I've had a difficult time setting down on paper the rest of my Sabbatical thoughts.  I thought I would continue with an enumerated list, picking up where I left off, but that isn't working for me.  Every time I'd have a thought, an idea, until the moment the New Post screen popped up.   The thought was gone, the idea dead.  I sat here and stared at the blankness trying to think what I had to say.  I've done this for a week since my last post.

It's not that I have nothing more to say.  It's that our emotions were so strained and our prayers so much more fervent towards the end that it's difficult to tell what we were going through.  John broke down and cried, I spent more time weeping quietly.  I kept reading about the anointing of joy, about the oil of joy and all I felt inside was ... not joy.  Surely, I kept thinking, surely with all this time spent with God, with all this pressing in, I'd find joy?

It wasn't that I was blind to the blessings in my life.  It was just that I was looking out of a broken window. 

I heard an amazing sermon one Sunday morning about ten days ago as I was having breakfast.  The sermon in itself was full of inspired preaching and touched me deeply, giving me sudden freedom from an oppression that had sat upon me for most of my life.  I was elated with the lightness I felt and the awareness of having something heavy move from my spirit, but it was what the pastor said at the end that left me thinking hardest of all.  As a precursor to the closing prayer the pastor said, "You don't have to confess to God that you've sinned. He already knows that.  He's God!  You just have to confess that you're sorry you haven't trusted Him."  I chewed on that all day long.

It was the next day when I found myself deeply convicted, but of what, I wasn't sure.  I sniffled my way through the morning Bible study and the moment John went in to practice music, I sobbed and cried and wailed, secure that in the loudness of the music he was playing, I'd never be heard.  I lay on the bed and buried my face in a pillow until I thought I'd suffocate myself.  Then I got up and went outdoors and cried so hard that Maddie, who just loves my company, laid her ears back, looked out of the side of her eyes at me and slunk off the porch.  Had I not been so full of misery I'd have laughed then as I do now recalling it.

It rained. The wind blew hard and drove stinging drops into my skin, then dried the droplets.  It thundered and the wind blew harder. I wasn't afraid of the weather.  I was frightened by what was within.

Eventually I gave up crying.  John must have played music for three hours that morning.  I can only cry so much.  I began to pray in my private prayer language before the words came.  Out poured all my hurt over the subtractions and losses I'd experienced over the past six years.  Of losing my place as a singer of praise and worship, of finding my writing had stalled and was going no further, having my grandchildren move thousands of miles away, relationship difficulties with family members, lack of finances and physical strength to create the life I'd thought I'd have here, the loss of friends and Granny and the frustration of feeling I have been cast in amber, frozen in a place from which I cannot move.

I was angry.  At God.    Because He had allowed the broken dreams and dashed hopes and left unanswered my  most sincere prayers of the past six years.  Angry because I was hurt repeatedly by every subtraction in my life and angry because I didn't know what purpose I could possibly serve in life or kingdom when everywhere I turned I was told no, you're not needed here.  Angry because even while I watched others get answers, my own prayers,  remained largely unanswered.  Angry because time is speeding quickly by and I grow older.

It's scary to tell God you're angry with Him.  It goes against every single thing I'd been taught about God as a child.  Even against some of the things I was told about Him as an adult.  So you'll understand why I gasped after shouting out that I was angry at Him, and held my breath and squeezed my eyes tight shut and waited for the fire and brimstone, the rumbling earth under my feet and some great gaping hole opening to swallow me up...

I stood there and waited, expecting the absolute worst.  A bird sang on the telephone line behind me and a butterfly fluttered over the lantana in front of me.  A breeze blew over me, cooling my hot cheeks. It was a soft and gentle breeze.  God gave me peace and calm and quiet inside.

I wasn't looking through broken glass any longer.  I didn't have any more answers than I'd had before this stormy day of  mine.  I still didn't know what purpose I could possibly serve when I was being held tight in this place that I'd come to find so frustrating because I could do so very little for so very few.  But I found it very humbling that my Father, my Abba, this great and wonderful God loved me enough to give me peace.  I was flooded with a still greater love for Him because His bigness allowed my smallness to be no barrier between He and I.

There's more.  But it's more for another post, not for this one.


BelleDiabolique said...

You do a lot more maybe than you think you do.

You mean an awful lot to people. You don't have to *be* there physically to be there, and you don't always have to *do* things to help people. Sometimes a few text messages work amazing wonders. Whether you feel restive or not, you're a restive presence for others. You're that calm breeze.

I love you Ms. Terri!

Shirley in Washington said...

Dear Terri - I have appreciated so much what you have shared regarding your sabbatical time. If your sharing on your blog has been for no one else (which I don't believe) it has been for me. I have read the other 2 posts several times and mulled over what you have written, like seeds planted and expanding within me. Thank you for your honesty, your faith, and for sharing. Shirley in Washington

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Sometimes I get discouraged when I read blogs since their lives seem so perfect compared to mine. Thank you for being real and a blessing to many. Perhaps your blog is your ministry to a hurting world. We all have our losses and doubts and failures, and it is good to know that He will give us peace.

a8383 said...

Hi Terri, I am feeling similarly. I am 52- have been thrifty, been a "good" girl- done the "right" things but my life is not what I thought it would be and I feel cheated! I feel guilty- I feel like I should just be more grateful. Anyway glad you feel better! Angela

Kay said...

Terri Dear, I don't want to negate your feelings of sadness and the "whys" but I can say for me, you always are a blessing from God. I bookmark, print out, "star" so many of your posts. I dwell on your wisdom and wish we could be neighbors in the real world. I'd love to sit at your table and share what God is doing in our lives and encourage, pray, cry with one another.

You are blessing and helping us more than you will know on this earth.

Diary for July: Week Two

July 7, Shabat Saturday:   So very much I want to chatter over today and perhaps I will...I don't typically write on Shabat, having al...