Sunday, November 28, 2010

Silver Linings and the Devil's Teeth

It's funny. When you're waiting for one specific thing to happen in your life, sometimes you lose all rational awareness of why that one thing may actually not be best for you in the right now. Let's take, for instance, the fact that I'm back on campus with InterVarsity and that one of the events I look forward to most each year in my staff life is leading the worship leaders track at chapter camp. It ended the middle of last May and after our forced week off I was already assessing, evaluating and planning for next May. I love these two weeks, the chance to work so closely with gifted students from all over the region, to help lead the rest of the students there into the presence of God at the end of each day. Each year I gear up for it and each year it doesn't disappoint. God shows up.

So, as I've been navigating the chaos of balancing my schedule and figuring out how to be at 20 hours and still actually spend time with everyone who needs it, I often find myself looking forward to those two weeks in May, as hectic as they are.  I've even gone so far as to say that one of the things that has kept me on staff so long is my love for this track  Even at the end of a long week when I think I've failed abominably yet again to get the balance right, I can't wait for camp to roll around. I often have trouble focusing on the now because of the excitement for the future in this area.

Yet, as I've navigated the world of infertility, I have the opposite problem.  I get so bogged down each month in how much I desire for the baby thing to happen right now.  I get so self-focused and irrational, so intensely disappointed each time this desire remains out of my grasp.

So when I found myself disappointed yet again this fall, I had a few of those sad moments and then suddenly perked up. Well, I thought. Now that I don't get to have a baby next May or June, I guess that means I get to go to Rockbridge. It had never occurred to me that I'd even miss camp, that most favorite of staff life events, if I had gotten pregnant. I still held unswervingly to my need to be pregnant NOW. Irrational. Finding silver linings is not always easy, but I'm thankful for that one. I'm also thankful for the silver lining of how much volleyball is currently in my life. Co-ed league with good friends and several nights of good play with staff friends coming up at regionals is no silver lining to sneeze at either.

Part of my problem is that no matter how many silver linings I can find, I also find myself utterly susceptible to that great tempter. I find myself angry and frustrated and self-focused.   For two years now, we have been trying and waiting and pleading with the Lord. Two long years.  And some days I get so fed up with the fact that I still am tempted to despair and lose hope that I wish I could physically kick the devil in the teeth. I know he wants nothing more than for this struggle to separate me from the love of God.

As I head into Advent, this season of church seasons that reminds us to wait and to long for a Savior, I have been reading a lot about silence.  I’ve spent two years being the opposite of silent, two years pleading and hoping and railing about my own unmet desires. And I know the devil would like nothing more than for me to be so focused on my own hope for a baby that I forget to focus on that ultimate of babies who was sent so long ago.  To long so deeply for my own child, that I stop longing for the Christ child. 

So here’s my plan. Rather than complain and plead, I choose silence this Christmas season.  May God grant me the strength to rely on Him to keep my eyes focused on that star that will lead me to the manger.  May he keep my mouth closed when I’d be tempted to choose anger over peace, action over waiting, complaining over hope, myself over Christ. 

So, devil, step back.  I'm taking aim.

1 comment:

  1. Praise the Lord! We can rely on Him! Continue to have strength in the Lord. He meets all our needs in every situation! Just call on Him and he will be with there. It is hardest to turn to the Lord when we are tempted, and then after we are frustrated or get angry or sin, then later we will turn to back to the Lord. But we can overcome the temptation through Christ! Christ overcame sin on the cross, so that the righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled in us! (Rm. 8:4) -Alex