November 22, 2010

Ironies abound

I wrote Saturday's update and felt so empowered and excited, but then...

I woke up.

One of my friends just told me she's pregnant and I'm thrilled for her, but... it's just a reminder of an arena in our lives that has NOT been easy. As I told Jrex on Saturday night when we hung out and chatted, "Hope is the most difficult emotion." On Sunday morning, I was totally out of sorts. Then figuring out how much we owed in tithe given my raise led to a money talk. Let's just say that money and baby-land are our two most emotionally charged topics. It didn't go well. By the time I left for church (late), we'd found a relatively peaceful meeting point in the middle, but I was emotionally very thin and close to tears.

At church I've been helping teach the junior high girls. This fall there have only been three teachers. As part of the church's Reducing the Risk (of sexual abuse) policy, there need to be two adults at all times with the children. Combine that with travel and work and I've only been in a church service once in two months. I'm desperate for that time to be with God to cry and process and hear his response. Yesterday was yet another teaching day, so I didn't even have church to help.

On a side note, the funny thing about really studying the Bible with kids is that it's VERY "R-rated". How would YOU define 'debauchery, orgies and the like' (actual Bible verse) to a bunch of protected Christian children?

My one ray of hope was my new small group. A few weeks ago my pastor's wife invited me to join their group. It meets every other Sunday afternoon and is followed by dinner. Most people in the group are couples with children from 3-17. As we studied Psalm 73, I had tears in my eyes. I could feel how completely and utterly empty I was. After the study, we split up into men and women for prayer. First we prayed for one other woman and then they asked if anyone else wanted prayer. Part of me thought about letting someone else have an opportunity, but I knew that I was too desperate for that. It felt great to have a group of mature women surround me and pray for me.

Today I feel sane again. The whirlwind in my head has ebbed to a quiet breeze. This pattern is so familiar. I hit on some big insight and then life smacks me in the face with a test of that very concept. If I keep seeking God in the middle of the smack-around, good things happen. The test was where will I focus my attention. Psalm 73 deals with that very idea. When David envies the wicked he feels embittered and overwhelmed, when he enters the sanctuary, he discovers that God is all he wants. I don't know that I'm at the point where God is all I want, but I'm definitely happy to have some of the clutter between him and me cleared away.

Anyone else dealing with life's ironies? Or having to explain orgies to 13-year olds?


Inkling said...

We had a girl who works with the Not For Sale campaign in South Africa speak a bit yesterday, and she mentioned before showing a video that she learned about prostitution in church as a young child the Sunday they studied Rahab. So she told people if they wanted to take a bathroom break with their kiddo during the video that would be a good time.

You are right, the Bible is actually quite R-rated.

A few years ago, we were studying the story where one of the Herods is so caught up in himself that God allows him to be eaten by worms. Because we were doing the same passage with the kids' program (age 2-12) that the adults were doing and I was writing the kids' curriculum, I had to come up with a way to tell that story AND a craft. I don't remember how I wrote out the story, but our craft was a worm sock puppet with a red felt tongue that said "I will always praise God" on it. I can only imagine what the parents thought about that one.

And at our conference this last weekend, Mark Gungor talked about something Paul said that is usually translated "I would that they would be cut off". Apparently, that didn't mean from fellowship. It actually meant certain body parts on a man. Who knew?

I'm praying for you. Hope deferred and living daily with unfulfilled dreams are two very hard things to live with. I wish I could make it better. But I'll be asking Jesus to do something since I can't.

Aimee said...

Oh, yes, I can definitely relate. In the time we were trying for Abbie, 14 other couples we knew got pregnant and had their babies. It's an ache that can be hard to describe, but I hear you loud and clear. I get it.

I'm glad you're able to be loved on and prayed for by women in your church. That helps so much.

mizasiwa said...

Iv been using Rob bell videos - im a total fan!!!

mizasiwa said...

the shoe is on the other foot, for me. I had no problems falling pregnant but have had to watch my sister lose two babies and now they found polyps and dont think she is ovulating anymore. she is such a perfect mom and i feel so bad its hard to be on this side of the fence and know that not much is going to make her feel better!!