Monday, March 12, 2012

If you want to destroy my sweater...

Tuesday, I came to the end of myself.

It was ugly.

Apparently, the thread that destroys my sweater is to walk away saying that you'll call at a certain time with my child's cystic fibrosis test results. And then not call.

Not like I could have done anything in the 16 additional hours I had to wait before receiving the test results (normal), but I needed to be in control of that information thankyouverymuch.

So. In that 16 hours of waiting, I was a jerk.

You know those fruits of the spirit?

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.

I don't think I employed a single one---especially not that patience one. 

I was big jerk.

Then, I was frustrated with myself for being a jerk. And ashamed of myself for failing to seek God out in my frayed, crumbled state of being---in fact, I'm not even sure it crossed my mind.

So, here's a question for you: Imagine God for a moment. Imagine him thinking of you and looking at you. What's the look on his face? 

My answer, which probably has everything to do with this season of life, is that God's expression is probably similar to the looks of disapproval I give Brynne and Hadley when they aren't obeying me.

Here's the thing---my answer, while logical, given my jerky ways, is completely wrong.

God delights in me. Always. And the look on his face when he thinks of me?  It's one of pure delight and joy---even when I'm a jerk. He died for me, and I forgot (???) or didn't think he could handle (maybe?) my brokenness in uncertainty---he still delights in me.

{He delights in you too! Maybe you need to hear that today. God has a look of joy on his face when he thinks of you, and he longs to bless you.}

But I don't always remember this about God. So, there I was feeling ashamed and jerky, expecting some sort of heavenly spanking for my behavior. And, I saw miracles happen. God reached out to me in very real ways to say, Hey, I love you, and I long to be gracious to you. In spite of, and because of who I created you to be. 

I wanted to share a couple of my miracles with you. 

First, the girls received a belated birthday gift in the mail. Included in the package was a handcrafted gift for me, with beautiful, encouraging words and my word of the year. The gesture was so intentional and so "me".

The next day, the girls and I went to a playdate with my dear friend, and her son.  She, too, crafted an exquisite gift for me, which included my word, my favorite color and a sentiment that, is dear to my heart on many levels. It blesses me each time I look at it hanging on our wall!

The friendship I have with both of these women bless me richly. Their intentional-ness and grace and just their "knowing me" overwhelms.

Thank you for being miracles to me this week. 

Sharing this here.


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I love how you write about your experiences, Julia. It's a blessing to read how you process information, how you step back and reflect and learn.

And what a gorgeous canvas! "BE" and "beautiful" and "YOU". I love it on all points. :)

Katharine said...

what a beautiful post, and so very true...loved because of who He is!
Visiting from SDG,
Blessings on your day!

Amy@Make Me A Mary said...

LOVE this. I seldom gush fruitfulness in those stressful times myself, but I'm so thankful for His grace. <3

Amy Sullivan said...

Oh, I get angry just thinking about you having to wait for an answer like that. Good take on the situation, but, ugh, I get 100% why this was the last thread for you.

Shari said...

Visiting from SDG. Thanks for sharing your heart. I too am a "jerk" at times, in difficult situatons. So glad, God has a smile on his face, willing to take us back in with open arms. :)

Monica said...

What a lovely post.. thanks for sharing! I have noticed my husband and I don't employ any of the fruits of the spirit in the wee hours when the girls get up (which seems to be a new trend), and we are sleep deprived! I really don't like the person I am at that time! I still don't know how we got through the first few months with no sleep! I guess instead of praying they will go to bed, I need to pray for the fruits of the spirit!

Monica said...

Sidenote: tonight is one of those nights considering its almost 2am.... Gah!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Sometimes it's so easy to ignore the ways God blesses us...though, I have to tell you, it sounds like you handled the situation better than I would have. ;) Such honest and great reminders--thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

He is so gentle in His reminders and so abundantly generous with His forgiveness and grace. Such an amazing role model and one that I struggle with every day to emulate.

The gifts that your friends gave you made me tear up. How blessed you all are!

Jen Ferguson said...

Whenever I am stressed, I become a jerk, too. ANd then I start to get all ashamed. Love these words and am letting them soak into my heart.