Hey. I've missed you! So I'm back after my own personal Awful October. Tests, tests, tests, nearly every hour it seems. And I confess I've complained and whined and failed and dreamed about moving into a tiny apartment with a tiny yard to find true simple living (whoever says country life is the simple life, is, er, well, lying).
Really, the tests have been bad . Annoying and frustrating to the very roots of my hair. Yet they've done what God designs them to do--they've shown me I'm not nearly as dead to self as I'd (proudly)supposed. Parts of the old original Debra are ultra-healthy. And, well, these tests have been killing me--but God says that's a Good Thing. (Whew. That's a great thing to remember, because it certainly doesn't feel good, not at first.) But after the lessons are accepted, learned, the pressure cooker is turned off, for awhile, and Life feels new and good again.
It's just so hard giving-up control, you know? Like, for 29 years Tom barely even stepped outside into any backyard we ever owned. Our yards were my thing. But now? Now he's Mr. Yard Work and usually doing the opposite of what I would do. And when he's not outside being opposite, he's here in the house being Oscar Madison to my Felix Unger. Or standing exactly where I need to stand exactly when I need to stand there. Or he's out driving around and buying things I'd never buy or taking five vacations since June (don't ask). Test after test after test. And since Tom's the one I spend the most time with, he's, unfortunately, the one God is using to kill my I-want-everything-my-way Self.
Hundreds of tests! You know, do I trust God enough to keep my mouth shut and just let Tom do as he sees fit? Can I stop worrying about him while he does what I believe to be wisdom-free and dangerous? (Remember, he's got a ton of back problems.) Can I stop nagging him? Can I stop complaining? Can I stop getting headaches from being greatly annoyed all the time? (Can I die to what makes me be annoyed and worried and discontented all the time?)
God only wants to do me a favor by saving me from my self.
And basically, can I truly "let go and let God?"
You know, let go of my need to control the way the house and yard look. Let go of having to have a certain dollar amount in the bank. Let go of being the only one allowed to buy groceries and cook meals and buy furniture. Let go of feeling I must change Tom, and instead, step back and wait (wait?!) for God to make changes in us both.
A dead person doesn't sit up at his own funeral and complain about the choice of music or flowers or mourners. No, he just lies there with no desire to control anything. And that's how I want to be--dead to self, but alive to God and what He wants and thinks and feels. Empty of me and full of Him (fortunately, all through this I've felt His presence. He knows I cannot live even 5 minutes without Him).
God works on us in layers (think onion skins), because if He did all the work at once --ouch! We couldn't stand it, or rather, we couldn't stand ourselves if we saw and felt the ugliness of all our smelly layers at once. And if I can just survive this "I must decrease, He must increase" process thing, I know I'll enjoy Life much more over on the other side where God is in control, (not Debra who only thinks she is)... and where I trust Him as a child trusts her trustworthy father.
And live one amazing, peace that passes understanding life, indeed.
Each of these photos were taken today. The last one is the view from our kitchen window.