Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gifts

The question of purpose likes to fling itself full-force into one's face periodically. It especially likes to choose a time when the weather has swung into bleak coldness as it did in our area this week. I've been a scurrying figure, holding on to a tree,trunk,stump,branch,twig until late Thursday, I felt a snap, and I was hurtling through space. (Btw, I've always felt so much like a Virginia Woolf character when this happens. I can't even read her books at times because of that connection I feel to some of her people.)


The question of purpose, of connection, of non-random plans was at my throat again due to some prompting that happened at a couple of groups I attended on Thursday. It had been building too. I sat catatonically afterwards on my red couch with my husband peering at me in concern. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You couldn't understand," I said. And the intense questions became mixed with marital issues until I had to get away and collapse unhappily and troubled to sleep. He didn't know what to do.


The morning, cold, came, and I could barely function. I was confused and within the fog. My husband left early for a men's group from church, and I asked him to have them pray for us. Later an online Bible study prompted me to read a chapter in John which held the verse: "I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never live in darkness." I held it to my forehead and cried and prayed for the light to remain in me and to shine forth, despite the night of confusion. He is our constant help, the Bible says repeatedly, in time of trouble.


The question of purpose had stared me down, mocking that it was even a possibility, taunting me by saying that my life was just a series of random events which had only the meaning given to it by a personally subjective method. I had found out on Thursday night that even women who had no belief in God/Christ, even many of them had a strong sense of their purpose, of corresponding things which reaffirmed their identity and activity. After this group, I went to a faith group where lovely emphatic black women were saying parallel things but in the beautiful language of faith, with conviction and empowerment, and hope and love. Coupling the belief with a belief in a caring Deity, I knew they held the best possibility, the most light.


Meanwhile, my sense of these things had increasingly decreased. My belief in transcendence, in God's design, had been skiing down the mountain towards the fall-off cliff. Yes, He allows me to swerve and stay safe, yet I've gotten closer by some habits of unbelief and skepticism. That night, I felt like I had plunged off, because I felt that I really had no sense of control in how to believe in these things. I just didn't much.


The day went by, my husband brought me flowers, and we went out to a movie, and we were close. I finally told him bits of pieces of some of my load. He seemed to take the time to listen. That part was helping me. He was kind and caring, a gift.


Then, on Saturday, I went to a local folk festival with a friend. During the lunch break, we talked about some things, and I shared with her some of my confusion on the question of purpose and correspondence of things for that purpose. I shared that I had a hard time believing in that in a highminded way, but I wish that I could. She shared her view and questions, and then she told me that she thought I had a purpose of guiding others, of touching others in a unique way, of being a friend that's needed in other's lives. I have a habit of shrinking back and not receiving these things, which I did, shrink. But, I thanked her and remembered a few instances where I have been necessary to others. Of course, I know that I'm necessary to my children, but aren't all mothers? Nature requires it. Why do I minimize things?


The conversation helped me, though. As I ran this morning, I thought of it, and I thought of God's touch in my life. I always think of the positive things as gifts, and I'm always a grateful recipient. Yet, I stop there. I felt like God was telling me this morning to not stop, to understand the the connection between the giver and the gift. A gift cannot be random because it always issues from a giver; it always issues with a name on it: To Teri: a friend; To Teri: a talent; To Teri: a loving family; To Teri: food; To Teri: light. Therefore, a gift from a giver must logically involve a reason and most likely a purpose. A purpose to accept, like a gift.


I still feel like God wants me to continue and not stop there but, at some point, to understand more and fully accept my part within His purpose, regardless of whether that simply involves who I am now and what I'm involved with. Or, perhaps within something else down the road. I'm opening myself up to that. I prayed for more certainty and confidence again within that.


The light is shining more here in the middle of Missouri. Those dark times are telling. Several gifts for sight were given to me. I pray that we can all follow the light He intends for us to follow.








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2 comments:

alaiyo said...

I told a young lady recently that we love God *by* loving our neighbor, and that is how we cultivate the inner beauty God tells us to have.

God's blessings on you as you seek Him in the darkness, knowing that His light will lead you, even if it's only one tiny step at a time.

Love,

Beth

Fieldfleur said...

Thanks much, Beth, for the wisdom and encouragement.

Things are brighter here, yet the dark motivates us towards it.

Teri