This, what we're doing, building a business and trying to establish community and making our home a functional and comfortable space continues to be the absolute most difficult time in our lives. There is stress over money (always), over chaos (always), over parenting struggles (sometimes), over marriage struggles (infrequently), over the will The Lord has for us. We work hard all the time just to survive.
When we were sued Daniel and I felt much like Nehemiah. We had to simply keep building the wall. A friend of mine commented that this is where most everyone is. Everyone just keeps putting one foot in front of the other. Everyone has their very own hard things to tackle. I get it. I don't discount the struggles of others. Their struggles don't diminish ours any more than our struggles diminish theirs. Occasionally, I fall into the trap of thinking I have no right to lament our circumstances because, "it could be worse" or we've been "really blessed" in so many ways. But really I don't believe our God calls us to a place if constant happiness. Joy can be found through Him in all things but there is a time for everything. Laments and groans in our spirits are powerful and faith changing.
Just like I find myself thinking I have no right or purpose in slogging through this struggle, I find that attitudes in others, as well. Instead of encouraging one another we find ourselves in a pissing contest over who has it worse. Or worse still, we find ourselves called out for actions while we are simply trying to keep our heads above water.
Most days, it's all I can do to stay afloat. The burdens we are carrying are so very heavy. And try as I might I don't know how to hand them over to Jesus and still continue working on them.
We talked about Sampson in Sunday school yesterday. I was so encouraged by his story. He was a total screw up. He failed over and over again. Still the Lord used him. Still there was redemption in his story. He was still used. While I don't wish to remain in a state where I continually feel like I'm completely screwing everything up, I also know that even now The Lord can and is using me for His good.
Recently I found that one of my safe places is no longer safe. Turns out, it may never have been. It's a devastating loss. One more in a series of expectations or hopes dashed. I have a couple of choices. 1. Allow the loss to further weigh in on the depression scale that is dangerously overloaded. 2. Get really angry that the hits just keep on coming and let my anger fuel forward movement until the flame dies. 3. Let it go and guard my heart more carefully. In this place we are, I am, at this point, I just can't do anything but let it go.
This life that we're living is full. It's full of hard stuff and great stuff and healthy stuff and unhealthy stuff. It's loaded with potential and hope and fear and skepticism. We're in a balance and it can go either way. My hope is that our balance tips to the good in a real and tangible way quickly but even if it doesn't, we'll just keep building the wall.