it was deep darkness. it was complete isolation. it was, at points, despair.
just when i doubted i could take another breath, i did. and then somehow, God sustained my life for another... and then another.
you know how people say all the time that "God is a gentleman" and "He won't barge His way in" and what not? i can't subscribe to that theory as a Christian. i suppose there is the proverbial door at which Christ stands and knocks (to the church in revelation 3) waiting for them to open it. although, my question now is: was it meant as a light rap or as a pounding?
while it is true that God is a gentleman in the sense that He is gentle towards me, there has been little of what i wanted in my life of late and a whole lot of what He did. that sounds more like Lord than a polite, mannerly acquaintance.
the past 8 months (and in retrospect, well before that) have been ones where God has completely pushed me into a corner and waited out my fight or flight reflex. psychologically speaking, i had a process to go through as part of the work He was purposing in me.
part in which was the complete act of surrender. while i knew a lot about it and wholeheartedly believed in it, it was becoming clear to me (once shoved in the corner) that i wasn't. i clung to any resemblance of normalcy and sprinkled the Word on top. it wasn't intentional avoidance of surrender. it was just me, being the best version of myself that i could, coping through the most difficult time in my life.
the other part of the process was really believing with all my emotions what i believed intellectually about God. my heart did not trust God or run to Hiim for help when life was troubled.... i created a response from my self-persevering, survival mode which did not embrace the bigness of God, the power of God, nor in reality the love of God.
so He backed me into the hardest corner of my life, stood right there the whole time saying to me, "there's another way to live," while i totally despaired because of my disbelief. and finally, when emotionally, psychologically, physically i could stand it no longer in that corner, in that despair, in that pain, i said, "okay."
and though that may not sound very gentlemanly to you, it was the kindest thing He's ever done for me. in that moment and in the weeks that have passed, my life has radically changed. the pain is still there, but it is lessened in His brilliance. as i stare in awe at the Author and Finisher of my faith, the One who gave His life, the Sustainer of my soul, there is more joy than sadness, more beauty than ashes, more life than death.
the joy is unspeakable and full of glory.
and the "suffering" feels more like the light and momentary affliction paul talks about in corinthians.
i can't say it enough: thanks, God, with all my heart.
in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9