we're asking why this happens

picture found here

For years, many things moved me to tears. Things like movies, like books, like songs.  I found something beautiful or sad or poetic in just about everything including movies like Monsters, Inc. And then something happened (or rather a series of somethings), and I stopped. Tears no longer formed. While there were still poetic moments, they were fewer and farther in between.

I've remained in this state for some time now. I've hoped to move forward from it, and I've similarly held onto the emotional distance I've created. The reasons for this are many. But the reasons for this are not true to who I am, to who I am created to be.

So much has been brewing for the past few weeks. So much has happened, and yet, so much has remained the same. I've grown discontent (again). I've struggled with understanding where God is leading. I've been filled with anger and with jealousy. I've tricked myself into thinking I was leaning into Him, that I was being honest and open with my struggles, but I realized last night that I haven't trusted God the way I need to.

I try. I do. But I try with distance. Because I am afraid - afraid to follow when I do not know where He is leading, afraid to follow and then enter the desert rather than the Promised Land, afraid to follow and then to have to wait.

God put it on my heart a week ago to read Deuteronomy. I listened. I am still working through the book. I'm not normally one to read the Old Testament. I struggle to understand the words, the traditions, and how it applies to my life. But this time it is all too clear.

Since beginning my journey into the life of Moses and the Israelites, the parallels have become clear. The truth has resonated in my heart. And my prayer has been the same: please let me not be like the Israelites. It has been a heartfelt prayer, but it has not been honest enough. I've missed the point (until last night).

The point is, at least from what I can gather right now, that I am like the Israelites. I am quick to trust in a time when His glory is shining, when He is slaying my enemies and providing me with a clear way of travel. But in times of uncertainty and times of not seeing His glory, I am slow to trust. I agonize and worry and grow angry and weary. It's not a pretty sight.

I've prayed that it won't take 40 years to get to where He is leading. I've begged that I will not have to wander the dessert. But I haven't allowed Him to lead me through the desert. It could very well be that in my prayers and frustrations that I have kept myself in the desert due to my need to pray against things and fight against where He might be leading me.

I just don't know how to open my hands, open my heart, and truly trust in Him. I struggle with how to lean into the struggle and remember that this life of following Jesus does not promise ease but promises difficulty. But it also promises that He is there through all difficulty and that He will carry you through. I'm so ready to open my hands and believe this, but there is this fear that sits in the pit of my stomach.

So I am learning. Slowly. I'm calling out in the darkness and searching for the light. I am reading the words of Deuteronomy (sometimes twice and thrice) and allowing the words to pierce my heart, to remind me that God uses the times in the desert to turn our hearts to Him. And God, in His goodness, is keeping His promise and answering my calls (even if the answers do not come in the way I want - which is an audible voice). He's giving me songs that speak of where I am, songs that chronicle my thoughts and emotions. He's giving me blogs to read, words that remind me and show me that He has led others through the desert and then into their own promises land. He's reminding me that I am not alone, that He is there and so are others.

(title from "held" by natalie grant)

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