It isn’t every day I want to walk away from being me, but there are days. And my whine to heaven is one I could record and just press play because it’s almost always the same vent.
I prayed for that person.
I did what You asked.
I spent so much time encouraging them.
And they are exactly where they were when they asked for my help/time/prayers.
Or, even worse off.
I’m someone that needs to see progress. I joke that it’s the reason I love steam cleaning. I see the dirt getting sucked up, and that makes it worth my time. But being a surrendered vessel open for Him to use? It’s like steamcleaning only to have the person dump the dirty contents back on the floor.
And it’s heartbreaking.
Part of being that vessel is rejection. I believe there are also times I was used. Cozy up to good ole Julie and see if she can do the God work for them and they’ll be transformed by osmosis. I’ve felt on call. I wondered if I was misunderstood to be a personal genie or crystal ball, which I assure you, I’m not.
What I am is willing, and that’s what most people miss. That’s all God’s asking of us. Be willing, and He’ll do the rest. But I suspect the people who call on me think He wants an entire change done in an evening. So once I pray and direct them to seek Him, they don’t.
I learned that a stronghold is a demonic lie that has been around so long it feels like a safe place. It’s like an embassy to run to. There will always be an open door there. But greater freedom lies outside those walls and very few want to leave. And I can’t make anyone. Oh, I used to try.
I wish I could tell you I dust the proverbial dirt off me and keep going, but…not so. Not at first.
There are times I’ve been absolutely shattered by the rejection. When I walked through doors ready to encourage and was met with the Lucy hitting Charlie Brown with a football up against the side of my head reaction. Some of it has been public and it was all I could do to keep the tears from falling on the spot. I’ve kept praying when I know the people who came to me in the past were now mocking me. Ignoring me when I know they saw me. Lying about things we both knew weren’t the truth. Crying doesn’t even begin to describe my response. Weeping isn’t even accurate. Broken is more like it. Undone. Devastated. Because I can see the potential, and they choose to stay right where they are. It’s heartbreaking.
What does one do when they want to quit? Well, here is what I shared on FB this week:
Another one of those updates that’s my journey, but perhaps someone out there needs the encouragement, too.
I have to keep before me at all times that the battle is the Lord’s. As “justice Julie,” I’d love to be the problem solver, but it isn’t my job. Years ago I’d lose sleep and make myself sick wondering what perfect thing can I say to change that marriage or have that person turn it around for Him. I got no where. It wasn’t my place.
What is my job is to be obedient. When I’m supposed to pray for someone, I do. Whatever guidance I’ve been given to point people back to Him, I do it. And for the person reading, the success track record doesn’t look worth the time. Most people aren’t willing to dive deeper. As Beth Moore says, “the ocean’s right there but they’d rather stay in the puddle.” That still breaks my heart and feels like rejection, but it isn’t. I did my job. My dad used to say “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” And applying that to my life helps, even though I see such potential in each person I come in contact with, and rarely am I able to see that potential come to pass. It’s hard. I’m human.
Why keep being a vessel God can use during those late night emergency calls, the times I miss dinner to hear a hurting person out, etc…when most of the people don’t receive the hope and encouragement they have waiting for them? I guess a friend shared it best a few years ago. I’m not doing this to leave a Burger King crown at His feet. My heartbreak and hard days on earth will be forgotten in eternity. So, I press on.
Do I want to quit? More than you know. But this Surrendered Scribe presses on.
I hope you do, too.
I’ve had a pool most of my life. My dad spent hours testing, adding chemicals, and cleaning to reap the reward of his daughters and their friends splashing most of the water out and giggling summers away.
This year I realized what a science pool maintenance is. We went through a stretch where no matter how hard my husband tried to work on the pool, as soon as he finished, it rained. The rain messed up the levels and we had a problem.
We tried everything, but the bluest he could get the pool was with a green tint, if that.
“We have something a lot of people don’t have. The chemicals are perfect. The water is safe. This is refreshing. Let’s just stop the madness.”
My husband wasn’t ready to quit.
And it’s a good thing, because once a neighbor’s flowering bush stopped blossoming and falling in our pool, everything changed.
And we have crystal blue pool water.
My attitude reminded me of marriage, and sometimes, I admit, my own.
I’m tired. Things are okay. Good, even. But taking it to the next level?
Let’s just keep things here. Where it’s easier.
We used to work in marriage ministry. The illustration we learned was that if couples don’t work on their marriage, it’s the same as not maintaining your car. Sooner or later, you’re going to be on the side of the road, disabled.
Good enough isn’t an attitude anyone should take in their marriage, or with any relationship.
But I was willing to sacrifice greatness and settle for algae.
How about you?
photobucket image. Not our pool. 🙂