…between hypocrisy and weakness…

I process things, according to several sources, a little differently than others.

I “write” things in my head…sort of streaming consciousness, but constructed. Sometimes I have to put it down on “paper” (actually it’s usually but down in bytes). Most of the time, I dismiss and/or delete them. They are personal and often rambling thoughts. Sometimes they spark a lesson or a post, but most often, they are never shared. This was one of those times when it laid heavy on my heart that I needed to share…maybe someone else will be blessed, or it will help them work through a hurt.

The post may not be fully coherent…though when I write these things down, I do try to write something that makes sense. But it only has to make sense to me…and I know what I mean when I write it down (usually).

Anyway, I got some bad news, though it was delivered as good news as well, this week…and I needed to process. (More about the bad news in the “PS” part…not sure it’s relevant, but some may wonder.) The processing is sort of a poem, sort of a prayer.

Sometimes our words come back to us
…to haunt
…to trouble
…to convict
I’m feeling convicted now.
Fear has crept in, slithering through my thoughts – seeping into my soul – gnawing an empty spot someplace just south of my heart.
I coddle it.
I drop it.
I pick it back up again.
I feed it.
I starve it…or at least I think I try too.
I know better, but I refuse to accept the knowledge.
I’m numb…
In my numbness, I don’t know if I still have both hands grasping the Vine…
Maybe it’s only one hand…
Maybe I’m not grasping at all.
I find myself somewhere between hypocrisy and weakness.

How many times have I taught, preached, or written about His sovereignty…
Maybe I don’t know what it really means.
Maybe I do, but I ignore it.
Maybe I’m holding on to it, but my grip is slipping.
I’m confused, hurt, and feeling empty.
I shouldn’t be…but I am.
I’m somewhere between hypocrisy and weakness.

I prayed.
Julie prayed.
Others prayed.
But we didn’t get what we wanted to hear.
Do I turn away?
I know better…so I don’t…but I let God know I’m not happy.
He seems okay with that…but it doesn’t change the answer.
The Spirit whispers – I am the Comforter.
I hear, but don’t respond…at first.
I stay somewhere between hypocrisy and weakness.

Why? The question Job asked…the question I asked.
And a snippet of a verse comes to me…my grace is sufficient.
I grudgingly acknowledge.
I listen to some praise music, curled up in Julie’s lap.
Tears flow.
The Spirit comforts – I will never leave you or forsake you.
His grace is sufficient.
It doesn’t answer the why…but it does bring comfort.
And another snippet comes to mind…my power is made perfect in weakness.
Peace settles in.
I’m not between hypocrisy and weakness…hypocrisy has been left behind.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I will boast of my weakness.
Joyfully dwell.
I’ll still pray for answers and healing.
But I will hold on to the Vine through it all.
No, I’m not between hypocrisy and weakness…I’m at weakness…
And that’s good.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)

PS –
I’ll make this short.
Sunday, my chest began to hurt, followed by aching in my left arm, shortness of breath…and a fountain of sweat. A trip to the ER seemed to be the appropriate action…so away we went. I spent a few days in the hospital…poked, prodded, pricked, and tested (couldn’t think of a good word to keep the alliteration going).
End result: My heart is healthier than it has a right to be. (I don’t do a good job of taking care of myself…and us OFFs (Old Fat Farts) can’t afford not to take care of the ticker.) I’m a low-risk candidate for a heart attack. The Drs attributed it to my neurological condition (weird, annoying symptoms…phantom smells, quick sharp pains, mild vertigo…) Nothing serious, just annoying…at least until now. If my brain is sending bad signals that my body translates to heart attack symptoms, how do we know when to get to the hospital? Waiting to see if the symptoms go away on their own, doesn’t seem to be a comfortable medical action…though it’s what we’ve been given.

It started a whole lot of spinning thoughts for me. Am I sane?…being one. How will I survive?…being another. What happens if we wait one out and it’s too late…what will that do to Julie?…one we both had.

Through all of this, I had a bout of self-pity and “why me?”…which led to this post.

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