Saturday, April 9, 2011

What if you weren't?

So, there was this book.

So, I'm a sap.  Some one looked at me rather funny the other day when I called myself that title. A "sap", I said to them, is a person who is to capable of feeling sappy, overwhelmed by emotion by sad or happy things. Books, movies, greeting card, and Dairy Queen commercials were on the top of my list at one time of another. They make me teary, even in a happy way, and I bubble over with overwhelming emotion when I am drawn into a character completely.

As it were, I have been reading a book. I didn't know I had time to do that anymore. Other than Fibro help books, blogs about home remedies and simplifying one's life, and informational Christian books, I thought the time for me to sit and revel in a novel had gone away. It was nice to read a book, a real book with a plot and a cast of characters I could become involved with. Why I began reading, Jane Eyre, of all books, I cannot tell you for sure, but I believe it is something God led me to. I've never seen the movie, so if you are comparing the movie to the real book, I cannot testify to what the movie holds. If you've never read this book, it is about a little girl whose parents die before she even knows them, is given to and aunt and uncle, the uncle (who loves her) dies, and we find Jane being treated rather poorly by her inherited family. She is accused of things, detested, abused, neglected, and unloved. She finally, is sent to a boarding school, where, even though she is not given proper food or clothing, she manages to come out of with a sense of hope, Christian morals, and determination to do what God has called her to do. I'm not going to tell you the whole story, and I won't ruin this classic novel's ending for those who wish to venture into it's pages, but I will tell you the main point that has stuck out in my mind. What if your weren't supposed to do what everyone else thought you were supposed to do?

I've been struggling for some time. Trying to figure out what and where the "balance" is. The bible says not to become weary of well doing, and although I don't feel like I've done much of that "well doing", I am weary. See, Jane, becomes attached to someone, falls in love, and then finds herself unable to complete that mission because of the situation. She sticks to her guns! She doesn't go where her heart wants to, what others try to guilt her into doing, or what would be easy. She instead, runs, almost dies, and is saved. She eventually finds the place God has made for her, and is complete. However, it's not before she struggles with doing the bidding of others she admires. They think she should do this... but that little voice inside her tells her otherwise. I'll say the book was predictable, but most stories are. It did surprise me a few times, and I did get a little upset when the plot didn't move the way I thought it should, fast enough. You know what I mean... Jane is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. Scarlet O'Hara has nothing on Jane Eyre, and although I know many authors have copied her character to their novel's heroine... She holds my heart something extreme.

What if...
I, while reading this book, found a strange courage well up inside of me. I want you to grasp hold of this while I have you here. Think on this, and as you ask yourself this question, I want you to sincerely question the motives of everything you are doing or are thinking about doing.

I don't know the plan God has for me, but I know that the road is not going to be full of easy choices. Some may be the easiest choice ever, and others may tear my heart out and stomp on it. I don't believe that God delights in torturing us with hard decisions, but I do believe he puts hard choices in our lives that we have to make, and He relishes it when we choose the road less traveled. There were choices that Jane could have made that would have been okay. I don't believe that she would have been cast out of God's grace for choosing them. Sometimes, I know that God puts things in front of us that would be okay, but who wants to settle for okay? I don't! I want the thing that He knows will be awesome, and maybe the choices are hard to make, but the end result is so sweet and perfect that you can't help but be full of complete joy. I believe that God wants us to be content, not searching for what's next, but content to do what He has put you in at the moment and awaiting the next step. Yes, even when it hurts. Quiet in your reserve, even when it breaks your heart to step away from something you feel such a connection, but ready to do it because you know it's right.

Questions, questions, questions
I question myself all the time. Did I make the right choice? Did I make a mistake? Should I have done this or that? Will people suffer because of my choice? Will God be displeased? Even when I am settled in my choice, and have spent time in deep prayer to hear God's direction, I still question if I heard it exactly right. People are no help! They want to pull you into their will, or what they believe God is calling you to do. Why is it that people cannot stand to let you make your own path with God? I know we are weak, weary, and often times stupid. I have been there, done that, and will probably repeat that scenario. I have seen people step away from something that they KNEW God didn't want them doing, only to be pulled back several times. They have heard God, and they know what it is that He wants them to do, and some well meaning person chastises them and scolds them on behalf of "god". I do know they mean well, but just because the words sound godly, and the wisdom sounds true, it doesn't mean that is what God wants for you.

Delusions of grandeur
I think sometimes we feel so guilty because we are not out there putting shoes on the feet of the shoeless, feeding the hungry, or saving every child that is hurting. Believe me, my heart wants to save the world, but I have grasped the complete and knowing fact that, "I cannot do everything!". If I try, I will fail, and I will be in despair. I have a huge amount of empathy. I read somewhere that people with Fibromyalgia must be able to feel everyone else's pain so well, and with such compassion that it never leaves them. I don't know if everyone with fibro is so compassionate, but I know I have wept for people that I will never meet because I know they are hurting, and they may not get the help they need. I see children suffering, and my insides churn. I see tears and I cry too, because I feel some part of their pain. Someone is not doing what God has planned for them, and therefore, there will not be a miracle for some because of their denial or apathy. If only we would all step up to the task God has for us individually. What a world this would be! That breaks my heart, and also makes me wonder what I've missed out on doing. What blessing have I kept someone from receiving?

Still, people have these delusions that they are supposed to do everything. I would be inclined to believe that everything is better than nothing... But I'm not convinced of that notion. Most of us cannot sit still long enough to hear God calling us to a specific task because we hear every task as a call from God. We waste so much time fixing at things that we have not been given authority to fix. Why? Because we are deluded enough to believe that we hear God without "hearing" him. We are so busy, full of ideas, inspiration, empathy (I hope), and pressed upon (by our own ideas and everyone else's ideas), that we cannot possibly hear God through all the other noise! Forgive me for ranting. I am just so tired of being tired in a bad way. Tired because I'm mentally drained and feeling as though I'm running in circles. It's my own fault. I've blamed it on everything and everyone from Fibromyalgia to my husband. It's all my own. I have to own this, because I'm the only one responsible for taking on this work. I'm the only one that can hear what God is saying to me.

Do you do it because it is God's call? Do you do it because you think it needs to be done, and no one else was doing it? Do you do it because someone else told you it was God's call? Do you feel guilty because no one else is doing it, and it breaks your heart that it's being overlooked? Stick to your convictions! Listen for God's voice, and if it doesn't match what someone else is saying, or what your heart thinks it wants... be confident enough to believe the voice inside your own person, and stand firm! Our hearts lie, our friends are often wrong, and the only truth we can hold onto... believe completely in... stand tall on... move forth in... is God's truth and His voice that we have to practice hearing on a continual basis.

Let's get real, and start familiarizing yourself with that whisper that sometimes grows into a mighty roar! God has a plan for each of us, and I believe that if we really operate in His will, it will not be something that tortures us, but we will find peace and hope even in the hard times. There will be a sense of something that I cannot even explain, of being in God's will. I'm not saying it will be easy. Nothing worth doing is every easy.

Correct me if I'm wrong. :-) I like to debate. I love you all and hope that you are all blessed beyond measure, and your own comprehension.