Nothing screams ‘Deidre´you are a loser…you suck in life’ louder than when I find myself sitting at the kitchen counter on a Saturday evening, stuffing my face with pizza, all alone while licking my wounded soul. Every fibre in my being is screaming ‘life is not fair!’ “Skrew life!’ I could think of every ugly word in the dictionary that could have me cussing at life and the blow it has dealt me in this moment. I literally hate every person that has dealt me a blow, and more than anything I am deeply offended at life. All I can think is ‘life sucks and it is not fair’.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?(Isaiah 40:27)
I like to think of myself as a nice person. I do the right thing and I try to be kindhearted even when people do me wrong. Deep down I am even a sucker for punishment because even when someone rejects me, I will still go back to bury the hatched and make peace. As the days go by and I am in the process of transitioning back home, back to poverty, back to my parents house…I feel the sting of offense hitting me like a flood. Making matters worse, is the truth that I just walked away from a failing relationship. Someone I thought would be the one I end up with (finally); ended in immense heartbreak and deep rejection. Every part of my soul is dry, barren and broken. All I feel is the fact that I want to reach and clutch to anything that would make me feel better.
As I sit here I keep thinking ‘life is not fair’. The past two years has dealt me heavy blows. I came here thinking this American dream would materialize. One month in my mother is diagnosed with cancer. I go on this emotional roller coaster of her being in and out of surgery. After which my dad is admitted to hospital. My faith is tested and shaken, my life is up and down. My sister goes through a really bad divorce and is left feeling the wounds and spirals into depression. Financially life is harsh back home and I am here watching my life falling apart. I am physically unscathed living in a household of comfort while my family is suffering. Fast forward and I am nearing the end of my time here in the US. I meet an amazing man and things fall apart fast…broken I sit here once again.
My offense at the Lord is at large…breeding under the surface of my composed personality. Before the break up my ex said: ‘you have an inability to communicate how you feel, I can see the pain in your eyes…yet you fail to tell me how you truly feel.’ Like an arrow those words pierced me because I do have an inability to truly be in touch with how I feel. Removed from that truth though, is the work I have been putting into walking out the ability to process and feel my emotions. These 2 years have been nothing but me ploughing my way from the numbness of self into a life that feels. Here I am bleeding and trying to pick up the chards of what remains of my broken soul not wanting to flip the world the middle finger…not wanting to numb out and become self sufficient.
The only thing I can feel is ‘life is not fair God’…’my life is not fair’. Offense is like a festering wound oozing of rejection, abandonment and discontent. Here I am feeling the full fledged anger, pain and sadness of my life. Emotions I would not associate with a ‘godly woman’…it is like a shameful sting to my soul. Above it all I feel this reality above all ‘you wrote these days for my life and it sucks’.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
Now I have allowed my heart to truly feel. I feel the sting of my emotions and it is brutal. I feel ashamed of feeling this anger towards God. I feel angry at myself for feeling angry. Yet there is still a small knowing in my soul, a whisper telling me that this is good because God already knows how I feel…now I can start to walk into the place of healing and comfort. As I sit here this phrase hits me: ‘fair does not produce character Deidre´’. My suffering is like a highway leading me to a place of intimacy into the knowledge of Jesus. It is in the place of internal turmoil that I learn to find my emotions (note: I am not saying suffering is good, don’t get me wrong, suffering sucks and that is not the Lord’s heart to make us suffer – the very nature of Jesus’s suffering is so we would not suffer in eternity). Yet, humanity has a free will and this life produces moments of turmoil and suffering. Being with God and for God does not negate suffering, there are biblical truths that speak this. He is not a magic wand God who takes away all our pain. He has given humanity dignity in the very fact that we choose which way to turn and the dignity to bare the scars and the rewards of our free will. Free will is just that, it is the dignity to live our lives in the good and the bad.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:3-8)
The truth above all else is that knowing Christ is to fully know him. Knowing him in the good and the bad. Right now I am having to fellowship with the Christ who suffered the cross, so that I may reap the reward of what eternal hope looks like on the inside of my soul.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
This is the gospel of Jesus, he came and he bore himself in humility. An example the heart cannot seem to grasp. A gospel that has become offensive to the human heart…bitter to the soul. It is in this place of humility that I find fellowship. It is in this place right now that I am able to feel the offense of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. It is in this place that I feed my soul on the heartache he felt when he had to walk away from his life. It is in this place that I truly fellowship with his weakness as a man and the glory of choosing the cross because he loved me more. I can choose to succumb to the emotional breakdown on the inside or I can choose to feel and dialogue with the Holy Spirit about my pain.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will…Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done…So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. (extracted from Matthew 26:39-44)
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15)
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
He is able to empathize with my pain only if I would allow him into the struggle. If only I would allow my heart to feel. Yet the hope is that this is not the end of the story. This is not the end of it. Pain and suffering produces a dialogue to be had with the one who has written these days for me. It is from this place of brokenness I am able to not only fellowship in the story of Jesus but also able to fellowship in the glory of being transformed on the inside. It is here where I find strength and where my dignity is restored. This is the place where I find that he truly is a God who walked like a man and who will restore humanity’s dignity in the end. It is in this place where I am able to allow his word to anchor my soul and his spirit to anchor my emotions in truth.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Here I find strength and honor. Here it is that I learn, life is not fair. It never was and never will be. Life was not meant to be fair, because ‘fair does not produce character’. Easy never teaches me to love wholeheartedly. I was made to love fully and he is committed to the process of love.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.(James 1:2-4)
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (John 17:15-19)
This is the dialogue in my soul these days:
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)
That I would find the revelation of Jesus, that I may fellowship with his character and become like him in love that transcends my vision in this life.