"Are you okay, there?" is what the guy asked me at Whole Foods today. He was very handsome, hair long and slicked back into a ponytail off his face. He had a smile that was literally from the front door to the back. He gave me a nod and waited for me to answer...
I said, yes...gave him a smile back and then cried my way through the organic chicken and Greek yogurt.
Ten minutes earlier I was at Michaels with the girls using a 40% off coupon on canvas. I was shaking again in the isles thinking about how it was gas in my car or 12 x 12 canvas, where little animals and letters would soon live...making a choice to listen to what God wants me to do with my art...how he wants to use me. But I still struggle with trusting him to make it be what he wants it to be, not what I want it to be.
And about 45 minutes before that, I had realized that it was approaching the time for certain bills to be paid and I text my husband, again in a complete panic, and that man...he can only just say..."I love you". He doesnt get the worry. He doesnt get the guilt. Thank God for that.
And about and hour earlier I had been browsing around on etsy, looking at all the other shops. I was noticing how many women were successful at selling their homemade goods and art...and how I had not one sale on etsy so far.
And in that same hour I found myself again considering my life to be one big failure. Again, something I am not successful at.
And one day earlier I had to call and make an appointment for another dental visit. Thousands of dollars later and many hours sitting in that chair, I again, have more problems. I have had to wait until August so my benefits would renew. And thanks be to God for taking all the pain away for the last 4 months while I have been waiting...
I was driving home watching Grace mouth the words to one of her bible school songs in the back..."you you you...you can trust God" Even though she really doesn't know what she is saying, I know how powerful these words being hidden in her heart are. I know that one day, when Jesus is ready to take her heart...and she is ready to give it...she will remember that song.
And I couldn't help but think about that guy at whole foods. He looked alot like Jesus. The smile, the hair, the way he practically sought me out, stopping in his own steps to check on me...I couldn't help but think, did he mean am I okay THERE?
Not like, are you okay? But how are you doing, where you are. Are you okay in your own guilt and shame...hows it going with all those burdens you put on yourself? Again, the tears flow as I sit here and write this. As I sit and contemplate what has become the biggest thief of my joy in life. My biggest fear, my biggest weakness.
For some reason I still to this day have a hard time releasing all control to the one who is. I still consider my success based on what I am capable of and how well I make things work. I still consider and empty bank account a failure. I still think of physical illness, my fault.
And this post isn't even about money. Or it could be. It could be cancer. It could be the loss of a loved one. It could be a divorce or the loss of a job. But for me, its trusting God, when its the hardest. I go to bed feeling guilty for buying gluten free bread, not because I am trendy, but because I am allergic.
Some days I wake up and I look around and see all the art in my house, waiting for a home, and I feel like I have failed, because its still here.
But I am convinced now that this is all for my good. The complete depletion of monetary funds. The lack of etsy sales...the health issues. All of it. Because I am now understanding that for my own good, God will take everything away from me that I feel I am in control of. He will allow things to get so bad that I have nothing left but to get on the floor, and receive. Receive his love, his mercy and his grace. Let him take over and fill my cup. Let him love me like no other could. Let him be my only source of comfort.
I have been told that I need to learn to get over always thinking of myself as a failure. I am still not quite sure how to do that. All I know is that no amount of work I do or time I spend or paintings I make or meals I cook or preschools we go to or babies I breastfeed or business I run or charity's I support or blog posts I write...none of it matters to him. He just wants to love me...because I am his.
And I also realize that the lack of money or the presence of cancer or the loss of job or a successful business is not the measure of his love. Because I would rather sit here with my heart breaking into a million pieces, pouring out my soul, seeking wisdom, on my knees...than live one more day out in the wilderness alone. I would rather my bank account be empty so I can trust him to fill it. I would rather have to go to the dentist monday and get my exam...and have him in control, rather than me. I would rather have no sales on etsy right now, so I can really discover his love for me, without it. I would rather approach the father, clothed in rags, broken and unclean, so that he might transform me into what he intended.
I don't have all the answers, infact I dont have any. I dont know things happen. I dont understand Gods timing. I dont get his ways...and for someone like me, this is a very uncomfortable place to be in.
But I am chosing to hang on and let him change me. Let whatever needs to happen, happen. I want so badly to just be able to let go. I cant just hang on when things are good. And I cant believe the lie that if you are not sick, your healthy. And if your rich, your safe. And if your happy, your secure.
So, to answer your question sweet man at whole foods...no, Im not okay here. I dont want to be here. I want to be as far from here as possible. But there is only one way for me to do that...