Friday, February 24, 2012

Come On! Try a Little Harder!!!

The trouble with "self-made" individuals is we tend to think we can just "self-will" ourselves out of tough times.  Therefore the expression--Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  Have you ever actually tried this?  Put on some boots, bend over while standing, grab onto the straps or laces and heave upward with as much strength as you can muster!  Epic FAIL! I think this is one of the stupidest expressions in the our language since it's impossible to do, yet we use it to describe someone who overcomes hard times out of a sheer self-determination.  In my own life I ended up in a tough time and no matter how hard I pulled, it was useless.  There is no such thing as a mass moving itself on its own force.  Newton had this figured out, too.  Look at his laws of motion.  It's reality, even for people. No outside force = no motion.
     After six years of marriage, Daryl and I moved 16 miles outside of  Fallon, Montana.  Fallon is tiny enough that if you blink, you will miss it.  There are some very lovely people who live there, but it's an extremely isolated place and was much more difficult than I could have imagined.  Flat, nearly treeless, dry, windy and green for a couple days a year, I struggled with the change of environment.  (They say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I know some of you reading this may think it's lovely, but coming from a girl who lived in lush green, mountainous areas, this was not what I saw.)   Between being a young mom with little children, the physical distance between people, and Daryl's very busy schedule, a loneliness set in like I'd never experienced before.  Upon hearing of this, one lady gave me a book and told me to read the chapter she had marked.  It was titled, Loneliness is A Choice.  That did NOT help!  My loneliness was a bit more complicated than just choosing to be isolated...I wasisolated!
     One day, I sat with the phone book and started calling numbers that had females in the listing.  I said, "You don't know me, but I've moved to the area and am wanting to get to know some people and am going to have a lunch next week, and wanted to invite you."  I was desperate!  A couple came and it was nice, but it takes time to cultivate friendships.  In the meantime, my soul began to shrivel up.
     I began to wonder why I was dying inside?  Why couldn't I just will myself to be content?  I had four healthy babies, a warm house, a hardworking husband, a loving extended family and meat in the freezer.  There was much more going on in my heart than I could have anticipated.  God began to use this isolation, loneliness and depression to help me long for something more!!!  I would sit on the floor when the kids were napping and try to pray, but it was more like tears and moans.  I remember asking God, "Why isn't my relationship with you enough?  Why do I want more?  Isn't Jesus enough?"  Then, one day as I had this echoing around in my mind, I realized something.  Adam walked with God face to face in the garden, and yet, he still longed for Eve.  God even said, "It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."  My need for relationship wasn't an insult to God.  He made us to need each other. But God also drew my attention to gaping holes in my relationship with Him through this time of "relationship bankruptcy".
     All my knowledge about God was not comforting.  They were facts about him. What difference did God make? I knew he was suppose to my Rock, my Comfort, my All in all, but practically, I had no idea what that looked like.  Here - in my personal dessert - I longed for something more with God.  A genuine, real, authentic relationship.  I remembered a verse that asked, "Why so downcast, o my soul?  Put your hope in God."  I sat there, on the edge of the couch and yelled, "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!?" I tried to determine I was going to HOPE!  I could do it!  I was going to will it into being!  I was going to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and hope...  epic FAIL!

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