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Monday, January 23, 2017

Transparent Power

Transparent Power

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us Ephesians 3:20

This post is a long time coming. I see now that I have been journaling along, just not on paper or on a consistent basis. But this post, the revelation of it, has been long coming. This post isn't about losing or getting power turned back on in the house. No, this was right before we were evicted that I started this post and so this power I started to blog on was and is about His infinite power. So let me begin...

 It has been almost two years since we were evicted from the only consistent home my children knew. My youngest began her school career there and also began to the last year of her school career at the same. Being an air force brat, this is a huge thing as I am used to moving around. 

The very act of packing and moving was a tremendous strain; it took effort for me to even begin because I was in such denial that we would even move. For me, a miracle would be that God stepped in and stopped this injunction against me. But He didn't. And we were evicted. And so began what seemed to be another dark thrust in this journey called life. I have had a few completely dark parts of my life outside of my childhood and all that happened there. I have had abortions; I have had surface or sexually motivated relationships, much as one does who is starving and they see chips and want/ eat those instead of a meal. I have been in a harsh marriage and committed adultery. I even have a span of time where I was with the person that I committed adultery with simply because I thought that was the "lot" I had drawn and was now stuck with it. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy and infinite patience with me as I stumbled around in the dark during that time instead of asking Him to simply flip on the Light switch. And now this... ultimate failure in being able to keep a roof over the heads of my children who looked to me for support. My friends Depression, Despair, Guilt and Shame as well as the quiet companion, Suicide, seemed to turn up at my pity party and then turn on me much like the friends of Job did. It went from Woe is me to eternal inquest within seconds! I was able to hold them off as I was busy with packing and throwing away things. And then just as I had been able to shield my kids from the harshness of seeing the Constable's notice of eviction posted on our door, lo and behold, another blow! We had to go back as they were there to retrieve my son's pet... a very cruel deed that I felt was done by the enemy to "kick me while I was down". 

But even through all of that and the year and a half subsequently after, which has not been an easy road, I understand now what David was talking about in his psalms of outcry. He spoke to his soul, trying to figure out why it was so downcast, encouraging it by saying to put hope in the Lord and that he would "yet praise Him." (Psalm 42-43) He even had to do this more than once, why? Because he had more than one dark time. I knew much about that! He also talked about his body wasting away when he did not commune with God, confess his sins. (Psalm 32) There are so many where I knew just where he was at, I would even say out loud, "Yes David! I know just what you mean, bro! I'm there with you!" But what I had never realized before was the ending of each.... a declaration of praise to a God who seemed to be silent, otherwise preoccupied, not dealing with him and his mess at the time, just not there. He praised Him anyway. Whew! You mean say, "thank you Lord" instead of "ouch, this hurts"? Oh man....

Through the power of God that I talked about in the beginning before jumping into my long-windedness (no, it's not a word), I have seen that it's not about praising Him instead of the pain or even in the pain, THROUGH the pain. Oh what a difference His Word makes when you understand what He meant and not what you want it to mean! Here is what I mean.

When a crew for a rowing team, whatever you call them, begins training, they are not where they need to be. They may be very fit, very capable and think that they can drop a boat in the water and immediately win a race. But it's not true. According to Ellen Tomak, a rowing coach, 12 week training can improve rowing stats. In an article by her, she lays out and explains how rowing is a full body workout. There is work to be done, not just for one team rower but for the entire team as they will need to know how to work together, not just know their position. But the second the team works as a team and not as people, who have different positions in one boat, the ride is not only smoother but more effective and faster. When we begin to understand that we will have pain (john 16:33), that is not an option, and that Jesus has already overcome this dark world, we can begin to brace for the impact. That doesn't mean we try and steer away or think of other methods, routes to take. But it also doesn't mean that we are able to just focus on our part, our pain that we are in and leave the rest of the team to fend for theirs. We must set a pace to which we can ride the pain out. We don't have to embrace it but we should acknowledge it and know that through our weaknesses His strength is made greater. I referenced the rowers because even during pain, during cramps, during a bout of motion sickness they may have; in screwy weather, when someone is missing or cannot seem to go on, they still have to keep going. We are, according to Paul, running a race that cannot be stopped. So we choose to either stop, focus on whatever the pain is and sit out the race or we address the pain and lean on Him to help us get across the finish line. 

A big deal with me, for all these years is that I was listening to "Should be", the cousin of Envy. This was telling me where I should be in life, what I should be doing, what I should have, and how far my family, my kids should be according to those around us. I have recently chosen to stop looking at others from the outside and deal with what I can, me on the inside. How's that going, you ask? It's good, it's bad and it's ugly but it's God power dealing with all that is within me and loving my beautiful mess. How is He dealing with you?