He meets us in our willingness

Posted: October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 (This was my Saturday blog…)

We were out for our daily run.  It wasn’t in the nice, dark, quiet, pre-dawn morning.  Oh, no.  Sunlight everywhere.  Cars passing us continually.  Motion and as Dr. Seuss would say, all the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!

I was trying to be “reasonable.”  Trying to “have a good attitude.”  Trying to adjust to the change.  Trying to at least tolerate it without feeling bitchy.  And longing for the time and space that I love for running.

I couldn’t make myself FEEL reasonable.  I couldn’t force myself to FEEL a good attitude.  I felt very, very bitchy.  Everything irritated me – even my sweet husband G, who was out there being such a good sport, running with me.  I felt like snapping at him about every 2 minutes.

But happily for me (for BOTH of us, for that matter!) I have lived long enough and paid enough attention to have learned something:  my feelings don’t have to be in charge.  I may not be able to turn them around myself.  I may not be able to magically turn sucky feelings into great ones.  But I don’t have to let bad feelings drive – they only win the day if I just surrender to them.

So that day and many others, I did what I know to do.  I suited up and showed up.  And I just kept asking God to do what I could not do:  change my attitude.    I complained before, during and after the runs, though I did my best to keep that to really a minimum, as compared to the awful noise in my head.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t FEEL like I wanted to change.  But I knew the need for it, and I knew what God will do, in response to our fervent prayers, our determined obedience, and our constant looking to Him.

This past week, which happened to be about a month into the new schedule, I finally felt my attitude shift.   I didn’t have to force myself against massive inner protest to put on my running clothes.  I didn’t hear all the loud reasons inside me why it stinks to run in daylight.  I wasn’t irritated at G for all the sweet and funny things he does.  I didn’t have to make an effort to be nice.  Being nice naturally finally, finally, FINALLY returned to me.

I had to run a lot of days feeling crabby and grouchy.  I had to choose not to say a lot of really negative things aloud.  I had to choose not to pick dumb arguments with my husband that would have had nothing to do with him and everything to do with my resistance to change.   I continually had to choose not to talk on and on about how much I hated the new schedule (which I did highly imperfectly – some of you can testify that I’ve talked more about that than I should have.)

It felt SO GOOD, discovering that the immovable rock that was my resistance to the change had finally shifted.  It felt SO GOOD, being ready to get my gear on and get out there.  It felt SO GOOD, not having to squash grouchy thoughts and crabby words toward my loving, helpful, gentle, patient husband.

God is so very faithful.  I notice as I grow that often the healing/deliverance/change I seek doesn’t come instantly.  Often He lets me bubble around in it for awhile.  I notice that He uses that time to grow me and to help me let go of things that I don’t think I want to let go of.  And I notice that if I just keep looking to HIM to change me, where who I am differs from what is right – HE WILL DO IT.  He doesn’t seem to be looking for me to just straighten up and fly right.  I think it delights Him, making the change in me in ways that leave me knowing for sure:  that wasn’t me.  I think He smiles with me as I celebrate my new attitude.

I think He doesn’t work like we mostly think He works at all.  I think His ways are much better than ours.

What do YOU think?

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