Best EASTER ever.
I decided to give up sugar for lent this year- not sugar, I should clarify- desserts. As most of you know, I am a candyaholic and used to eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have since moved to eating it after breakfast, lunch, and dinner- but at least I have added healthier items to my diet.
(Wine is not dessert, obviously)
I am not always a lenter. I have only done it a few times before, but I just kind of wanted to do it. I really cant explain why, but I think I just wanted to grow closer to God.
This year has been a tough one for my faith, and just for my overall growth as a person.
We are reading about Moses in BSF this year, and there are so many times that I have questioned why God made us at all throughout our study. I have cried and struggled more than I think I ever have. I ask weird questions in my group and probably alarm everyone in it most weeks. I really want to know God- I don't want to sort of know Him. I am not good with small talk or acquaintances. I like to be very close to the people that I am close to. I don't want anything about my walk with God to be fake or cheesy or annoying. I want to ask all the questions. I want to be able to understand why He hardened Pharaohs heart; why Moses couldn't go into the promised land after all he had done; why He put up with the Isrealites when they were so annoying and complained all the time; why there was so much war and on and on. I wrestled so much with all of it, to the point of exhaustion. I would then take that frustration to my small group time at church and bug the crap out of them with my questions that were either too specific to ever know or to broad to get a handle on. One night, after a long small group session when I was still talking to Jeff about it in bed, he said that he felt like I was being resentful of God in the way that I was questioning Him and my attitude that went along with it. When I questioned God when I didn't understand why something happened, I would get frustrated and angry. I had never thought about that and it really really hit me hard. I never wanted God to think that I resented Him or anything that He had done just because I didn't understand.
SO, that was another thing for me to annoy everyone with at my next bsf group. In the middle of it, I cried and really just opened up about not understanding why we were here in the first place. I couldn't grasp why God had even made us if we were just going to sin and then be separated and He would have to send His Son. I know I'm not worth it.
That is just so heavy for me. I have such a hard time grasping it at all, and it makes me angry and upset and unable to sleep at night.
And like every other wednesday, my group was so wonderful and listened and prayed for me, and really were just so kind.
So, we broke for the big group time and in the middle of the lecture I got a text from my sister in law that she was having a baby girl. I could not restrain my excitement and just burst into tears right there. I felt such a strong connection to her and really just felt this over whelming sense of love for her right then. I dont know why it was brought on once I knew her gender, but it was just incredibly real and I immediately felt like my heart was going to explode. In that moment- after I had just asked all of these women why God would make us at all- it really hit me like a freight train-
He loves us. Thats it.
If I can love a baby that I have never met yet this much, how much more does He love me. I can never ever grasp how much or why, but it was the most incredible moment of Him just showing me, right after my most frustrated moments of doubt, that He loves me. That is why all of this is and was and will happen. I don't have to understand- and in fact, I don't want to anymore. The more I feel that I can understand, the more I put God in a box and limit Him to the constraints of my own mind.
I just have to have faith. I have to trust that He knows what He is doing and He is so much bigger than me and that He loves me.
So, this lent I complained a ton (just like the Isrealites) and cheated twice, but it just was the most incredible time of preparing myself for Easter weekend. Once it rolled around, I was just so incredibly grateful for that love and sacrifice. It has made me who I am.
Then, we had my whole family over and mimicked everything I did as a kid with some my cousins and it was just the absolute perfect end to one of the hardest and trying and awesome few weeks of my life.
So, this year, more than ever, I am so thankful for Jesus and His sacrifice and His love that surpasses all my knowledge. I hope that I can be even the tiniest vessel of that love and that I can be a light in any way.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.