We all have those moments, those seasons in life.
You know, those…when all seems right with the world.
They are few and far between, but we all have them. Whether it’s a specific day, like our wedding day, or when our kids were first born, or — you fill in the blank. Our humanity wants to hold on tight to these nuggets of time like a toddler to their blanket; we are reluctant to let go of the security we feel when life seems to be going “our” way, when all seems right with the world.
And then, as they say, life happens.
We wake up one morning to find out that life has indeed moved on, and we long once more for the elation and tranquility that are both always present during the happiest moments in life. We balk at change and pitch a fit to our Heavenly Father, reminding Him that He didn’t ask us before life scurried on ahead without our permission. In response, He gently reminds us He has not left and neither would our joy, had it been rooted in Him and not our circumstances. It’s a lesson I’m convinced we (or at least I) will learn until we take our last breath, one that is at times easier to take in than during others.
When I was going through the biggest transition of my life since my marriage, it certainly felt like life had “happened” to me. I wasn’t prepared to wake up one morning and know my life would never be the same, that I would need to stand up for what was right and make an abrupt career change. I wasn’t prepared to not only have to leave my job but have the status of my original book and its revised and expanded edition affected by my decision, as well. I was upset about my job, yes, but more so about Breathtaking and its future. It wasn’t just a book to me; it was the book I’d poured years into and built a ministry around, the one in which, for a long time, I’d mistakenly built my identity around and learned so much through writing and then taking its message around the country. Then, with a stroke of a pen, a cancellation agreement was signed, and in that moment it seemed like 6+ years of work had just been wiped away in 2 seconds. All certainly did not feel right with the world that February day and the weeks immediately following it, far from it. I cried many tears, felt alone in a bottomless pit of despair and, at least for a few days, had a hard time feeling anything but anger and bitterness toward those who had put me in the position I was in.
All the while, God had not changed.
Though my circumstances were less than ideal, He was sovereign through it all and no less good the day I learned of information that would change the course of not only my career but also my ministry than He was the day before. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t always remember that during those dark days, those days that seemed to last an eternity and were shrouded with a dark cloud over my soul.
Now, a few months separated from the initial blow, my perspective has dramatically changed. Now, the vast majority of the time, I can pray for those whose actions have hurt me without any animosity. I’m no longer bitter, but instead I feel sorry for them and so desperately want them to repent and turn from their sin, not for my sake but for theirs. Don’t get me wrong. Some days, like this past Sunday, are still hard. I’m still not a fan of having to return the emotions involved when something comes up and we are required to deal with the circumstances at hand, but that’s life. As long as we’re conscious and coherent, we are going to have to deal with things we don’t like. We can either suck it up and accept that or feel sorry for ourselves – our choice. I’m not a huge fan of playing the martyr, so I do my best to allow the Spirit to work in my life and ask for the strength to choose the former when I’d rather wallow in self-pity.
Whether or not we have a new book out by the end of the year is still up-in-the-air. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. We’ve had to come to terms with it, and I guess the general public will, as well. Many will judge. Many won’t understand. I guess they’ll just have to get over it, though. I had to, too. It isn’t fun feeling like you’ve let so many down, but it truly has been out of our hands. We are daily trying to move forward, I can assure you of that. I know we can stand guiltless before the Throne, with or without a shiny, new copy of Breathtaking to show for our efforts.
And all will be right with the world, regardless.
Because, as the song says, this world is not my Home. I’m a just a passin’ through.