One of the most frustrating things about the "human condition" is our seeming inability at times to get out of a crazy cycle.
Sometimes we do things the same way for so long that it becomes ingrained.
I say this. He says that. Then I do this, and he does that. So, again, I say this.....
You see how it goes.
If we do this enough we create a whirlpool that starts to run on its own steam. And our very participation in that whirlpool keeps it going.
It takes extraordinary effort to either a.) swim against the current and go with other way, or b.) swim out of the whirpool altogether into the unchartered calm water of the vast unknown.
The truth is that it can be easier to just stay in the pattern we know when the ocean looms wild and deep.
But even though it may take less effort to just stay stuck and go with that crazy current, inside we die a bit more each day.
Because the truth is...we really don't want to be a slave to the whirlpool.
We want to be more. To be better. To rise above. To overcome.
This desire to be free and victorious is just as much of the human condition as going with the staying stuck in the flow.
But the two things don't go together. They are in constant tension.
I want to be better than I am now. But being better can be so maddeningly, mind-bendingly hard.
I have failed yet again.
Yesterday, we drove 30 minutes out into the country and looked at an old farmhouse that was for sale. Built in the early 1900's, it has many charming features, and maybe a few not so charming ones. However, the fruit and nut trees, barns and an outbuildings made it an idyllic patch of land in my opinion.
The price had just been lowered and I had worked my way through the longer commute and even got excited that it might be possible to move from our current house into that one without a container or renting an apartment or staying with family.
Plus, the video series of "One Thousand Gifts" could have been shot on location there -- making it even more appealing.
As I was mentally moving our furniture into this house, I realized that I should probably ask my husband what he thought.
"What do you mean 'okay'? Do you not see the built in window seat, the buffet and glass door knob? Obviously you didn't see the retractable clothes line or outdoor drinking fountain and patch of grass that would be the perfect place for the trampoline?"
"I dunno...it's not great."
"What's not great about it? Did you not see the pool or barns or bounty of fruit growing over there?"
"I'm just not excited about it."
"What would you be excited about, then???"
"Well, it's kinda far out, and I don't like all those ramshackle barns that we would have to tear down, and stuff might need to be fixed and I don't think the price is good for all of that."
"There is literally NOTHING else out there that has all of our qualifications. Shouldn't we start to think about making allowances for something that's not exactly what we want?"
(Shrug) "I just can't picture us living there."
I may still be learning about marriage after 15 years, but one thing I have learned is that I can't force or talk my husband into something. I mean...I can. I have. But it's never to a good outcome.
If he is not on board, then I have to consider that and accept it.
Even if it feels a little like death.
So...just like that, the balloon of my hope deflated in a puddle around my heart.
I immediately went into my whirlpool -- an internal funk, refuting all of his points in my head, going online and finding out how easy it would be to transfer our existing internet and satellite tv service out there (not always easy in the country, btw).
We talked about it later in the day. He still felt the same way.
And, so did I.
This process of leaving our house of 13 years and trusting God for something else is breaking me down.
And I know on some level...that's good. There is some stuff that needs to be broken down in me.
But it's so hard for me to let go and trust at times.
And then I get mad at myself for going back to old patterns: Fear, anxiety, depression, apathy rather than hope, trust, faith and peace.
I want to be better than this.
I want to be the wife that graciously submits to her husband's decisions. I want to not let my inner desire to "run the ship" to take over and steamroll over other people's opinions. I want to be the woman of faith who would accept that this is not the house for us and to move on and wait for something else.
But, instead, I feel like a small tantruming child who wants the candy in the grocery store.
It's not that I don't trust Him. I absolutely do. I think it's more that I don't trust Him...enough.
This morning at church we sang a familiar hymn,
"Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him
How I've proved Him o'er and o'erJesus, Jesus, precious JesusOh for grace to trust Him more"
That last line really got me. I choked it out like a prayer.
I trust Him. And yes, He has proved Himself faithful over and over in my life. He is precious to me....
...oh for that grace to trust Him...more.
"Lord, I believe....help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)
In the midst of that exhausting internal turbulence, I thought about something a friend posted on my Facebook wall earlier this week. My Grammie used to say, "God is previous," and this is another example of how He can orchestrate things into being before we need them.
Yesterday (and today), I needed to be reminded of this.
I feel like that little girl clutching that bear. It's the best thing she can see at the moment. I dare say she would say, it's all she ever wanted. I know that she would bargain, plead, promise anything to keep it.
But she doesn't know what she is missing.
I am that girl.
The difficult part for me is that my Jesus is SO BIG that he blocks the view of what He is holding onto for me. Because he wants me FIRST to give him my most precious thing: My trust.
Only after I surrender that which feels like is my treasure can he replace it with what He has for me instead.
I have to give it without seeing what I'm trading it in for.
And if I'm honest, I don't like that...not one bit.
Because it all comes back to control -- my lack thereof and my reluctance to give it up.
But Jesus isn't disgusted by my childish ways. I feel His love. I feel His heart of tenderness for me. I feel Him waiting for me to let go -- to truly let it go. Even if it's something I do every day or every minute.
He's bent down. Impossibly, improbably the Savior of the world is crouched down in front of me extending His hand. Not because He wants to rip the last vestige of what I hold dear from me. Because He has something else.
I only need to find the courage and surrender to extend mine.