And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Running from God

I forgot how crummy it feels to run from God. That’s what I was doing earlier this week. It wasn’t anything extreme—no drugs, no alcohol, not even much ice cream—in fact, if you lived with me, you wouldn’t have known I was running. But I was.

What did it look like? Well, on the inside it looked like this—incredible boredom, subdued grief, mild panic, and extreme restlessness. On the outside it looked like a woman complaining and making jokes about how bored she was but not doing anything to get unbored.

Actually, that’s not quite true. I did try a few things. I wandered around the house. I wandered around the yard. I even read a good book and watched the Survivor Finale on the internet. I also called a few friends and told them how bored I was.

What I didn’t do was go to God for the help I needed to cope with life. Instead, I just coasted through the days trying not to think—trying to cover up my emotions with recreational activities. And it didn’t work.

I was miserable. Yes, it was a functioning kind of miserable, but miserable just the same. How much better life is when I go to God for help as soon as I need that help! You know why I didn’t go? Because I didn’t want to think about it.

You see, a lot has happened the last couple weeks. First I gave some talks on emotional eating at the local hospital (a scary experience); then I had to wait three days to go back for further evaluation after a suspicious mammogram (everything turned out okay), and then we had a graduation party for our second son (who will be going to college in the fall) with all the accompanying “life with the kids has been so great—I can’t believe they’re all leaving” emotions.

In the midst of all that my oldest son left for a three month adventure in Europe and the Middle East, traveling alone, and sleeping who knows where (it’s a budget trip).

All those old feelings of being sad about the kids leaving and worrying about their welfare came back to haunt me—but instead of dealing with my emotions—renewing my mind and seeing the situation from God’s point of view, I just tried not to think about it.

Do you ever do this? Life is nagging at you, but you don’t want to deal with it? You’d rather just escape? Well, I can tell you from experience this is a bad idea—you can’t escape!

I love living at peace. I love making God’s priorities, my priorities. I love trusting in His sovereign nature and even submitting to His will. But none of these things happen by chance.

If my focus is on escaping life or even on making life so great I don’t want to escape it, I’m not going to live a peaceful life—because I can’t find peace without God.

I did find peace eventually. The third day of my run, I submitted to God. I prayed with thanksgiving. I truth journaled. I asked myself, “How am I seeing these situations in life? How does God see these same situations?” What I did was get God’s perspective on my life. And when I got His perspective, I also received His peace and joy.

We can’t create the perfect life. We can’t control life. We can’t guarantee our kids will always make wise decisions (or us, either, for that matter). But we can trust in God. We can rely on His goodness. We can recognize His sovereignty. We can go to Him with our concerns.

I’m through running—at least for this week. My goal is to be through running for good, but I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll never stumble again. So much of Christianity is learning how to live for God in each new situation that comes up. It just seems like I've had a lot of new situations lately.

I'm going to keep pressing on, though. I don't want to be a mom who worries. I don't want to be a woman who's afraid to do things that make her uncomfortable. I don't want to be a person who feels like life has to be exciting all the time. What I want to be is a woman who loves God and lives in His presence all the time.

Even when it's hard.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amen! I am glad your mammogram turned out good. And little do our kids know how much they affect us moms! I wish I could stop worrying about them so much but all I can do is pray everyday for them. I'm glad to hear you stopped running from God in those latest situations. Kids leaving home is the most traumatic thing for a mom. I know, been through it several times. When my baby left for the Marines at 18, I think I cried every day for months. It took me 2 years to really get over him not being there for me to raise anymore. Then each time he'd come home on leave and then have to go back, I cried for a week or two straight. This time when he moved to Australia, I truth-jounaled and prayed about it. It's better now.