Last night I wept, snot running down my face and dripping off my chin, for a period of about 4 hours. It wasn’t fun and I really didn’t like it. At least not then – not while it was happening. This morning I see it in a different light, because it’s times like that, when my soul cries out to God and to others, when I feel a toothbrush at work inside.
Some of those close to me sometimes question whether I’m fully letting Jesus inside to clean things out. I know that I am. It’s just that I don’t think He wants to magically make everything perfect. I think He purposely works on issues slowly so that I understand them better. He isn’t just taking a fire hose and spraying the place out… He’s taking a toothbrush and slowly deep cleaning. I sometimes feel like others need to see fire hose evidence in order to believe a work is in progress, but I am more than overjoyed with the toothbrush. Perhaps you, dear Constant Reader, aren’t the type that needs to understand things about yourself like I do, but I want to know… I want to understand… I want to get it. I feel that is going to be a big part of any future ministry God may have for me: identifying with others who have gone through the same things I’ve gone through and maybe being able to be used to help others “get it”. For that to happen I need to reach that place myself. Slowly.
My cockiness is melting away. I am realizing I really don’t know much. I’m not nearly as smart as I thought. I’m enrolled in Seminary and want to be used by God, but I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever have anything to say to anybody. Perhaps that’s all for the best? Perhaps that’s the only way to be if God’s words are to be spoken and not my own? I feel inadequate.
In the two weeks of 2006 between September 11th, when I knew I would no longer be in “the business”, and September 25th when I finally asked Jesus to take over, I wanted instant answers and solutions to all the anger and bitterness and questions I had about Him, Christianity, and people. I tried to strike a deal with God that if he brought those answers I’d give him my life. He didn’t respond at all. He was silent. On September 25th I finally understood that it wasn’t that He wasn’t willing to answer my questions, He just wasn’t going to do so all at once. He has been very faithful with slow answers. Some of them even in dreams. Most of them through something I read and then ponder, or something someone says to me that I ponder while prayerful, or through ideas that form when speaking with Him along the Sacramento River Trail, my favorite place to converse with Him.
This slow rate is purposeful, and I am loving the journey. I am content in the knowledge that change will continue. I am not asking for speedy results, because I am realizing the value of “one step at a time” results that really have a chance to sink in. Does this make any sense? It is lovely what’s happening. But I do wish those closest to me would reach the place where they, too, realized that all these things they think I need to let God heal – the bitterness… the anger… the constant questioning – I AM letting Him in to heal. Again, it is purposely slow. And maybe some of you might even be who He uses to point out what’s next, but I need those who are close to please be patient, because this is a one-thing-at-a-time situation. Lots of time went into the damage, and lots of time is going to be required to toothbrush it away.