Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Remain

There was a period of time in my life when I didn't write. It didn't put my thoughts on paper or truly explore the deepest part of me. I have been thinking on that time recently. At first, I was frustrated. Frustrated that I hadn't used my gifts. That maybe I hadn't been obedient, hadn't been fulfilling my responsibility as a follower of Christ.

Then, something a friend said made me rethink my feelings. She was talking about a dark time in her life. About how she needed that time. Although it was a time when she was broken and wounded, without it, she would not have needed and accepted God's deep healing.

I thought about the period of time when I didn't write. What was I doing instead? It was early in my marriage. We were attending church. I was reading the Bible and attending Bible study. My work was my passion. I had two baby girls. I moved back home and was working for a new school district. It wasn't dark. I was satisfied, but my relationship with God wasn't deep.

Then, it went dark. We had a beautiful baby boy. But, I couldn't shake the idea that something was wrong. I was depressed. I loved him, but suffered with feelings of guilt because I wasn't sure that having a third child was the right thing. I couldn't care for him. I wasn't doing anything right.

This led to more questions, more anxiety, and more withdrawal. From my marriage, my life, and my God. I questioned the value of prayer to a God who already knew what was going to happen. Who was I to ask for change when the story of my life was written by Him before I was even born. Now, this concept, of God's omniscience, is comforting to me. Then, it was paralyzing.

I couldn't pray. I didn't see the value in it. So, I went into fix it mode. I poured my life into my son. He became my passion. My mission. I learned as much as a could about his condition. I took him to classes and therapies. It was all I thought about, how to help him.

Instead of abiding in Christ, resting in his love, grace, mercy and peace, I was striving - working to find answers. Answers that may have been revealed to me had I waited on God. At that time, I was trying to do life on my own, working apart from my Heavenly Father.


In John 15, Jesus uses the analogy of a vine and it's branches to explain our perfect relationship with him. In this passage he stresses the importance of remaining in him, for without that closeness, that connectedness to the vine, we cannot bear fruit and consequently are not bringing glory to God.

All of my working and striving...it was because I did not trust. I was not filled with joy, as is promised in John 15:11. I was not bearing fruit. I was afraid. God had handed me something big and messy and instead of offering it back to him, believing that he could use it to work good in my life, I separated myself from and fought against him.

It was a time of pruning in my life. And, I believe I needed it in order to let God back in with complete trust. Like my friend, without that period of doubt and distrust, my journey would be incomplete. God knew that. And, he patiently waited for the time when I would return to him. When I would reconnect with the true vine and begin bearing fruit once again.

We are not meant to live this life on our own, apart from God. We have been chosen as his people, for a purpose. In order to fully live, we must stay connected to him. If we can't or won't for a period of time, he will wait for us to return. And, when we do, he will mend our brokenness and rejuvenate our withered branches with his love, so that we may be fruitful again.

4 comments:

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

Yes. I was just telling my students about a time in my life when things were really dark.

Brittany SSP said...

This is so true. My husband & I went through our own dark period, and looking back I feel that it had to happen that way to lead us as close to Jesus as we now are.

Danelle said...

Thank you for opening up, being vulnerable, and sharing your heartfelt thoughts with us Sybil. This message is a good reminder and I stopped to prayerfully examine my own heart. Your message really ministered to me.

Caroline said...

This is a good word Sybil - Thanks for sharing!