We've moved. We're settled in. Many things have happened. Many changes. Sandy and her Superstorm came to visit and so did my parents. (But not at the same time.) We have left our life in South Jersey and here we are - looking at NYC from our apartment. It's what I've always said I wanted. Waking up to the view. Going to sleep to the twinkling lights of Midtown Manhattan. Isn't this every city girl's dream?
Yet, here I am in my paint stained yoga pants, tank top and hoodie. My hair hasn't been colored since well, the week of my birthday (that's August people. AUGUST). I haven't left our apartment complex since Sunday morning and I'm not planning on leaving again until next Sunday unless something comes up. There are good moments in all of this. Like my reading today to in 1 John 3. That God loves his children SO MUCH he doesn't let them continue in sin. Oh how he loves us. Although I'm terribly ashamed to admit that I have doubted this in the last few months. Me. This strong Bible educated woman of God, has doubted the love of her God. It's quite embarrassing to admit. I've honestly never questioned the foundational attributes of my maker in the fourteen years that I've been his child. Not when Martin almost died. Not when Martin was recovering slowly. Not when we were in dark places financially. Not when babies didn't come. And I have no idea why he's allowed this to be the time that I doubt. I have not gone boldly before the thrown lately. It's been more a slow shuffle. Like a child when they are being forced to apologize to someone. There's feeling of embarrassment and shame. And this is contrary to the Gospel. Jesus bore this shame for me. Yet I like to take it back and wear it. Like picking old clothes out of the garbage when I have a new wardrobe ready and available to me.
Yet, I've really been worshiping the God of circumstance. This God is very fickle but I could visibly see him. He gave me a job at a place that I loved. It had its flaws but things were looking up and changing. This God also gave me a great house that was full of things. We were stuck in the house financially but hey, if you have to be stuck, it might as well have been there. He gave us a church in our neighborhood that we adored. The God of circumstances also gave my husband a job that paid well. Nothing was perfect but in those circumstances, we were doing okay. We were slowly pursuing the adoption of a sibling group from Africa. We wanted that house full. And we bowed to the God of circumstance and said thank you for all you've given us. It isn't perfect but it's a full life.
Then God, the real God - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. The God who loved me so much he called me into his family because he wanted to - not by anything I did, decided to take me away from my idols. And they were good things. Good but not him. And he moved us away from all of that. No more job. No more money. No more friends. No more car. No more babies coming from Africa. How could a good God DO THIS TO ME? Doesn't he love me? Doesn't he care? Doesn't he. . .
And as he is stripping me of the garbage clothes I'm wearing, the layers I've built up, the safety around me - he has whispered to me that he does love me (strips me of our home). He does care (takes me from my good job doing good things). He wants what's best for me (stops our adoption). He simply wants me to follow him (moves me away from my community and friends). And all that is left is an exposed soul. But what he sees - it is beautiful. And perfect. And good. But not because I am those things. But because Jesus is and I'm his child and he has accepted me.
So in this hurting time, I am trying to be thankful and I'm trying to worship the one true God, not the god of circumstance. For that god is fraud. He is a fake. He is full of good things but empty inside.
Instead I need to get to know again and more deeply:
El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Yahweh (Lord Jehovah)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
El Olam (The Everlasting God)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)