Today we do have to go back to the hospital here in Connecticut for another outpatient visit. Ethan's red blood cells were slightly low, so he needs a transfusion to get him through the long weekend. But the fun news is that Ethan is 4 months old today! My sister and her husband are flying in from Texas later this afternoon and I'm so excited to see them. How wonderful that we can celebrate Ethan's 4 months of life together with them!
Not to take away from my cutie's big day, but the truth is my heart is heavy today. I've been battling quite a bit of "junk" in my mind lately... and I feel I am on the verge of the Lord really showing me something that He needs me to understand or grasp. The idea that Ethan's situation is in part meant to teach me something about God and about myself, isn't lost on me. It's trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be learning that is causing me some trouble. I think I have touched the brink of what the Lord is trying to teach me and show me... and in all honesty, it's a hard revelation.
I'm learning that I am a very selfish person. I know my heart and I know it's true. I know I am not alone with that struggle, but nonetheless it is my struggle. And as I currently face the reality of "me", it's not a pretty picture. Deep down in the depths of my being there are layers and layers of absolute yuck that leak out so slowly and quietly that you'd never even know such a mess existed. But it does exist and it's there deep inside of me, never to have been dealt with before.
Coming face to face with my need and dependence on the Lord with regard to Ethan's life, He is at the same time showing me the areas in which I need Him in my own life. It is such a hard thing. Something I doubt I can even properly describe in words, except to say that I feel like there is a sort of "spring cleaning" happening in my life (and it's not the fun kind where you get to have a yard sale and make some money!)... no, instead it's a type of painful purging... and as the doors of each of my inner closets (for lack of better word) are being opened and dug through, there are items (areas) that need to be tossed out and let go of. Therein lies the part of the struggle. Nothing is hidden from God. So as He cleans out my closets, He's asking me tough questions about my willingness to let go of the items I've grown so used to carrying around with me. Control. Selfishness. Doubt. Laziness. Pain. Disappointment. Fear. Not just about this situation with my son, but also about my future as well as past things that have built up and never really been released.
I believe I understand what the clay must feel like when it thinks it's close to completion... close to being the vase or sculpture it was meant to be, only to have the potter smash it down and start over because there were areas inside the mold that needed to be smoothed out or it would crack down the road. That's best way I can describe what's going on in my life right now. And no, it isn't fun. In fact, it's very (very!) hard. And I want to give up, but I can't. It's as if this situation with Ethan has forced this cleansing and purging in my own life that has probably been needed for years. I need these areas cleaned up so that I have nothing left in me except the joy and peace of the Lord... not just for a moment but for a lifetime.
Imagine a line was drawn in the sand and on one side there was complete acceptance and understanding of God, His love, complete trust and joy in the Lord, but on the other side was my own need to control, worry, fear, etc. Throughout my life, I have tended to always put one foot on each side. So there would be days of love, joy and trust... but then there'd be days of the worry, fear and selfishness. I feel now that God is trying to pull me over to His side permanently and yet there's such a force trying to pull me the other direction. A spiritual tug-of-war. And though I want to live in complete understanding of who God is and His love for me, I'm stuck in the middle. I don't know how else to describe it other than I know this is a process. I feel like the light would turn on in my soul if I'd only flip the switch, but I can't seem to reach it just now. Darkness appears to be where I've settled. I don't want to stay here, but I can't seem to move until I've dealt with the areas that have already been exposed to the Light. And that takes work. There is much the Lord wants me to learn and realize about Himself, but I need the strength to do so.
I don't have much of a point other than to say that I'm truly in the middle of this. All of this.
And I'm trying....
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.