I wish I may, I wish I might

Get this: The day after I wrote my post on “being on the road to contentment”, I gave myself a hearty slap in the face.

We all grow up wishing things, right? On the stars, on birthday candles, on whatever. (One time, I wrote a preadolescent wish on a slip of paper and placed it in a “wishing jar” my aunt gave me from Hallmark. The wish came true. But I won’t tell you what it is… yet. It’s pretty funny, because it came true. Insert suspense here.)

There’s nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming for your life, until you’re 25 and feel as if you still haven’t gotten anything you’ve wished for. I know.. it’s overdramatic and whiny. I have plenty of great things.. an awesome husband, we’re provided for, we’re employed, we are madly in love.

But lately I’ve been grumpy. My husband has noticed it on multiple occasions, and it’s really none of his fault. Really. It’s been my choice to be grumpy, which is just plain ridiculous. I wished for two whole years that if we could just be together, live under the same roof, then I’d be happy. Well guess what? Our happiness is not, cannot, be wrapped in circumstance. Because when it doesn’t go our way, we get grumpy. And when Elizabeth is grumpy, it’s a bad day to be inside her head.

This whole week has been pretty bleak, mindfully speaking. Blah.

I have a confession: I am a covetous person. I really have always been this way… unfortunately it’s a way of life here in America, always wanting the bigger, better, more grandiose things in life. If we could only have this, only have that. Only look like her, have a different body.

The truth is, to covet is to sin. It says so in the Ten Commandments. “Covet” is such an ugly word, and I hate to say that I do this. All. The. Time. I compare and judge myself against others, and most saddening, against myself. It’s a horrible game of tearing myself down.

Part of my problem has been running. I know, I know.. when I started running it was never supposed to turn into a sick game of beating myself up. It’s like a punishment, that I gladly take upon myself. Go faster, run longer, follow a strict training plan (even though there’s no race or weight goal). And when I don’t meet my self-imposed goals, I feel guilty.

—————

I want to do my hair like that.. then I’ll feel more confident.

I want to have smaller body proportions.. then I can wear cuter clothes in smaller sizes. (My wish, [remember?], was that I wanted big boobs.. Lord help me, because genetically it shouldn’t really have been possible. Ha.)

I want to run faster so I can be better than… myself. (WHAT?! But this is what goes through my messed up brain!)

I want a job better than the one I have now, because then I’ll feel like I’m really doing something.

I wish I hadn’t missed that exit.. now I have to waste time and take the next one. I hate wasting time, and now I feel guilty for wasting a part of my day.

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This is just a sneak peak at what goes through my mind for what seems like every second of every day. I apologize to my husband incessantly for saying or doing something that I think hurt him, when in reality, he told me that I’m really apologizing to myself. It’s so true. What a sick cycle!

It really makes me want to cry, because this is not a reflection at all of who I am in Christ! Where is the freedom, the joy, the grace?

I tell you what.. I am so glad that Jesus ate with sinners, that He chose to forgive those who were putting Him on that cross.. and that the fact that He lives now is what sustains me for eternity. I need grace, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior. Without those things, I am doing nothing but putting myself through a downward spiral…. and that, eventually, will send one to the grave.

I want to live a simple life of contentment and freedom. That’s really what I want. I don’t have to covet someone else or push them around to get it, either. It’s freely given to me through grace.

I want to stop striving all the time, and just start living.  I want to eat ice cream, and not feel guilty. I want to run and just be thankful that I can run. I want to go to work and be content there.

Romans 8:1-2 says,

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation

for those who are in Christ Jesus,

because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit

who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

>On a new journey

>The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Graduations and parties that follow, first grade shenanigans at the zoo, and cleaning on steroids. I’ve been home for only a couple of nights in the past few weeks at a decent time. For me, that’s before 6PM. I love my evenings at home, cooking dinner for one and sewing or reading.

