Sunday, December 7, 2014

When God Hurts My Feelings -Choosing to Dream

This post is one of my more raw moments so if you don't want to read it, feel free to ignore the fact you came across it. I've been really wounded lately, so wounded I have not wanted to write because my heart has been angry, defensive, playing the victim, and about ten other unflattering adjectives. This past semester has been pretty awful in some ways, and pretty incredible in others. This has been a time of growth and I have hated every minute of it.
The only way I know how to convey what I have been feeling is to say that God hurt my feelings. That seems so wrong because He is God and He knows what's best, but my heart doesn't feel that way. I have been railing at Him because it feels like every time I dream, my dreams come crashing down around me, so down deep I don't want to dream because it hurts.
What it boils down to is that I don't get what I want. Selfish I know, but sometimes I want what I want more than I want what He wants to give me.
I didn't get a job I really wanted, CP has taken a lot from me lately, and relationally I haven't wanted to be around anyone because I am not a whole lot of fun right now. Walking around campus shortly after all of this happened I heard the Holy Spirit whisper one word, "Carmina." When you don't trust Me, remember her." 3 years ago when I went to Africa for the first time I walked into a room full of babies my heart was resentful I couldn't hold and I met a tall, willowy, grinning 10 year old who had feet like mine who instantly lit up at the realization that someone was a part of her world, even world's apart. I had been nervous that having CP would disqualify me from truly being able to give anything to the people of Africa, but one look at sweet Carmina showed me that CP was why I went to Africa in the first place. I knew then the truth of Romans 8:28 that "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him." And I do love Him. I love Him so much, I have realized that the more you love someone, the more potential they have to wound you. I just have to remember that He knows best.
Having said that, I knew that if God didn't open the job door I was supposed to go back to Mozambique long term this summer. But my heart was still so heavy that it didn't matter, I hurt too badly to think about doing what He wanted me to do.
I started to work on a research paper dealing with the stereotypical ways authors deal with women with disabilities in literature. Most authors usually promote a victim mentality that just ticks me off. So, as I railed against this author for making this character weak and victimized, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "Isn't that what you are doing?" It was said in such a gentle way, I couldn't do anything but acknowledge its truth.
I have been playing the victim and completely ignored the fact that I have a choice. I can choose to listen to the lies of the enemy who tells me that I am not going anywhere, that Jesus doesn't really love me, and that my life will be marked by dreams turned into nightmares. Or, I can choose to be the victor Jesus made me to be. I can choose to mourn what is unfair, cry when I need to, and then be strong. The point is when I cry, I can give into the lies, or I can run into the arms of Truth.
On the heels of this realization (Note the REAL in this moment), I went to work the Beltway Missions Coffee shop to begin to raise funds for Moz this year. I look down and see the girl that I am working this shift with is also going to Mozambique. Not only is she going, but a girl whom I love, who I found out is her best friend is going as well. As we began to talk about Africa I realized something. Jesus was saying "No" to the job dream, so He could say "Yes" to the Africa dream. My heart has always loved Mozambique. Now, I finally have the blessing of both the Lord, and my parents' to spend an entire 2-3 months investing in the people there, especially my girl. :). My heart is still in pain about some things, but I am learning to believe in His "Yes" for my life instead of the enemy's. When God hurts my feelings I have a choice. I can choose to believe that His feelings for me, His desires for me, and His love for me run deeper than any lie the enemy chooses to whisper. And today, that is the choice I make. I will choose life. I will choose Him. And I will choose to dream, because "He will give me above and beyond what I can ask for or imagine."

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