Waiting for Taquitos from Trader Joe’s

So you know you’re tired when you’re at Trader Joe’s and as the cashier hands you a slip of paper and pen saying it’s for the drawing, you stare at it blankly wondering if he wants you to demonstrate your art skills.

It’s only Monday, and it’s already been one of those weeks.

(I give you fair warning – this entry is going to be one of those rambly ones where you wonder why the author tried to cram five points into one post, but it’s my post and I can cram if I want to. Ha. If you didn’t realize it yet, I majored in punny. Okay, let’s see where this goes…)

I got off of work late tonight because I took another foray into the world of Web design. I was so engrossed in a project I was working on that I didn’t realize I was the last one in the office until the familiar Facilities guy came to empty the trash, heralding the lateness of the hour. Would have been nice if the last person leaving the office would have told me I would be alone in the office after hours. It’s not just a politeness thing, but it can be downright scary in the office late at night when you’re by yourself. I’m not as tough as my guns might suggest. Heh. =)

Nonetheless, I wrapped up my work and bravely made my way to my car across the street in the dark with all of my wits about me. Now, after a quick stop at TJ’s for the makings of a quick dinner and snacking on the basil hummus and crackers I just bought, I sit in my room typing away listening to BarlowGirl while my main course cooks away in the oven. Mmmm…TJ’s taquitos.

But what rests on my mind does not stop at the taquitos. Honestly, this week has been the longest ever. Did I say week? I meant year. So many things I wonder, but in particular tonight I ask the question: Why is it that when God is working in you, it seems like you have to take 3 steps backward just to make one forward into something new?

As I was telling a friend of mine over gchat the other day, I’ve been reaching for this thing called abundant life, but I’m struggling with learning how to live free. I mean, what does it mean to really live free? For the first time, I really feel for the Israelites wandering in the wilderness as I study Exodus again. After 400 years of slavery, who wouldn’t have a problem figuring out how to live as free men and women? It’s just so easy to revert back to the old habits, the old patterns, the old ways of coping with life that you almost don’t notice it when it happens. And for me, I fear that due to my overachiever tendencies, I can be so hard on myself when I finally do realize it is happening.

When I am confronted with my own sinfulness, no matter how gently and lovingly the Spirit of Truth reveals it, I feel like such a let down. I feel so incapable. I know the blood of Jesus is strong enough, more than enough to cover my every weakness and has removed my sin far from me, but I still wonder when I’ll see more of the perfected Sheree-in-Christ I know He’s working out in me. I think…no, I know God has more grace for me than I do for myself. And unfortunately, I think that betrays the extent of my functional unbelief in the power of God to heal me. Sure, I know it’s true in my heart and mind, but do I live like it’s true?

It’s in the midst of this change, growing, transition period that I realize that I’ve reached my limits. I can’t do this on my own, and I know I need some spiritual guidance. As I’ve pondered so many times in my journal, I know I’m not alone – there have been so many saints throughout the years who have walked this path before me. Surely there must be someone who can help me find the way. So I’m turning to some of the spiritual care/counseling folks at my church to help me in my journey closer to God.

Lately I’ve wondered if it would have been easier for me if I had been a “blatant” sinner, if I may refer to it that way. What I mean is, my sin, while it is definitely sin, is not as obvious as maybe someone who struggles with killing or drugs or habitual infidelity. No, I have come to find my sins and my lovers are much more socially acceptable, much easier to hide, especially to hide from myself. But God in His grace is shining His light, gently exposing me by His Spirit of truth, and I’m shocked and humbled to see what is there. Why I should be so surprised at my shortcomings is probably damning evidence of my pitiful obliviousness and shallow understanding of my depravity, but maybe it’s because until now I wasn’t ready to deal with it all, so God has wisely and patiently waited for me. So very patiently.

I must admit that it has felt so good to become more tender, more sensitive to the Spirit, able to name my sins, to call out those very things that cause me to stumble and fall. There’s so much freedom in that, but there’s even more freedom in realizing that I don’t have to stay mired in all of this. God has sent His Redeeming Love to live, die, and rise again for me and for all that I would ever fail at. My failures become opportunities for Him to shine, and shine brightly He does.

And as the precious Morning Star leads me on, He continues to help me see that I really was made for so much more. There’s so much life to be lived, so many dreams to be realized, so many chances to bear witness to His love. He’s not through with me yet – praise God for that! He’s working out His plan although I can’t see it – I can’t even see 15 minutes in front of me…literally – but I can trust His good plans, greater than I could ever imagine.

As prayer team member once spoke over me in church just over a year ago, I am wandering in the wilderness, and God is bringing me to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, but I’ll have to fight for it.

And fighting is what I’m going to do because life with Christ is completely worth it.

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