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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Why does life seem unfair?"

Tonight, I had one of the most incredible and spiritually moving experiences of my entire life.

For the past hour, I've laid in my bed sobbing. It's been a really, really rough month and it's come to fruition tonight. I'm incredibly sad about Mamaw. I'm worried about mom. There are trust issues and conflict in my life with changing relationships. My living situation for the upcoming year is uncertain. I am so plagued by grief and loneliness. I'm struggling right now, and my heart is sorrowful.

I want God to answer "why this" and "why that." I asked him through unidentifiable blubbering and gnashing of teeth. Ok, not really, but my sobs kind of sounded like I was speaking in tongues. (See, I can be sad and still have a sense of humor). Anyway, I didn't get answers.

By this point, I'm so mad at myself for questioning God's grace, and the self-loathing begins. I've been doing that a lot lately. I consider myself a really confident gal who knows her true beauty is celebrated by her Lord, but it's not been at the forefront of my mind. In fact, I've shoved it away in place of thoughts that are tearing me down.

You know how something like that grows and grows. At first, it's only a little chip, and then before I know it, I've whittled away a huge chunk. And trying to put that back together is difficult.

So I'm wallering in my self-absorption, and am begging God to just put me out of my misery and send me off to la-la land for the night. But my eyes won't shut. And I can't turn off everything that's racing through my head, much like the headline ticker at the bottom of a news broadcast.

I felt compelled to turn on my lamp. I did so and continued to lay there and whimpered. My eyes made their way over to my Bible, and I stared at it for a long time. I know what's in the Bible. I know it offers hope and peace and comfort. But I resisted picking it up anyway. I didn't want any of that tonight.

I lay there for at least another fifteen minutes before I finally decided to stop being stubborn and pick up the dadgum Bible. Can I say that? Dadgum Bible?

Still whimpering. I thought I'd open up to the "Psalms of Ascent," the chapters we're reading in the Beth Moore Bible study at work. But on my way there, I hit Psalm 73 first. I don't know that I would've glanced at it otherwise if I hadn't had several verses underlined. However, it did catch my eye, and I skimmed it looking for comfort.

I found it. I read it three times and by the third time, I noticed that I started to regain a bit of my composure. Then, I glanced down at the supplemental reading passages---you know, the little boxes in your study Bible that serve as "application explanation"---and in big bold letters: "Why does life seem unfair?" I stared at it a moment and then broke out in laughter. It didn't sound like laughter, because I was still crying so hard. It's a little embarrassing to recount, yet entirely true.

Maybe you were waiting for me to tell you of some sort of moving mountains, parting seas, flashes of lighting and rumbles of thunder. Or, that I was visited by an angel with a message or some writing appeared on my bedroom wall. None of that happened. It may sound like a Christian cliche to say that I believe God yanked me to Psalm 73 tonight. And even after reading the chapter and the additional material, I'm still not un-sad. But--God spoke to me tangibly, spoke deeply to my heart, and reminded me that His love is sufficient.

I know that I've been running on an empty love tank for a long time. The laws of nature illustrate that you can only pour out what you have coming in. I don't have a lot coming in right now, yet I'm certainly shoveling what I do have right out the door. And most of you probably know that I don't like to ask for help, and I certainly don't like to show weakness.

I have no reason to doubt or lose faith because God has shown me time and time again to be patient and wait for his plan to unfold. And he has placed individuals in my life that shepherd me.

God must know I need some encouragement right now. Yesterday, I had a knitting date with my good friend Natalie. We knitted, un-knitted (we dropped stitches), and talked. She listened to me as I poured out some hurts in my life that I've been internalizing for a long time now. Natalie built me up and edified me. She prayed for me, a long prayer, a specific prayer. I am so appreciative, and want to publicly thank her.

I don't write these things so you will feel sorry for me---I know I'm being really lame right now. I write this because I feel the need to be transparent. I need to record what's in my heart, so that someday I can look back and learn.

And just so we can all keep perspective about my attitude and this blog post, note that I only cry about once per quarter. Seriously. I'm fine. So don't you all start commenting about how you feel sorry for me, k?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAB...I love you, and I'm so sorry that you are having a tough time. You are definetely a giver and most folks are takers. If I were there, I'd make you hot tea and sit on the couch with you and watch Sex and the City till you felt better. I can't wait to see you in less than a week.....Tina

6:52 AM

Anonymous nat said...

I just love you Mary Anna Brown. I love your heart for people and the way it tears you up inside when you see those who are struggling. What an incredible heart you have, and how thankful I am that I get to be a friend of yours.

7:58 AM

Blogger emmysue said...

Love you...that's it, that's all.

PS - a bunch of us are going to Kairos tonight. Any way I can talk you into coming?

8:16 AM

Anonymous Katie said...

Girl, I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you! I was going through this same situation, same questions, same crying fits this weekend. While we're all allowed to let things out every once in a while, we also have to cry out to God to fill our hearts where we've given out too much and our wells are dry. I'm there for you girl and God thinks you're wonderful!

8:37 PM

Blogger TBSE said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you there is no else above you? You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, ease my trouble with eggs benedict on Saturday mornings, that's what you do.... thanks for the honesty, honestly... ames

12:51 PM


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