As a little follow up post to my "Big Fat" post yesterday, I wanted to say that I've been reading Jen Hatmaker's book, Interrupted.
Our life definitely feels interrupted because we thought that we had done what God asked us to do, so we assumed that at least where the church was concerned we not only wouldn't have issues; we thought we would have unwavering support. We thought that we were attending the church we would raise our children in. We thought that we had the next 20 years planned out, our fellowship, our friends, our kids' youth group…
Interrupted puts words to my feelings right now. At one point in my life (I was raised an Independent Fundamental "Bible Believing" Baptist Snob) I might have considered this book heresy. Now its like a balm to my soul. How can so many people miss what God meant when he said to feed his sheep? To give to the poor because its lending to God? To care for the fatherless? How can people read the words and not take them seriously?
I haven't finished the book yet because its painful. Its painful to read her journey that so mimics what I am feeling right now. I almost don't want to see where God takes her because my heart hurts so much right now that I don't want to even think about interacting with other Christians in any sort of organized way ever again. Part of me can't even stand to talk about God with anyone right now because I have been so stung by how superficial faith is for so many.
Instead I read Elie Wiesel's book, Night. As he recounts what it was like to survive Auschwitz, he says that he lost his faith in God in that camp. He talks about how he doesn't know how or why he survived, but that the job of anyone who witnesses such horrible things is to tell the story. Not to compare my life to his by any means, but his words spoke to me. So I decided to be more open with my story. I guess I'll pull out Interrupted again and try to finish it without worrying what it is God wants from me next. Honestly though, I'm a little terrified.
I truly didn't bargain for this battle with the school. I didn't want it. I didn't go looking for it. I tried to avoid it at all costs, yet the moment we committed to adopting our boys, my fate was charted a course that was destined to run head on into the school system. People think that they aren't doing what God has called them to do because its not glamorous or they are not being supported and hailed by other believers for their work. I'm here to tell you that not just sometimes, but most of the times the things God calls us to do are messy. My kids' lives were messy and broken. God called us to jump in the mess and become broken with them. Our lives have become messy, broken, and interrupted with theirs, but somewhere in this broken mess where we are all floundering together we have found what is the heart of God.
He's not at the top of the leadership ladder at church; God is at the bottom of the pit where the real work needs to be done. God is with the broken. To find Him, we have to find the broken. We have to climb down in the muck.
Really though, to fully explain my feelings I think that I'd have to quote pretty much all of Interrupted and that's plagiarism, so this is my big fat plug telling you to go buy the book.
As we are struggling to figure out what God wants us to do next, I like what The Message Bible says in Psalm 34:18:
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
We are most definitely still trying to catch our breath.