I love to read blogs, magazine articles and self help books. I love to hear people's stories, listen to them share what they have learned. I love articles that give me to do lists, steps for how to improve my life and be a better person. I get excited and inspired. Motivated to become a better friend, neighbor, homemaker, person. I love to grow and learn and become.
Most people share stories of mistakes, tragedies or difficult circumstances that lead them to a new epiphany. Anything from the drug addict that found the Lord to the slob who learned to clean her house.
I love to say that my blog is just stories of "what not to do". I like to lead by bad example, "don't do what I did". I love to share all the mistakes I mae. Like the other day when I had just finished showing a house and was putting the keys back in the lock box. The day before I had taken this same buyer to a house where my electronic key did not work and we ended up walking around the house for almost 30 minutes before the selling agent came and let us in. This day my key worked perfectly, we got in fine and really liked the house, but just as we were about to leave I dropped the keys. Normally not the end of the world but this house was a bit of a fixer-upper and there was a 3 inch crack between the house and stoop. Yep, sent the keys right down to the bottom. It wasn't embarrassing at all to do that in front of the buyer or to have to call the agent and tell him I lost his keys. When I got home John told me that had happened to him at a job once and he just dropped his magnet down on a string and pulled them right back up. Can you believe it was the one day I left my magnet and string at home. What were the odds?
Most of the time when I share about some crazy thing I have done wrong it is because I have learned a lesson, experienced God's grace, or otherwise improved my understanding of the world and I want to share my newfound knowledge.
Lately I haven't had much to say because my life feels a little like this dropped key. An interesting story but with no real lesson to share. Today at another house with the same buyer I dropped the key again. Luckily there was no crack this time, I picked it up and kept going. The fact is I drop things, I make mistakes and no matter how hard I try I will never be perfect. I will always drop keys, if we could go back in time and I could do it again, I would probably still drop it. Not because it was a great learning experience but because I will still be a klutz.
That is how my life is right now. Just me living life, going through the motions of day to day responsibility and being imperfect. I am heading toward something but I am not within sight of the finish line. Just the long road in front of me.
Most inspirational books are written with this format: person going along in life, person has tragic events, person learns from events, grows in their relationship with the Lord and is now writing a book to share said lessons which you can use while you are going through your own tragic or just mildly difficult life events.
Somehow shared as if we could all avoid struggling through tragic events if we would just learn these lessons the writer learned while struggling through her events.
Read my book and the next time something bad happens in your life just remember what I said and don't worry, be happy!
The thing is some days life is hard, sometimes life is hard. I am in the middle of hard.
I have read the books. Heck, I have done hard before and written the book in my journals to remind me of the lessons I learned and why I should be able to go through hard without it feeling hard.
The reality is we can't avoid hard. We can't avoid days where we just sit down and cry. Not because we have lost all hope or don't know what to do, just because some days are hard. And even filled with hope that everything will be fine, in that moment, it is just hard.
Jesus got it. He cried. He knew he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead and he still wept. Because even when you know everything is going to be OK, in that moment, looking at his friend grave, surrounded by people grieving, it was hard.
I have hope, I have belief, I have faith. But right now life is hard. There are several things going on in my life right now that I don't feel I can talk about in this public format. Not all of them are going on in my life directly but I am affected by the struggles of other peoples lives, especially people close to me. And when those struggles are piled on top of my very transitory and challenging life circumstances, well, it gets heavy, and feels like a burden too great to bear.
Oh, Melanie, you say, "give that burden to the Lord" He can carry it. Amen friends I believe it and He does carry it for me.
Then why am telling you about it? Because while he may be carrying it, I am still living in it. I don't have to carry the burden of responsibility, I do not fear the path I am on, I am not burdened with solving my own or other peoples problems. But under all that, I am still walking. The trials don't go away when we give them to the Lord.
Today, this week, this past month, life has been hard, exhausting, emotionally draining. There has been good with the bad and I think the hardest part of dealing with trials is that sometimes the celebrations get overshadowed.
Still the Lord is present.
This year my word is "watch" and I can see God working every day in big and little ways. He may not be rescuing me or the people in my life who are struggling but he is clearing the path and leading the way.
This morning I saw God clear a path for me. This morning as I was feeling burdened by several things in my life God created an impromptu prayer group just for me. I did not leave the house this morning to see friends and attend a prayer group, I did not even leave the house this morning thinking I needed a lot of prayer but God knew exactly what I needed. I found myself crying surrounded by godly women I have known for years with nothing to do but sit and pray for me and for my family and our burdens. When I left my circumstances were exactly the same, the struggles still existed, the road was unchanged. But for that moment I saw God, he took that moment to remind me of His presence, His Love for me, for my family and for my role in it.
Life is hard. When we are in the midst of it God does not always take away the hard. He can if he wants, but in my experience he often doesn't take it away instead he walks through it with you.
Don't try to take the hard from me friends. It is part of where I am right now, it is part of where God has put me. Hard is not bad. And some day I will be on the other side. One day stability will come, everything will start to make sense and I will become that author who shares the wisdom of how to overcome the trials. And when I do will you remind me of this moment. Remind me not to tell anyone they can't live a hard life but to simply remember God is walking with you, carrying you when necessary. Life is hard but with God you can endure.