Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Easy Path vs. The Difficult Path

There are a number of things I know about God in my head that still don't seem to get all the way through to my heart all the time. Much of the time, I think I've got a pretty good handle on who God is (dangerous, I know), and it even seems like I can feel it for the most part. But, then these moments come along when I realize that there's something I'm missing. I'm in the middle of one of those moments right now (or maybe it's more than a moment...more like days or weeks).

I can't get into too much detail, but there are some very concerning things regarding my daughter, Vespera's, immigration process looming on the horizon. It'll be another 9 months, most likely, before the whole thing is ironed out, and, in the meantime, I get to practice deep breathing and anti-anxiety techniques. This isn't my point, though. My point is that I always get this niggling feeling with regard to huge things like this that they aren't going to happen the easy way, that I can't even ask for them to happen the easy way because God doesn't give us the easy way. This is such a jumble for me. I believe, honestly, both in my head and my heart, that God isn't about taking the easy road. Really. That should come as no surprise to anyone who knows God. This isn't about smooth sailing and sunny skies. And, yet, I believe that God deeply and truly loves us and doesn't *wish* the more difficult path upon us. Really, in my head I know this. God isn't trying to make life difficult. God doesn't give us the hard road just because it's hard. And God isn't trying to make a point. God gives us the *best* road, which is often difficult anyway.

I'm really not saying this very well, but here's where I get hung up. My mom is praying for all of Vespera's immigration stuff to fly through with no trouble and in the quickest possible manner so that it doesn't require some additional travel, time missed from school, time of separation for our family, etc, etc... I am convinced that it won't be that easy. I mean, I hope that it might be that easy, but I don't even dare to ask God for it because I don't really believe that it's going to happen that way. I believe that it's going to happen the hard way, that there's going to be some bitter-sweetness, some heartache, some headaches and negotiations.

Why do I believe that?

That's my question. Why do I believe that God won't answer the prayer for calm waters, for sunny skies, for smooth sailing? I even cried about it the other night and begged for God's mercy. "Have mercy on my, Oh God, according to your unfailing love." I beg for compassion, for leniency. My head knows that God can move mountains, that, according to scripture, our faith can move mountains. And I think that I even believe this in my heart....that God can do that, I mean. But my heart doesn't believe that God will do that.

I also believe in my heart that we don't know the best way, and that God leads us in the best way, though it isn't always the easiest way. I have trouble letting go of the idea that it isn't always the most difficult way, either, though.

My good friend in Montana says that she's recently been connecting with God's sense of humor and God's desire to give us wonderful gifts and surprises. I found myself wondering what that feels like. I've been connected with that part of God at other times in my life but not recently, and I don't know how it even relates to my life right now.

I feel so schizophrenic about God. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I really don't.


Sabrina said...

I am in total agreement with you about your back and forth with God. It drives me crazy that i cant just be still and accept who and what God is. But then i think, that God might like when we wrestle with Him. At least then we are in actual communication with him, and not putting him on the back burner.

heather of the EO said...

I hear you. Sometimes I get frustrated, wondering why it has to be this way. Why it can't at least sometimes be easy and smooth. I have yet to put my finger on it, in my head and my heart. We don't persevere and build character when everything is easy. But if we have faith, can't some things, every now and again be a little easier? I want to think more about this and maybe post on it....
a very good conversation.
I love how you and Sabrina both are just so honest. Thank you.

Olga said...

Lord have mercy, yes, I sympathize with your feelings on this! My head knows that my faith will carry me through with great joy and grace and fulfilment, but in my heart I wait for the pain and wrestling that life will bring. It seems most meaningful life experiences are like birth- pushing, sweating, panting, praying, screaming. I guess you can have meaning without the pain, you can have meaning in beautiful, easy things, but maybe not satisfaction..? Who knows.

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