Halfway through. Feel free to catch up here.
Today was a good day. I have a bit of a headache, but it was a good day nonetheless. I experienced a lot of peace. I was able to just roll with the punches. I awoke knowing that today I planned to spend with my 83 year old Grams (who looks about 70). She’s packing up to move back to her home state of Tennessee after living 40 years in Southern California. I had stayed up late last night to ensure that most everything I wanted to accomplish today was already done or would be quickly. This way I could focus on serving her. Somehow I think that word, serving, is key to my peace today. I didn’t pursue my own agenda (except for the fact that I do want to enjoy time with her while I can) but followed hers. My goal was to be of service, whether that meant wrapping pictures or running errands. Last night I noticed that I was so quick to huff and puff when someone interrupted what I wanted to do. My (self-serving, just owning it) agenda trumped the feelings of the people around me. People I love. Today there was none of that. I think in the serving I become more pliable and more interruptible. I noticed when I came home how quickly I was willing to respond to emails that needed answers from me rather than putting them off. How willing I was to check out the Easter project I agreed to help with at church. In general I was just surprisingly flexible and responsible. Maybe it was just a good day. Or maybe my attitude does have something to do with it. Plus I got to see this tonight.
I use anger to mask more vulnerable feelings. Have I told you this before? I do. Fear, doubt, anxiety, sadness, rejection all feel very scary, so I’ve learned to cover them with anger. Anger feels active, smart, powerful. Anger feels like a pretty good way to make sure that Life doesn’t mess with me or someone will pay. Problem is that many some ones pay for this, including me. And anger is rarely powerful and effective. It’s usually just scary, unpleasant and easily manipulated.
This is something that the last few years of recovery have revealed to me, so it's no great epiphany. But I’m reading my way through this week’s Imperfect Prose and something alittlebitofgrace wrote about her own anger at God in brokenness got me thinking. Do I get mad at God because I am afraid to be vulnerable with Him? Do I purposely block intimacy with Him by being angry at Him? Is it easier to be angry than to tell Him how sad I am, how I feel confused, a little betrayed, disappointed and rejected. How some days feels so blessed and others feel like I’ve been sent to cosmic time out and I don’t know why. I don’t know. Just a thought.
I guess half way through this Lenten journal has me wondering what purpose my anger at God served. Where was my pay off? What exactly is it that I'm laying down? And how much has it cost me to carry it all these years? I think back to my musings on Day Thirteen. I was so moved by the leper and the blind men. What broke my heart and won my admiration was there absolute, desperate willingness to be nakedly needy with Jesus. There was no pretence, no posturing, no blame, just hearts and bodies thrown at His feet in hope. And He healed them. Is this what He is asking of me in these 40 days. Take off the armor, throw down my weapons, step out of my fortress (it’s only cardboard with a little paint anyway) and come to Him. Tell Him my needs, my dreams, my desires and simply wait. Feels so dangerous. To be so uncovered. To risk His no.
And the Word comes breezing in For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 I notice this doesn’t say all of my desires are a yes, but all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a yes. And then my so may it be comes back to God, again through Christ. I have been given promises. This verse applies to me. But I don’t have an amen stance if I am always defending against an expected no or the dreaded wait longer. It would seem that I’m not living in a posture of agreement but one of conflict and negotiation. Hmmm. That might be worth pondering.