Friday, May 13, 2011

Experiencing God

I woke up this morning and the Lord was calling……
First, there was the weekly email from my pastor asking the accountability question, “How have you experienced God in your life this week?”  That was quickly followed by these two facebook status updates from friends who don’t know each other: “If you want to discover God's purpose for your life, start by experiencing God.” And “Sometimes to experience God, you just have to sit down and listen.” 
Now, I keep telling you that I’m a bit on the slow side, but even I can get it after three times this morning.  I’ve been struggling to keep a positive outlook about life in general over the last week or so.  I’ve felt disconnected from God’s plans.  I know that this is my fault, not His.  I know that He is still here and readily available.  I KNOW all this, yet I having trouble feeling it.  It’s not been the greatest week for me.  What’s even more telling is that there are times I feel God, evidenced by my writing on caringbridge, but then I quickly forget it and begin to question where He is in all of this thing that I call life.  When I first read the accountability question, I just skimmed over it and frankly, didn’t give it much thought.  Then came facebook.  God knows my heart; He hears my cries of “where are You?”  He is patient and calls me to slow down and remember exactly how He has shown up in tangible ways EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I want to write some things down. 
On Wednesday, I took a leave of absence from one of my “full time jobs”—that would be teaching math to K.  I am a homeschooling mommy. I informed the principal (my sweet husband) by text that “I am done.  It’s your job for the rest of the year.”  I don’t know if it’s good or bad that I meant it. The text I got back simply said, “OK.”  And like that, a major source of frustration for me and K was lifted.  God was there in the grace that He gave to C for him to say “ok” and take over that part of my responsibility.  Trust me, it’s not like C has extra time or energy to be teaching math when he gets home from his already demanding job.  But he takes his job as husband seriously and allows God to love me through him.  This may seem like something small to you, but from where I sit, it is HUGE!
In the midst of my tear-filled afternoon about school and feeling like a failure as a mom and a teacher, I got a phone call from a long-time friend that I haven’t talked to in months.  Poor girl didn’t know what she was calling into :)  We talked, and I was able to let go of some of my frustration.  I do believe that was God showing up again.
Thursday was the first decent day of school that we have had emotionally.  K and I didn’t have anything to melt down over and it changed the whole school experience.  The day ended with the two of us hugging with NO left over anger simmering beneath the surface.  That was a gift. K and C have also had the gift of learning together.  I’m sure C would rather not spend his limited time at home doing Algebra, but he’s enjoying it just a little bit too.
Today, I was able to get away for just over an hour to visit with a friend who just happened to be in town on business---just happened to be here when I needed a friend the most.  God just happens to be here too:) Also, as I type, my boys are having fun with a family from church just so that they could get out of the house for awhile.  God knows our needs.
These are just a few of the ways that I have experienced God this week.  This only scratches the surface.  The ways in which God is present deep in my soul cannot be described with words.  I find, though, that to truly experience God, I have to slow down long enough to take notice.  I have to quit trying to do it myself.  A lot of experiencing God is about doing nothing.  That’s hard to get through my head.  I have spent years joyfully (and some not so joyfully) serving God in different ways.  That’s not a bad thing, but sometimes the noise created by the service, or the Bible reading, or the small group, or the you name it, just gets in the way of the actual experience of God.
I’m so thankful that I have been able to have a few moments of stillness to EXPERIENCE God in a whole new way.


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