It occurred to me this morning that many of you may be wondering why I chose the name Athomewithgod?
Well, for me, the story is really a joy to tell; there is nothing that gets me more excited than expressing how God has shown Himself to me as He has addressed and satisfied my greatest needs through various trials — witnessing to me His constant presence and knowledge of who I truly am.
Two years ago, minus a week or two, I woke up feeling strangely tired, like there was more wrong with my body than a normal lack of sleep. Fatigue made me feel like I didn’t care about anything but resting and bumming. It wasn’t like I had a little cold, or like I was having the first symptoms of a serious illness. It was somewhere in the middle. Whatever it was, I knew I had never felt anything like it, and I would surely be spending as much time in bed as I could. Going out and keeping up with the world suddenly ceased to matter. All I wanted was a lot of time to relieve my aching muscles.
The Lord got me quiet, He got my attention, slowed me down, eliminated a whole host of ordinary distractions. My God-radar got way up.
The next week and more I lounged, waiting till I felt better to get back to life. But, God didn’t wrap up things in even the long-range plans I had for this unexpected lethargy. I didn’t get back to school or work or play or society at large. My usual energy was gone, and in it’s place was a calm, expectation for what God would do with me through such unusual circumstances.
I waited to see something…I thought, This is really interesting. How long does God plan for it to last? I wonder what I should occupy myself with while I’m “down” like this. I started seeing the break in routine as a gift, seeking the Lord with what His plans were for it. And seeking again, and again, and again.
I am still seeking, I still want to know what His plans are. Because where I am and how I am are certainly not my plans, I know God has to have better things in mind than I had for myself before I knew what it felt like to be so dependent on God for strength and gratitude.
As cruel as this may sound of God, interrupting my life with discomfort that did not pass with weeks, months, or even these past two years, the One I’ve got to meet in all this free time and space has disproved that belief (or at least gotten a start on it!).
I don’t know why God chose to do this in my life, but He has not left me. Though I’ve been at home most of the time, there have been very special periods of hours, days, or weeks when I have been able to do more, going out and seeing so many people I love.
Yet, as funny as this may sound, it is the times that I have spent alone with God in all this time that are the most precious to me. I have met a God I would have never seen, nor wanted to see. I learned what makes up life is not happiness, or health, or having the freedom to have anything I want, but in coming to know and love and enjoy God, just by responding to Him right from where You are.
There is beauty in meeting Him at the lowest point, in recognizing if He fails me, I am done. Why? Because life ceases to be about me, and expands to include Him. Where there was no room for Him, there is now a desperateness to include Him. He has taught me to value Him, and find my contentment, through each passing test and turn in my path. What I used to value above all else, feeling good, doing good, seeming good, hearing good, looking good has lost considerable appeal.
Now, I don’t want to sound like some kind of stellar Christian, who now looks at the world and asks herself, “What is that? I no longer know it.” Instead, I am a dying sinner (dying in the sense that death to self is the only way to live in Christ), who resists my Savior’s most blessed desires to restore my soul, yet glories when He wins and I get all the benefits.
And the benefits are huge! I did not know the benefits of walking with my Lord, before my legs went limp, and going with Him required that He carry me. And that really is the story of this whole season — I have met a Redeemer who carries babes of faith in His arms, to let them know Who’s strength and love they cannot live or move without.
Home is where I live, and home is where I’ve learned to live. Living not by my strength or independence or understanding, but fully dependent, fully surrendered to His strength, His independence, His understanding. That is where I need to be. I have found where I belong. Not withing these four-walls, or on this block, or in this land, but a place that I’ve learned to see from here, and long to be someday, a place He died to welcome me: His Home (Heaven).
Note: You can read more about what the Lord has done through this period of my life in my January 2011 post: If You’re Willing…