As you can see, I’ve also been blogging quite a bit (Check out the “Why I’m Alive” tabs above). It feels so redemptive to get my testimony out there; God has done great things! I am slowly but surely learning how to live a life of gladness and thankfulness. I’m learning that God wants us to have an “inexpressible and glorious joy“. Our God is a God who redeems and restores! Sharing my testimony has been so freeing; I wish I could describe the feeling with more eloquence.

Even as my husband and I continue on this journey together, I know God has great things in store for us. We are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

These last few weeks will be busy. I can’t believe next week is June already! We have been waiting for June 2011 for two years now. I will be running a 5K, going to see Hillsong with my bestie, and spending more time with friends and family.

As Aaron’s return approaches, I find myself calm and collected. No, really. I’m serious. If you ask me if I get nervous or have butterflies before I see him, I would reply with an emphatic “Yes!” as I wait with anticipation at the airport. But this time is different and new. For the past two years, we’ve known that we would only be together for a short period before going back to our geographical bachelor and bachelorette statuses. Now, we are moving in the same direction, at the same time, together.

I find myself not worried. I still have a list of things that need to be done, but overall I am not anxious. As things like small group, worship band, piano lessons, and long Saturday morning runs with Gabi are coming to a close, I wait with excited anticipation for what lies ahead.

>Then and now, parte dos

>I posted a blog a few weeks ago about how the W’s got started, at least this set of W’s (Aaron has three brothers, two of whom are married). Here we go again with the history. With an eight-hour day and long run behind me, and an evening full of fall-tinged air, hot chocolate and light from my “new” lamps, let me enlighten you.

We were talking about last night how much we’ve both changed as people in the past seven years. It’s been amazing, really, that we’ve gotten through all the changes relatively unscathed. We’ve been challenged and grown in the Lord; there is no doubt in my mind about that.

But I just think about how we could have done things differently “back then”. (Let me just say first though, that I love the fact that there is a “back then” for us.) So, to continue. We made a lot of big decisions, the first being to work through distance and hardship from the get-go. We’ve made decisions in which hindsight proves inevitably to be 20/20. And if we had been the people back then that we are now, maybe we would have made different decisions. Some of them we are not proud of, but there are forgiveness and restoration.

But as Aaron pointed out last night, we made decisions based on who we were at the time and what we would have done at the time. While I say unendingly that I would have done things differently, we serve a God who uses all sorts of circumstances for our good.

Let’s talk about that for a second. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This does not mean that He works the best for what we want, but for what is best for us. It may not be all puppies and rainbows. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the hardest lessons are learned throughout circumstances that are less than desirable at the time. We have a theme of time going on here. Of course we do! God works all things in His time, for our good in the end. Not in our time for what we want.

Make no mistake that there are more circumstances in my life than not being with my husband. The situation in itself is so multi-faceted. Along with his being gone, I’ve had to really dig deep and dig out the roots of insecurity, hopelessness, selfishness, depression, and anxiety. I’m farther along on some than others, but it goes to show how God will use one big life change to really transform the person you are into something so much more trusting and hopeful than you ever thought you could be.

Now, I have the faith that our finances will be taken care of. That’s not just because we have a savings account with some numbers attached. It’s because, through our financial hardship (and like we talked about last night, fortunately we’ve never been the textbook definition of poor), God has proven Himself to provide time and time again. There is a two-way street to that, as I’ve talked about before, with tithing and being a good steward overall of our earthly possessions.

Back “in the day” of working 30+ hours a week + 16 semester hours + a long-distance boyfriend, I didn’t have the same faith. Then it was truly only a mustard seed. God was starting a work in me, and while it’s not perfect (a synonym is complete), I know that I am just along the path of completion. And of course my faith is multi-faceted as well. God used all those tough circumstances for our good in the end. Praise Him for it! Without Him I would be such an obnoxious, insecure, codependent, anxious, depressive mess!

I’m reading So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore right now and she just speaks to my heart. I see my journey from being 100% insecure to 100% trying to trusting God (I say trying because like I said, I’m not there yet). I can look back and see how both of us have grown as individuals and as a couple. I love him. A lot.