Sunday, October 4, 2015

Somewhere In-Between

"Just let me get home, Lord.  Let me get out of this terrible place and home to my family.  I will be okay.  I promise."


That was my prayer for FIVE. STRAIGHT. DAYS.

Due to a horrible, life-threatening incident (brought upon by none else but YOURS TRULY) I had been placed in a medical facility to heal and recuperate.  I was scared out of my mind.  I wanted to go home. I wanted to "be okay".

But I wasn't.

After returning home, I slipped right back into dangerous and destructive patterns within just a matter of few weeks.  I was not thinking about the fact that the choices I was making were hurting me.  Hurting my family. Hurting my friends and loved ones. All I wanted was to "feel good" at that very moment.  No matter the consequence.

I did not create the storm.  No, this was a low-pressure system that Satan put in place about 3 years ago. But you better believe that I fed it.  My actions and thoughts and decisions were such that they were conducive to enabling the storm to grow.  In many ways they instigated the growth. From Tropical Depression (literally, a severe depression that lasted for months) all the way to a CAT 5 Hurricane.

A couple of weeks ago, "Hurricane Susanne" swept through 2121 Twin Bridge Drive and left massive destruction and devastation in her wake.

Once again, I had to leave.

Since that time, our state (South Carolina) has faced a Once-In-One-Thousand-Years weather event. Massive rainfall resulting in severe flooding. Widespread devastation. And is God is using this to mold me and shape me.  You see, He hasn't been able to get my FULL and UNDIVIDED attention for over a year and a half... He tried.  Wooing me. Gently correcting me.  Even saving my life!!!

Unfortunately, I was too blind to see. It has taken a GIANT OBJECT LESSON to teach this HARD HEAD a very valuable truth.  While the flood waters rose all around me, in a very literal sense, God also showed me that I have personally been stuck in an emotional flood of nasty, stinky, debris filled waters for far too long.

And if THAT wasn't enough, my Mom comes to me and says, "I have something to share with you.  Our Sunday School lesson this week is out of the book of Genesis.  It's dealing with Noah and the Flood." (That's what I said.  Noah.  Ark.  Flood. --- It's like Jesus was saying, " Hey, Susanne!! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW??")

The lesson centered around the fact that Noah and his family stayed in the ark, for over a year, after the rain stopped falling.  Yes.  The storm was over.  But they had to wait for the waters to recede.  This is HUGE!! See, there have already been two times in the last several months that God has placed me in an "ark" of sorts. (That place I was describing at the beginning of this post, being one of them.) But here's the deal... I kept leaving that ark, that place of protection and safety, TOO SOON. I saw the rising water, the uprooted trees, the downed power lines, and all of the mess floating around me, but instead of resting in His arms, I ran away. I got out in the mess.  I played in it.  Dang, let's be real.  I threw a party.

When God placed me under conviction and correction for my behavior, I did not heed it.  Just like many people who were stuck in cars and trucks throughout our area during the Flood of 2015.  They did not not heed the warnings of state and local officials telling them to STAY INDOORS.  DO NOT GET OUT IN THIS MESS! Wait for the rains to stop and the waters to recede.  Wait for REPAIRS and PREPARATIONS TO BE MADE.  JUST BE STILL, hunker down, and WAIT!!

Well, peeps.  I've learned my lesson. There are severe consequences, broken promises, uprooted dreams, and damaged relationships floating all around me. Due to the horrible devastation of this terrible storm,  I have, once again,  been placed in an Ark. Where I can be safe.  Where I can be nourished.  Where I can heal. Not just me, but my husband and children, as well.

I am so ready to make a fresh start. I want so badly to go home and pretend, once again, that I am okay. That everything is okay.

But I'm not.

It isn't.

Not yet...

I need a FRESH START.... and THIS TIME I will wait as long as it takes.

"Fresh starts remind us that while past failures may be devastating, they do not have to defeat or define us. When we mess up we can't go back and undo what was done, but we can make a fresh start. Fresh starts often mean going through an interim period---one of those times of life when we find ourselves between what was and what may be. These in-between days offer us the opportunity to consider or reconsider what the future can look like. Noah and his family experienced more than a year's worth of in-between days when they lived in the dark with the animals..." (A quote from Mama's Sunday School Lesson.)

Right now, I am definitely in that 'in between" period.  God is working.  God is moving.  He has forgiven me for my sinful ways, and He is washing me in His Word, as I yield to it.  He is creating, in me, a clean heart, restoring the joy of my salvation, and renewing a right spirit within me (Psalm 51). Healing and restoration is taking place within my own life, as well as in the lives of those I have deeply wounded in the process. It is happening.  But there is still a lot of work to be done.  The troubled waters are receding, but it is not done yet.

In order to make a fresh start, I have to wait. I have to be still. I cant make a fresh start until all of the contaminated debris has been swept away. It will take time to make repairs and preparations. I will wait until he gives me the "all clear" that a fresh start is now possible.

Because that's what Jesus does...  He makes ALL THINGS NEW.

While I wait, I should pray fervently, (I humbly request that you join me in prayer) and allow God to show me what the future can look like... humbly submit myself to HIS will.  HIS plan.  HIS timing. HIS peace.

So that's what I'll do.  I'll wait.  Like Noah, I will wait....

Until God opens the door.

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