And she makes great cookies.
Officially, Brandee Shafer is an English instructor turned SAHM to the 3.5 children for whom she records her life and thoughts, through blogging. She, her husband Jim, and their children live in a log cabin in Powhatan, Virginia, where she writes, teaches Sunday school, and tries, daily, to diminish toppling piles of dishes and laundry. You can read more of her words here; I would encourage you to read her blog and bookmark it for return visits. She's awesome, and she inspires me.
When Only God Can Fix It
I have not been easy to love, lately.
There's this ongoing issue between God and me. When I say ongoing, I mean for many years, and, when I say issue, I mean something I've been begging God to fix from the outset. He hasn't, obviously, although--every so often--He throws me just enough of a bone to keep my thin, pale flicker of hope alive.
It seems I can roll with God so long as my ongoing issue is my only one; however, when life deals additional blows, I flounder. It could be worse, I guess, because I haven't stopped believing in God or even in an eventual victory. Then again, have you have ever lived with vertigo? Because I submit humbly: sometimes falling feels better than walking with an absence of balance.
I've learned, recently: the church doesn't so much know what to do with someone like me. Please understand, I'm referring to the church at large, not any particular center of worship. Please understand, also, I count myself part of the church and guilty as charged.
In fact, I'm probably more guilty than most, because I almost always walk away from people who make me tired.
I think back, and how many times have I walked away from someone I couldn't seem to help: someone whose problems God didn't seem inclined to fix within a "reasonable" time frame? How many times have I offered a hug, a prayer, and/or a hot meal and hightailed it? How many times have I slung a few of God's promises at someone, invited her to Sunday school to hear more, and gotten the heck out of dodge? (And I wonder why my class is small.)
How many times have I missed an opportunity to shine the love of Christ into the life of someone who feels abandoned (and rightfully so)? Forgive me, Father. Forgive me, friends; I couldn't see it until I became reeling and unsteady, myself.
Moving forward (in as straight a line as possible), I'm going to avoid:
- "God has a plan," also, "There's a reason for everything." Because--even though I believe those things, if I don't know what the plan and reason are--I find those promises frustrating.
- "Are you ok?" Because I've always prided myself on being wide open. If you have to ask, no, I'm not.
- "You're letting the devil steal your joy." Awesome. Now, on top of all my other problems, I'm in the process of being robbed. And if the very fruits of the Spirit are being stolen from me, am I even a Christian?
- "Everything will be ok because it was ok for me." Great. I'm happy for you. When will everything be ok for me? We're talking about me, remember?
Please hear me; I'm not trying to discourage anyone. We've all said the things above, and with pure hearts and perfect intentions! But I've learned the hard way what helps most, and it's: I love you. I'm here for you. I love you. I'm here for you. I love you. I'm here for you. IloveyouI'mhereforyou. Repeat.