“In this wilderness, I keep circling back to this: I’m blind to joy’s well every time I really don’t want it. The well is always there. And I choose not to see it. Don’t I really want joy? Don’t I really want the fullest life? For all my yearning for joy, longing for joy, begging for joy – is the bald truth that I prefer the empty dark? Prefer drama? Why do I lunge for control instead of joy? Is it somehow more perversely satisfying to flex control’s muscle? Ah – power – like Satan. Do I think Jesus-grace too impotent to give me the full life? Isn’t that the only reason I don’t always swill joy? If the startling truth is that I don’t really want joy, there’s a far worse truth. If I am rejecting the joy that is hidden somewhere deep in this moment – am I not ultimately rejecting God? Whenever I am blind to joy’s well, isn’t it because I don’t believe in God’s care? That God cares enough about me to always offer me joy’s water, wherever I am, regardless of circumstance. But if I don’t believe God cares, if I don’t want or seek the joy He definitely offers somewhere in this moment – I don’t want God. Blasphemer.”
– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 130
And this is where I am. And here is where I sit. And the choice is set before me. And I react. React to the stresses and the pains and the emotions in ever-increasing tumult that well up inside of me. I choose. Because it is a choice… however much I wish to deny it.
My heart longings and my flesh abilities do not fit together in these final weeks of child-still-in-womb. And where is the God-grace and why do I turn blind eye to it? My mind does not first thank and re-joice, but rather it dwells on all the inadequacies of my own self- things that I cannot change. These God-given-graces that flood my days and I count them as burden and ugly and not-good-enoughs to name-thanks for.
Who am I to judge grace? And who am I to not be sehnsucht for it? I understand the joy that comes from the naming of grace-gift – the ugly beautiful’s and the easy beautiful’s – I have experienced it, however finite that experience has been. And yet I still don’t live in constant seeking of it.
And then there’s the “far worse truth.” My rejection of God, the grace-gifter.
And it’s still here, this prideful control of mine, this stern lip and stubborn chin, and the flickering ember that just won’t completely die that lies deep inside of me- in all the rebelliousness it can muster in this moment. And it clings to control. And for what?
To let go and let God’s grace gifts be named and recognized fully… To relinquish this childish control and fall deep into the Father’s well of joy… And why not?
staying up past bedtime giggles
the squeals induced by a dog-friend being in our home
my son who wants my arms to hug and hold him -(will I see grace when he is too old for me to kiss his tiny pink lips?)
a daughter who won’t let me go – (and when she refuses to stay? will I see it then?)
To bottle this time- to be fully here- and then I resent the aching of this weary pregnant body and I long to escape its restricting skin- to run and laugh and play a different role than the one I am able to at this point in time. … But is this not grace too?
a body that carries life inside of it
a child being formed safe within
tangled mess of fringe on blanket’s edge
the worn hole in husband’s shirt
the candle-left-burn-scar on coffee “table” from a childhood party at my grandmother’s
the droop of the sunflowers as light gives way to night
the painted messes of colors all wrong on bedroom walls
And this. The heart calm.