was thinking of a friend or a mate. But God gently reminded me, "You already have a who. You have me. Keep pressing on and let me worry about the rest."

I have hope because the best is yet to be and because he who is the absolute BEST is with me.

Tell me about an area you struggle to keep Jesus at the forefront of . . . .

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1 comment:

tammygirl said...

I understand the feelings you expressed... I too was abused as a child and today I give Him the glory for being the person He has led me to be TODAY. I have been where you are and even though I do have that 'dream life' with children and a husband, i still struggle with those same feelings. Hang in there, He is always, every minute and every second, holding your right hand so you do not stumble, lighting the path He has purposed for you, and orchestrating the details that will lead to abundant blessings in your life.
Thank you for your transparency and willingness to share. You are never alone.