A few months ago, my husband and I received a HUGE victory in our lives. We had been going through a very dark season and we finally received the victory we had been praying for for over a year.
A few days later, I was reflecting on the past several years of my life and really wanted to find out what kind of relationship I have with the Lord (Remember when I told you about my friend’s sweet relationship?). The word I heard over and over again was “gritty.” It was a weird feeling because I wasn’t actually sure what that word meant. Thank you, Google, for helping me with that. 🙂
- Containing or covered with grit. (synonyms: sandy, gravelly, pebbly).
- Showing courage and resolve. (synonyms: courageous, purposeful, tenacious).
As much as I wish it was all about the 2nd definition, I know if I’m honest, my relationship with the Lord is more the first one. It’s gritty in the sense of containing or covered with grit.
I think back to the numerous times playing 2nd base on a limestone softball field in Hoopeston. A quick backhand to snag a grounder from going into center field would cause my left knee to scrape across the rocks, and inevitably those rocks would get stuck in my skin as well as cause blood to start trickling down my sweaty, dirty legs. Sound gross? It was. And to pick the rocks out of my knees was painful and often resulted in scars.
And I believe that’s sometimes how my relationship with the Lord looks. It’s messy. It’s painful. It’s not glamorous. It’s a lot of flat-on-my-face snot-crying. It’s questioning and begging and praising even when it hurts like hell.
Now, a lot of times it’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s a season of plenty and goodness, and it’s easy to be thankful and trust.
Other times, not so much. I’ve had to learn that sometimes you don’t get to know the “why.” Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust.”
I don’t always get to know why bad things happen to good people or why awful, awful situations arise in the lives of people who are doing their best to love and serve the Lord and take care of his sheep.
Oh the number of times I’ve snot-cried while lying flat on my face. I think back to the upper room in Siem Reap, Cambodia where I mourned team changes. I think of the rooftops all over the world where I’ve cried out to God. I think of the nights in my McClain apartment fighting for my residents. I think of the sanctuary in Adelaide (Australia) where I would meet with the Lord flat on my face apologizing for my disobedience in “staying.” I think of the call to Denver and what seemed like a too-soon return to Illinois. I think about the anxiety I felt throughout my masters’ program. I think about the unexpected pregnancy and the guilt, bitterness, and shame that came with it.
And I think about the last year and a half. The death of Brandon’s dad. The hell-on-earth we went through at the same time. The begging, pleading, and snot-crying out to the Lord for freedom and victory.
It’s ugly sometimes, this journey of life.
And it’s beautiful.
My relationship with the Lord is not “sweet.”
And that’s okay.
Do I trust Him? Yes.
Do I love Him? Of course.
Do I believe He is for me? Always.
I’ve never really thought of myself as having a “life verse,” but now that I think about it, Psalm 27:13 has been my go-to for the past decade or so…
“I remain confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Isn’t that good to hold onto? I will see the goodness of the Lord. Not just in heaven, but here in the land of the living.
I don’t know what your relationship with God looks like. I don’t know if it’s sweet or gritty or estranged or non-existent or [insert your own word here].
What I do know is this:
you are okay.
you are incredibly loved.
you are being pursued.
you are worthy of the love and grace He wants to offer you.
you don’t have to look like me. or my sweet Jesus-lovin’ friend.
He created you to be you.
I recently started listening to the podcast “Glorious in the Mundane” by Christy Nockels. One of her first guests said “God has given me a lane to work in. It helps enable me to cheer and champion for other [women] to go as far as they can in their lanes. No competition. Your success is not a threat to my success.”
My relationship with God looks much different than my friend’s. And that’s okay. If I try to be like her, I’m missing out on what He has for me and the people He’s placed in my life.
In a way, I think part of my purpose here on Earth is to let people know they are okay. The Lord has met me where I am, and He wants to do the same for you. He has called me to meet people where they are and to love them enough to not let them stay there.
Will you continue to join me on this journey?