When I flipped over my calender and it read:
"When doubts fill my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer," (psalm 94:10) I thought to myself:
"Crap. I'm going to have to blog about this."
Whatever it was that made it possible for me to be so vulnerable and open about my spirituality- call it naivete, innocence or whatever- I don't have it anymore. I feel instead extremely self conscious.
In fact, I pretty much assumed that part of my blogging was behind me and that I would go on and blog about far more common subjects, like adoption and crazy capers by the pool, and eventually, far far into the future, about motherhood.
And for the most part, I think that is what I will be blogging about. But, I guess my experiences of God are part of how He's writing my life, and so it seems likely that I will blog about this, from time to time.
The last few days I have been irritable and cranky as hell, mainly because of lingering pain/itchiness and the continued inability to do much for myself. I have been getting better, but slowly.
On top of this, I've been judging myself because of my bad attitude.
"Love is long-suffering, Jenny!" I tell myself, mercilessly. "Love is patient! Love is kind! Love does not snap at one's husband (who, by the way, is feeling much better and is eating healthier) or resent the dirty house or the necessity for Mandatory Military Family Fun! This whole situation is a great opportunity to demonstrate how far you've come, and you're failing the test."
Because of this, when I feel the presence of Jesus, I feel miserable and guilty. That happened last night.
In the perfectly natural and yet inexplicable way that I know, I knew He was there, and that He loved me.
"Go away," I muttered, into the pillow. "I don't deserve You."
No one does, Jesus replied, with His tender love.
And, as usual, my understanding opened right up. I remembered, all over again, that no one has earned His love by their good behavior or their great attitude. It's simply not earned at all.
It's a free gift, it's without end, and it's always offered. We either accept it, or we don't. But His love is constant.
"That's true!" I told Him in relief, and surrendered my weary self to His love.
(The line, "Oh Love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary self in Thee," from the hynn by George Mattheson comes immediately to mind.)
And this love is passed on to everyone else around you, Jesus continued in His quiet voice.
Right away, I thought of this verse:
"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
And this morning, I thought of this quote:
"We do not have to work out how to get ourselves into a good position for having a relationship with God, we do not have to design ways of explaining our position to him, we do not have to create a pretty face for ourselves, we do not have to achieve any state of feeling or understanding. The newness inherent in any situation of encounter with God is brought by him, not by us..."
"...one of the arts we have to learn is the sublime art of weakness."
-The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Traditions, Simon Tugwell
So, that's how His comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer, when doubts had filled my mind.