Listen for the voice. You will hear Him most clearly when suffering humbles you enough to want to hear Him, to know you cannot go on without hearing Him. – Shattered Dreams
We sometimes experience now what seems like hell. But it isn’t the hell of judgment; it’s the hell of mercy, a kind of present purgatory. Shattered dreams subject us to a pain that weakens our stubborn grip on life as we want it and stirs our appetite for the thrill of God’s presence. – Shattered Dreams
Well, it’s good that you all check in on me and say, “Hey Gina… time to write so we can know how you are doing?” I’m doing OK in all of this as I continue to search and rest in the Lord’s presence daily. Yes, sometimes I have to search still and I fully admit that it’s a daily challenge. I know that God understands why it’s this way… it’s my problem and not his as there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s always present and I’m the one who isn’t.
I guess about six weeks ago, I started attending regular practices for a play that was being conducted at our church here. I can’t even begin to tell you what this was like for me. Lots of work, although not nearly anything compared to the play director… and lots of reflection. Here were my parts.
- OR nurse who attempts to save someone’s life unsuccessfully
- Wife of deceased husband who speaks at his funeral (in character of course)
- Town drunkard (requiring me to simulate boozing it up on stage and smoking a fake cigarette or two)
- Husband and wife scene together prior to husband dying
Seriously, can you imagine me trying to survive those roles without sobbing like an idiot in front of people, passing out from the anxiety of everyone watching me or who knows what else? I also didn’t mention trying to incorporate play practice into my already taxed schedule of work, school, and exercise once or twice per day.
You know what… God just gave me the strength to do it and I’ll tell you why. Early last year, God allowed me to see the heart of Jesus and understand His passion for us by way of the play’s director – Sandy and her husband Tony. It was because God gave me a very clear sense of what both of their hearts looked like on the inside. He assured me that they were in fact sent by him to help me through the hell of my spiritual journey as it continues to eventually develop into the foyer of heaven.
Once again, I was reminded that service isn’t necessarily easy or convenient. Even though the roles were difficult for me to play out due to my current circumstances and the fact that sometimes, I still hurt terribly on the inside… there wasn’t a moment that I didn’t show up at practice were I wasn’t grabbed, hugged, squeezed and told that I was doing great even when I nearly shook myself right off the stage from being an absolute mess.
Together, everyone involved helped me to continue to step my way gingerly through the valley that I currently live in. Having to repeat the following words helped me to continue to learn to abandon every dream but the dream of knowing God. Here was one of my parts…
“Bill was my dreamboat since high school. We loved each other so much. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and my best friend. He was always there when I needed him. I have so many wonderful memories. Just last week, I was upset about some silly little thing now that I think about it. Anyway, he could always find ways to cheer me up. That’s when he took me on our last fun date to our town carnival. It was one of the best times we had. We ate, played games, went on rides, and even had our palms read by a gypsy. Bill always like hearing about his future. It was one of many fun evenings I’ll always remember. Well, it’s hard to say more… but you all know what a great guy he was. Miss you Babe. Some day… we’ll be together again.”
Try that on for size, but you know what… sometimes that’s exactly what service looks like for Jesus. It’s not necessarily comfortable, just what you would hope for, completely on your terms. But for me, there was healing… real healing in saying the lines over and over again.
I had been doing really well but have spent the last few days suddenly getting tearful for no good reason. I try to keep it away from Austin but he finds me out and often pats my head or gives me a hug or two or three. Nothing like the warmth of a hug or the support of someone who has walked nearly the same path as you.
Here’s my prayer for today.
O Lord, spare Carl and I from the pain of a divorce. Give us a warm and intimate relationship full of trust and mercy. In Your absence, may we reflect Christ to each other.
Give us both long lives, free from money troubles, free of serious car accidents, free of sickness, especially in our children. Involve us both in a good church where friendships are real, where serving Christ is seen as an appealing privilege.
May this 46 year old woman, still treasured by her Creator, discover that place in my heart where I desire You above everything else. May I discover that place in my heart that only love flowing from Yours can fill.
Please, Lord, shield me from every useless trial in my life, protect me from pointless pain, but-grant me the courage to mean this- allow whatever dreams to shatter that will release my heart to meet Yours, that will empower me to rest in Your ecstatic love, no matter how empty and desperate I may feel.
Reveal the beauty of Your life to me and through me, whatever it takes. But, Lord, I beg you-be very gentle.
~Gina for Arise Medical Missions