the last few weeks. they’ve been interesting. it’s been a process. here’s my rough idea of a timeline: semester started off well enough. good ski trip, semblances of friendships. honestly i can’t remember that far back to actually know any details. i think i was excited/determined to do class and do it right. the first big bump i can remember is the controversial stuff with the group i wrote about in these controversial days. and i think from there a wound was opened. deep irreconciliation. the weeks that followed … spring break, wisdom teeth, MR. physical pain, emotional pain, personal irreconcilation.
i’ve been in a funk. the funk grows and shrinks. the funk deceives me. because around people i can be totally having so much fun. and then i get caught in some weird heavy molasses of depression. and i can’t get out of my own head.
i’ve been actively telling God no. i’ve been rebelling mentally. forgive her. no. stop eating, you aren’t hungry. no. get up and do what you know you should. no. i don’t want to. i can’t do it. no no no.
today i was upset by my brother. because he puts me in situations where i have to help him in these last minute stressful situations. when deeply seeded within me is the desire to not help. but i have to. and i hope he understands that it’s because i’m in this funk.
so a bunch of negative emotion was boiling, bubbling out of me. my stomach was twisting itself. i wanted to writhe around on the floor or scream or just explain to someone why this was unfair. everything. life. everything. ridiculous and unfair.
i took my walk. it was my favorite kind. when it’s cold outside and it’s slightly raining and very windy. and i just started ranting. God, it’s unfair. why do i have to deal with all these shitty people and these stupid situations. God, i can’t. i can’t.
and on this one road as the wind was blowing me back and forth and the rain was softly falling on my face mixing with my tears. he said he wanted to speak to me. he said he would. he said (through deut 30):
“When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
and i realized. that God was asking me something very specific. something i’d been ignoring for weeks now. God was asking me to obey and not just obey myself. my own desires. the callings and beckonings of my own heart and my own stomach and my own mind. he wasn’t asking me to obey what i wanted. he was asking me to obey his commands. and not just the commands that i liked. not just the things he’s told me in the past. he was asking me to obey all of his commands. and incredibly, he’s not just asking me to obey all of his commands. he even cares about how i obey those commands. he wants me to obey all of his commands with all my heart and all my soul. God doesn’t just want me to mindlessly or forcefully obey his commands. he wants my heart and soul to be behind those decisions. to me, that meant that it matters to God that I am not just doing what he wants because “that’s what i should do.” he wants me to obey him because i want to. because that’s what will delight my heart. that’s what’s written in my heart and the whisper of my soul. and and and. if i do this, i will live and be prosperous. because he is in the work of restoring me.
and it gets better:
“11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
do you see? do you see?? this ask is not difficult. it’s incredible. because every time i’m faced with not wanting to do what God wants me to do, there’s this feeling of deeeeeep tension. something insurmountable. something impossible. overwhelming. useless. why try. that’s why i conclude that i can’t. and i don’t want to. but no. this command is not difficult. in fact it’s very near. in fact, it’s already in my heart.
this idea was powerful for me. because i knew it. i could feel God’s commands in my heart. i knew i had been running from that for a while. and honestly, i just didn’t fear the consequences of running. because in the beginning i was afraid of being a Christian, i was afraid of trusting God because of these controversial days, i’d forgotten why i wanted to stand firm and obey.
but no today, today today. God is giving me a choice. either i can choose life and prosperity. or death and destruction. and he asks that i now choose life. for my sake, for the sake of my children. simply, i need to love him, listen to his voice, and hold fast. for, the lord is your life. God=life. by choosing life, i am choosing God. I am choosing the source of life. i am choosing the one who already chose me. already loved me. already obeyed his father to die for me. because he is in the work of restoring me. of giving me life and prosperity.
thank you. thank you for speaking to me today. thank you for walking with me in the rain today. i remembered again today that my happiest days here at Harvard have always been the ones when i’ve been with you. and that my most precious moments have been with you. and i don’t know why i keep forgetting that.
thank you for challenging me again with the idea that the way i am living, the rebellion that i’m following is the reason for my funk. i am not choosing life. i am deliberately not obeying you. i’m almost subduing myself into a foggy state so that i forget what your commands are. because i don’t want to face things i don’t want to do.
God, i’m sorry. i want to obey all of your commands with all my heart and my soul. i am afraid though that i don’t know all of your commands. that i will be lacking in heart and soul. and that i will ultimately not obey. please show me again what all of these components mean and what they practically look like in my life.
please help me to forgive M. though i feel i already have or have begun to, please give me wisdom in this relationship. in all my relationships really. i have not been consulting you, obeying you in how i treat people. think about people. support people.
please give me wisdom in how i spend my money and my time. i think this is another area that i haven’t been obeying your commands.
God, i love you. i am everything i am because of you. i know you told me that i need to spend time with you every day, especially as college is ending. i pray that i will follow through on that.