I’m sitting in my bedroom watching the rain fall through my falling tears. Seems sort of poetic really. The reason I’m in my room is I needed some time alone because I haven’t had any in a couple of weeks since my kids got here. The reason I’m crying is a combination of fear, worry and guilt.
Last night I read the book of Job in the Bible because I needed a sense that someone gets what it feels like to be on what looks like the losing end of life and wondering if it will ever get better. Job says:
“I call out to you God, but you do not answer, I stand up to plead, but you keep aloof. You have turned cruelly against me; with your strong hand you persecute me. You snatch me up and mount me on the wind; the tempest tosses me about. I know that you will hand me over to death, to the place appointed for all mortals. Yet no beggar held out his hand to me in vain for relief in his distress. Did I not weep for the unfortunate: Did not my heart grieve for the destitute? Yet evil has come though I expected good, and when I looked for light, darkness came.” Job 30:20-26
Earlier in the book Job said: “Those at ease look down on misfortune, on the blow that fells one who is already reeling, while the marauders’ tents are left undisturbed and those who provoke God live safe and sound.” Job 12:5,6
The reason I feel like I understand this book so well is that I have found myself at times in life, a lot recently, asking God what I did to offend. Did I not help people enough, did I not care enough? What did I do to deserve so much struggle and trial? I’m not saying it’s not possible that I deserve the things that have happened to me, all I’m saying is I know my heart and I know that regardless of how many times I may have screwed up, my intentions have been pure my entire life. Misguided at times, yes, but pure nonetheless.
On top of everything that is troubling me, I am alone. Not physically alone, I have my kids, which is more than poor Job had, but I am alone in the sense that I have nearly nowhere to turn for comfort. I feel abandoned by the people who used to be my friends. It’s as if nobody wants to catch my misfortune. I think I am an example that makes people uncomfortable. Truly one of those you can look at and say, “If this could happen to her, it could happen to me or anyone.” I have done everything in my power to do the right thing my entire life. I have taken everything life has dished out and tried to make good of it. I didn’t let an abusive childhood or any of the unfortunate circumstances of my youth stop me from succeeding in my career or getting an education. Every obstacle, every misfortune, I overcame them all trying to make a better life for me and my kids. And I have almost nothing to show for it.
Though I truly love my friends and family, I can barely look at Facebook these days. As I sit here wondering if I will have a place to live in two weeks, I read the status updates of people who have good jobs, stability and love in their lives complaining about really insignificant stuff. I need to make very clear that some of the people on my Facebook page have real and serious concerns over things like health and finances, but there are those who appear to have everything a person could need or want to be comfortable and worry-free in this life and they are the ones complaining the loudest. I need to further clarify that I’m not angry at these people, it just hurts to read their posts.
Here’s where the guilt comes in. I know there are people worse off than I am. These are the people to whom a couple of my dollars make a huge difference in their life. Right now I don’t have very many dollars to spare, but I’m not on the corner with a piece of cardboard and a sharpie pen…yet.
I feel that I need to get things into perspective as quickly as possible. Because if I am hurt by the complaints of people whose circumstances I would gladly trade mine for, my complaints could easily hurt the heart of someone who would gladly trade places with me.
My plea at this time is for guidance to make the right decisions regardless of what is coming my way. If God is going to see fit to have me and my kids become homeless, I wish to handle it with as much grace as possible and to find reasons every day to give thanks.
Today is a day of grace. We have a roof over our heads on this stormy day, we have plenty of food in the cupboard and refrigerator and we have a soft place to lay our heads at the end of the day. There are many people on this planet who cannot say that. I pray that my ungrateful heart will be transformed into one of gratitude and faith. And I seek forgiveness for my weak, weak faith. If anyone has reason to believe in miracles, it’s me. Let me never forget.