I am hungry to be used by God. I have a very large appetite for change in people that must be credited to God, and I really want to be a part of it. The sooner, the better. Recently I found that in order to be a part of it, I would need to amp up my prayer life. I did. I am. And as a result, I have been experiencing some discomfort. Sleep disturbed, schedule thrown off, and so forth. And there have been some disappointments. Things I prayed for in faith which were not granted me.
The worst part, by far, is the lack of sleep. I have been sleeping worse in the past month than at any other time in my whole life, with the exception of when my daughter was a newborn. Kira would wake up many times a night (which is not like her), or we’d be sleeping away from home, and I have been waking up at 5 or earlier each day to get some prayer time in before Kira awakes, if I am lucky.
Unlike most people (or I assume most people) I cannot function on low sleep. Well, I can function for a little while, but after a few days I turn into an angry-sobbing-zombie-witch woman who doesn’t know who she loves anymore, and who can’t do simple tasks like bake muffins. My brain shuts down in the overload of crazy emotions pounding in from all sides. My husband kindly bears the brunt of this, then he orders me (gently) to take a nap. Sometimes I am so wound up that I can’t.
A couple of days ago I was trying to wrap my head around the idea that I am going to have to work part time again for a few months, and trying to wrap my heart around the idea that God would ignore my fervent prayers when He knows how much I love being a stay-home mom, and I was not doing well. I was tired and emotional and very stressed just thinking about the changes that are most likely going to take place, and I was angry at God.
I don’t like being angry at God very much. It is easy to “go there”, but once you’re “there” you inevitably realize that there is no way you can win this argument. He is perfect, and if He deems it necessary that one must work again, then work one must. He gets to call the shots, and He sees everything from a different angle, so He knows what is best for us in the long run. Based on what the Bible says, and which personal experience reiterates, He loves us more than we could ever imagine, so logically, He has our best interest at heart. He sometimes lets us go through difficulty to change us into better people. So I am resigned to working.
But it took me a while, and I think the biggest disappointment was that I truly felt that He was going to pull through for me in a big way and that He somehow betrayed my trust, or that after all we’ve worked through in our relationship, He decided now would be a good time to stop listening to me. It was silly, but I was tired and emotional. I was asking myself questions like: “If following Jesus is so difficult, why don’t you quit?” and my emotions were saying, “Really. Just quit already.”
But I am stubborn. I have been a Christian a long time- sometimes following as closely as I can, sometimes following from a distance that would cause most to wonder if I am really following at all- and one thing I know is this: Life without God in it SUCKS!
So I was on my knees, praying angrily to the God who loves me and knows what is best for me, and the question arose: ”Why don’t you just quit then?” By this time I was really angry. Frustrated at a deep level. And I angrily told God, angry tears squeezing out of my angry eyes, “Because I love You! That is all. I CANNOT live without You. I will keep praying and trying and failing. I will be the worst daughter You ever got for Yourself, but I will keep being Yours because I am too crazy about You to move away. I will not harden my heart, I will change. I will be Yours because You love me, and I can’t get enough of You! And I want You to use me, and that is Impossible if I push You away!”
Immediately I felt like that was what this is all about. As if I had passed a little test. ”Let’s see if Julia will be faithful to me… I will take away her free time. I will not pay her to take away her free time. I will take away time with her beloved little daughter. I will let someone else spend that time with her. I will put change in her life. I will cause her to need to reschedule a couple days each week, and add to the load she feels is enough. How will she do under pressure? Is she ready to serve me however I say she should? No? Wait, she’s ready. Weeeeell, sort of. Willingish.” I didn’t pass with great marks, but I passed, okay?
I am going to keep pursuing Him, keep praying even if He chooses to not do as I request (or demand) and keep going through spiritually, emotionally, and at times physically draining times in order to know Him more. I am trying to work on finding balance between praying with passion, and banking everything on God doing as I say. I am trying to find balance in my schedule to pray uninterrupted without losing so much sleep that I turn into the angry-sobbing-zombie-witch, and I am trying to become more flexible. This is difficult, but if if glorifies my God in the long run, I will attempt. And I will pray that He helps me with all of these things that are difficult for me. I believe He will, but I also believe that His methods may surprise me. (Because, try as I might, I can’t really figure Him out!)
On a cheerfuller note, I am extremely excited to report that during this month of difficult prayer God has answered some. Kira was sick and had horrible diaper rash that the prescriptions weren’t helping, and she is 100% better. I have experienced more Joy while praying than at any other time in my life. Connection to Him has not been my problem much lately. So I am grateful. Having gotten a relatively good night of sleep last night, I can think on these things with greater calmness than prior. And I am grateful that the One who is big enough to make all the universe loves me enough to listen.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)