I made a to-do list for today and didn't do anything on it. Instead I spent the morning responding to emails that have been building up in my inbox. Not the garden variety kind, either, the real deep nitty gritty life sort and there's still more to answer. I emptied my soul out a bit and when Season got home I emptied it more.
We're talking about long-term contentment, not the buckle down, house, three kids, 401K kind, because that's not really contentment, that's just filler stuff. We talked about how after the good feelings wear off, real life sets in.
How that's when contentment is the hardest.
I think I'm hitting it in these past few weeks. Eight months in Texas and now I'm home. In that time my understanding of the gospel has radically shifted the way my heart responds to God and sees Him, but the other thing that understanding has done has made the intensity with which I broach life even more intense. I'm discontent with any part of me that doesn't smell of the gospel and all I know is that that is most of me.
I'm weeping because a deep understanding of the love of Christ for us compels us and sometimes that compelling hurts. It's digs at the deep parts and exposes all the weak parts. I don't like to be exposed. I don't like to have to acknowledge that there are parts of me that have been untouched by the encompassing depth of the gospel. I don't like that.
I don't like that understanding the gospel means changing the way we interact with men, women, people, individuals who are all desperate for someone to reach out to them, show them love. I don't like that the gospel means stopping something when my only motivation is to feel good. I don't like that the gospel means that every relationship in my life is going to hit breaking point over and over and over again because we go from glory to glory, faith to faith. Because breaking points drive us to Christ all the more.
I'm discontent with some things right now. I'll just put that out there. I feel parched and dry.
I'm frustrated with a culture that isn't my own and is hard for me to understand. I'm tired of some things that seem unjustified. I'm weary of the perpetual plod toward complete sanctification. My soul is feeling bruised and prone to tears, homesick for the north, a culture and people I understand.
A friend sent me an email the other day that said "struggle is a metric for growth" and I'm thinking about that a lot this week. This soul sadness isn't a sign that I've been forgotten by God or that He is less than who I know Him to be, it's simply a way to say someday "see I was there, now I am here." Oswald Chambers said it this way,
"Growth in grace is measured not by the fact that you have not gone back, but that you have an insight into where you are spiritually; you have heard God say "Come up higher," not to you personally, but to the insight of your character."
And so today I going to embrace these struggles. I'm going to embrace the pioneer part of me that loves new and changing things, and I'm going to savor the settled part of me that desires to see changes that are sustainable and real.
And I am going to preach the gospel to every part of me that balks.
Which is most of me.