walking in grace

Fragile Faith Expo

I am having a moment.

You know, that kind of moment where the fire of fear is lit, and it feels like maybe you misheard or misinterpreted. When you fear that maybe God doesn’t really see you, even though you tell the world He does. 

Deep in the interval of time, where you’re overthinking instead of reminding yourself what you already know to be true. That God is good even when my circumstances are not.

I wanted to save these thoughts and write to you all from the other side of this moment. After God had come through. After He had shown me His kindness. From a place of gratitude for all that He had orchestrated on my behalf.

Once my faith had become sight.

“Why?” you ask.

For one, people prefer happy stories. Happy endings. We prefer Tiggers over Eeyores.

Two, no one wants to talk about their hard stuff in the middle of it. But here I am. Sharing with you from right smack dab in the middle of my struggle. Tension unresolved.

No. I haven’t lost someone I love. And no I haven’t received a scary diagnosis. For those things alone, I should find enough grace to carry me through. I’m not unaware.

But to begin, for once in my life, maybe twice, I had a long-term plan. My hubby and I had determined last year that we would sell our house this year. And we would buy our last house, the house from where we would leave for the nursing home or the funeral home.

We paced ourselves and did the odd jobs necessary to put the best version of our house forward. We tackled all the little things it’s easy to ignore when you live within a space.

After the holidays, we organized with moving in mind as we took down the trees and lights. It was organized hoarding at its best.

But then declutter became our mantra. I purged closets and cabinets while my hubby purged and cleaned the garage. We earned gold stars at Goodwill for our donations.

And then we did it. We signed papers and put our house on the market. Sigh.

Two days later, we had a full-asking-price offer. Cash sale. Ten-day closing.

Can I tell you that we felt like God’s favorite humans? We laughed and joked about His favor. We said to each other, “So this is what it feels like to be Tim.” Yes. Tim is a young friend who’s well acquainted with God’s favor.

And suddenly my new reality hit me. “How can I find my forever house in ten days?!”

To my delight, the buyer gave us a couple of months to remain in our house/her house, after closing.

It all went south from there and I now find myself having a moment.

“What if I can’t find a house? What if we end up no better off? What if I sold a house I loved to live in a house I hate? I don’t want to live there. I hate that neighborhood. I don’t want to live that close. I don’t wanna be that far. That house isn’t big enough. That house is too big. I don’t want to pay that much. We can’t afford that much.”

There you have it, my friends. Hysterical. Fire of fear full-blown and blazing!

Don’t you want to be my friend?

And amid that fear — just a few moments ago in the middle of my fragile faith expo — somehow I heard a Voice remind me of these words:

“Whether His best is hard. Or heavy. Or Light. His best is always best. And for that, a whole-hearted expression of thanksgiving is due. Before. Even if. Even if not.

For a joy that runs deep and a peace that rests heavily upon us… For a faith that explodes from within…practice giving thanks for things unseen. Unknown. Unrealized.”

Yes. I wrote that.

Last November, in a season of ease, God spoke those words to me in preparation for perhaps this very moment.

So, I am fighting to have a friend of Daniel moment instead of an Angi moment. Right now, I choose to praise God for who He is. Not for what He might do. Not for what He might do for me. But because He is worthy of praise. If He chooses to move mountains for me, I will receive the gift with open hands. But if not. Oh, even if not, I will praise Him anyway, for He is worthy of my praise.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists, then he can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he can[f] rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if he does not rescue us,[g] we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”

DANIEL 3

Am I still prone to overthink and under trust? Absolutely, I am. But here’s what I am going to do. When that fear burns in my heart and mind, I will douse its flames by surrendering it to the One who loves me. While I cannot know for sure how these next few weeks will play out, I do know the One who works in all things, for my good and His glory.

I know God sees me, and I know He loves me.  And I know that He is able to do more than I could imagine or ask. But my praise of Him isn’t a contract. It doesn’t hinge upon what He does or doesn’t do for me. God, in fact, has already done more than I deserve. And if He doesn’t answer my requests, I will not bow to the gold statue of fear.

Even if I can’t see it.

Even if I don’t feel it.

Even if it comes…eventually.

Hallelujah!
Praise God in his sanctuary.
Praise him in his mighty expanse.
Praise him for his powerful acts;
praise him for his abundant greatness.

Praise him with the blast of a ram’s horn;
praise him with harp and lyre.
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and flute.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;
praise him with clashing cymbals.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.

PSALM 150

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