Friday, May 30, 2008

Sweetly Broken

Fear is a miserable companion. It begins in the pit of my stomach before my mind even registers it's existence. It cloaks itself in depression and sometimes anger. It insinuates itself into every response, masking it's true position as an idol in my heart with euphemisms like "worry" and "concern". The reality is that I have some major trust issues. The fact that I'm an oldest child should not justify my unwillingness to relinquish control but it's an excuse I often spout with just enough of a smile that I seem transparent and able to laugh at my own foibles.

Last night, our worship pastor, Ryan, slipped a song into the set that we hadn't rehearsed the night before. (We have Thursday night services during the summer.) It was the hymn (updated and accompanied by electric guitar, of course) "I Surrender All". Ummm. Yeah. Can we just skip that one?

Here's the thing. I don't want to. Surrender all, that is. It's too frightening for me, especially when what I see looks hopeless. I look at the fact that our house has been on the market for 9 months...that's right. NINE months... and it hasn't sold in a market where other houses are selling in just a few months. I mean, it's not like we're in Southern California where the market is tanking. Our house is gorgeous and in one of the best, most coveted developments in Granger and no. one. will. buy. it. Meanwhile, our family is apart 2-3 weeks out of each month while Larry travels to work. This puts serious strain on our family dynamics as we readjust every few days to different schedules and expectations. We also have one car. With brakes that need to be fixed. Then I find myself worried about arriving in San Diego and having nowhere to live. Or having to settle (something an oldest child absolutely hates to do). There is something in me that absolutely rebels against taking our children away from a beautiful home that they love and moving them into something less. I know it's shallow but it makes me sick (how's that for transparency?). Without selling this house we will not qualify for anything and even with selling our house, we qualify for very little (a result of a couple of very difficult years here in Granger). My fears start to compound and I am unable to see God working in any of this.

Now, I should make it quite clear that I know things could be so much worse. And you should know that Larry is an incredible father and husband and takes take of us in ways that I believe most men would not. Without his wisdom, the circumstances that blindsided and crippled us could have resulted in much more dire consequences. Because of him (and certainly not me because I have not the discipline nor the financial acumen) we have avoided bankruptcy, foreclosure, delinquencies, loss of medical care and much more. I know that God carried us through those times with a clarity that I wish I could hold onto for more than a brief moment.

So, returning to last night... we came out of communion singing "I Surrender All" and I was fighting it. My attempts to disengage started to erode somewhere around verse two:

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now

Slowly the layers of resolve began to peel away despite my best efforts to stayed pissed at God. The set was orchestrated to move from "I Surrender All" into "Sweetly Broken" (Jeremy Riddle) with me leading. By the time I hit the chorus I had to drop out. I broke. The tears streamed down my face as I was reminded anew that 'God is love and God is just.'

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

I was so beautifully brought into recognition of His sovereignty despite my willful distrust. I am praying this morning as the pit in my stomach takes up it's normal residency that Christ will invade my space moment by moment today. That He will reveal himself to me in ways that assault my selfish nature and infringe on my comfort. That He will continue to humble me and transform my yearnings until they align with His will. That His kingdom will come, His will be done in my heart and life as it is in heaven.


Diane said...

Let me just say this. THIS is exactly what I needed to read at this moment. I'm going through issues of my own right now, and wow, you said exactly what I needed. Thank you. You have helped me more than you know.

jen said...

Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing the intimacies of your heart.

Ryan said...

I'm reminded of what Jesus said to the rich man in Luke 18:22, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Following Jesus may require us to be demoted from our comfortable standard of living. But one thing's for sure, heavenly treasure is better than any and every worldly treasure. There is more joy and comfort in following Jesus than anything in this world. Thanks for sharing.

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Oh, Melissa
As your friend with a pit in her stomach, too, I feel your pain. Literally! That surrender is soooo hard. And is has to be on a daily basis. Jesus just isn't comfortable, is he?