Thursday, January 5, 2012

64 Days

It's coming. There is no avoiding it. I can see it, hear it, feel it, rumbling beneath my feet, shaking me to the core, like a freight train with no brakes. No amount of whining or hiding or, contrarywise, planning and celebrating will change its reality or, I fear, numb the disappointment. I can try. I can talk to myself, build up my expectations, console myself with a load of it-could-be-worses, but, really, for this girl...there aren't many things worse.

I want to feel the rumbling, set my face like flint in the direction of what is coming, and be expectant. I'd like to wait, filled with hope. I want to believe that the Lord has led me "by a straight way" (Psalm 107:7), that this place I find myself in isn't a huge mistake, that the rumbling isn't warning me to prepare for the punishment I deserve. But, if I'm pressed, if I'm backed into a corner, or, no, really if you just listen to what I say, watch how I respond to the ordinary ups and downs of life, you'll see that I really don't believe any of that. I believe I, pardon the phrase, screwed up in a royal way and this, the freight train of doom, is the much-deserved consequence.

What's the freight train? What's the consequence? What's in 64 days?

In 64 days, I will turn 40.
In 64 days, I will turn 40 as a, still single woman.
In 64 days, I will turn 40 as a still single, barren woman.
In 64 days, I will turn 40 as a still single, barren woman who hasn't had a date since the 80s.

It's a place, a condition, a milestone, a becoming "that type of person" I've dreaded most of my life. When I didn't get asked to a dance, I saw "her". When I still didn't have a boyfriend in college, I saw "her". When my 30th bday party was a bust, I saw "her". Each Valentine's Day, New Years Eve, birthday, baby shower, wedding, or romantic scene in a movie, I saw "her". That woman. That sad, lonely, unwanted woman. That pitied, forgotten,dreadful woman I never, ever wanted to be.

I can't stop the train from coming. In 64 days, I will turn 40 and, barring the appearance of a genie or a time machine or a pill that undoes years of laziness and gluttony over night, I'll likely still be fat, alone, and wanting it to be otherwise when I blow out the candles on my cake. 

But, God...

Those words echo as I recite my harsh realities.

But, God...

Those words stir in my heart and give me no choice but to hope.

But, God...

Those words simply won't let me lay down on the tracks and wait for the train to come and destroy me.

But, God...

Yes, I'm fat. Yes, I'm older. Yes, I've been alone a long time. Yes, these may continue to be constants in my life. Yes, I'm not okay with that and it feels like a death sentence right now.

But, God...

He hasn't and won't stop...pursuing me, encouraging me, extending grace and mercy to me, lifting my eyes to see His goodness as I cower in the prison cell of my dashed hopes and disappointments, speaking to me through His word, answering prayer, and giving me strength for another day, strength to keep going, to keep trying, to keep hoping that whatever my lot, it won't always feel like "this", and, in the end, I will agree and see that it was, indeed, good. Not because I got my way, but because of who He was to me in those times when life was just plain hard and I was a big ol' brat...because he "filled my longing soul" and "satisfied my desires in the scorched places" and I came out stronger, fit to fight another day, more thankful for what I did have, and more equipped to love and serve others.

At least...that's what I'm hoping for today. 

I'm hoping that by loosening the grip I have on my plans, my hopes, my dreams, my desires (again), and even my estimation of what God will do and what I deserve, that I will see God.

I'm also hoping that as I see Him, the rumbling of the freight train will turn into the roar of delight for what God is going to do on the other side of this, the excitement of Hope, the Joy of knowing that God doesn't mean to crush my dreams into the ground, but means to fulfill them...the real dreams I have deep down in my heart...the dreams He dreams for me. Or in the words of a very wise soul, the dreams he bought for me:
"I have lots of dreams in my head. Jesus bought them for me as a present." ~My friend's son, Daniel. Age 5.

Today, these are words, stirring words, words I want to mean so much that it causes tears to fill my eyes, but still words, not reality. 

Today, I'm tired, tired of this life, these feelings, this fight. 

But, God...

He promises that "we who have believed enter [His] rest." (Hebrews 4:3) So, I wait for the words to be real and hope to birth belief and belief to bring rest...and to see Him...and what He'll do on Day 63...

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of all the lamenting the psalmists do, but then they always return to the joy of God's salvation in the end. As if focusing on what is not always made them remember what IS . . WHO is. Psalm 73:21-26

    When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
    I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.
    YET I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.