Thursday, June 10, 2010

From Where Does My Help Come?

We all have patterns and routines. Some are healthy, some not. I've briefly alluded that my emotions/attitudes are not as they should be as of late. There are some things I need to take care of, but I'm not quite ready to step out and do what I need to do. On the one hand I keep trying to do what I've always done - be strong, ignore it, and take care of everyone else. If I'm honest, I'm the one that needs help now. And that is a really hard thing to admit. Fortunately, I have friends that speak truth into my life.

This weekend we went camping with some of the Monday Night Posse on what was to be a spiritual retreat of sorts. The first night a couple friends talked about some difficult things they are going through, but I couldn't bring myself to participate in any way. 

We were rained out of our campsite on Sunday, but came back together at the house for more campfire and sharing late in the evening after we'd all had time to dry out. Prior to coming back together we were asked to participate in machatino (a Dominican Republic Spanish term I am unfamiliar with and am probably spelling wrong, but means something like "time of reflection" or our Christian-ese "quiet time"). I slept instead. 

About fifteen minutes before we left our house I tried to read the Bible. Something I've been simultaneously been feeling I should do and having a complete disinterest in doing for the last six months. I picked up where I had left off in John after a five minute read in April: 

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. (John 1: 10-14, New Living Translation)

"Okay, God, I hear you. I'm not the first or the last to reject you. Thanks for being faithful, but I'm still feeling lost," I thought to myself as I headed out the door.

Most of the Monday Night Posse was at the house, which was nice since not everyone could make the camping trip, and everyone started reflecting on their quiet time. Again, me, completely uninterested and fast approaching, "Don't want to be here" status. 

Leave it to the DH to share what we'd read and then ask me to fill in my thoughts. Which resulted in an immediate, "Oh crap," moment. So, I shared that the last thing I wanted to do lately was pray or read the Bible and that it's been that way for awhile now. They responded with the same grace I've come to anticipate, though never expect.

On Monday the group that went camping hiked up Dog Mountain. It was a gorgeous (the photo above is not one of the most stunning taken, but I don't have access to the others at the moment) and difficult hike and, per usual, I found myself towards the back of the group with our Charming Texan and my friend who likes to take lots pictures while hiking, making us roughly the same speed. 

While we were walking K thanked me for sharing the night before as difficult as it was. She also has been struggling with some life baggage - but is already in the getting help stage - and shared that it's only in the last couple weeks that she felt compelled to pray or read her Bible, but now is starting to feel God talk to her again. She lovingly reminded me that I've been knocked towards the bottom of Maslow's Triangle and right now I need to focus on feeling safe again. "These are the times we don't need to seek God, he'll come to you. Just like in the Garden." (The night before we had talked about how the "God can't be in the presence of sin" is a bit of a misconception. God gave Adam and Eve time to sort out their mess after they did the one thing they were told not to, but then He met them and restored them to His presence.)

I thought about this a bit on the hike and when we hiked out of the forest and saw the meadow and hills covered in wildflowers up to the summit I was reminded of Psalm 121, which I didn't even know I knew... (except in my head it was, "I lift mine eyes to the hills, from whence my help comes.)
 1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
         From where shall my help come?
    2My help comes from the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth.
    3He will not allow your foot to slip;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.
    4Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Will neither slumber nor sleep.
    5The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
    6The (I)sun will not smite you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.
    7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
         He will keep your soul.
    8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth and forever. 

I am not restored and I'm not feeling I had some epiphany on the summit. If anything my epiphany was, "Dang, I really should carry my own bag" and, "Why do I let them talk me into this crap?" (Well, not at the summit, but those were my thoughts for the last .4 miles where it was steep and the wind was a beast.)  What I am feeling is encouraged that I'm not alone and no matter how ashamed I am of my feelings or how difficult I'm finding life right now, I have an amazing group of people who love me anyway. The healing will come with time.

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