I've been in a funk of late, struggling to connect with God. I thought that it was because August has been such a crazy month. I've been on the road a lot and for the past couple of weeks Lucas' school has been closed as they prepare for the start of the next school year. So my summer, which to that point had been full but fruitful had in some ways been derailed - my routine disrupted. But a couple of days ago during a counseling session with my friend Sam I realized that this funk didn't happen because of a disruption in my routine but started on that night in Santa Barbara when I declared that I would trade my present for my past.
I realized that I had made a declaration that my present would never be good enough. No matter how God redeems and rebuilds and makes things new, it would never be good enough. In making this declaration, I put up a wall between me and God. I put up a wall and closed my heart to the one that has been with me in my suffering. I understood then that I have not accepted what has happened. Acceptance of what has happened and what my reality is now is hard. It has been, is, and will be my biggest act of faith. Acceptance is submission. But it is only in a posture of submission that any of us can receive from God. This is the battle that I must fight. And maybe it seems cruel that I have to fight for anything after what I've been through. It may seem that submission is bad. All of our human instincts fight against submission. If I choose to look at my situation as God forcing me to submit to Him, then I will struggle with Him. I will hate Him. But if I choose to look at submission as an opportunity to allow God in, and if I believe that He is good, then it will be a wise choice.
I'm learning that the past is a powerful force. For some of us, the past was so horrible that we are stuck in it. Abuse, neglect, loss, guilt, and shame keep us from being able to receive from the fully present God because they are rooted in the past and keep us stuck there. For others, the past was so wonderful that we cannot imagine that our present or future can compare. And so we close ourselves to the present God. This is the camp that I'm in. And this is the camp that I need to fight to get out of .
I have experienced God's presence in my life. But His presence in my past, even if it was just yesterday, is not enough to carry me through today. Even if my present is full of pain, I can have access to His presence if I choose. He offers to walk with me, one day at a time, if I will choose to abide in Him. But to abide, I must trust Him. I must submit.
Maybe there is a way that I can fully accept that my past life with Midi and Nathan was wonderful but is now gone. Maybe I can accept that to even consider trading the present for the past is not an option and so shouldn't be considered. And maybe I can accept what my life is now and I can choose to walk with God. And maybe I can escape the paradigm of comparison, or of cause and effect. Maybe I can be fully grateful for the past and the present. I don't know yet. But I'm wrestling with Him now, instead of building the wall.