There are days when I go to church and wonder why I bothered.
And then there are days like last Sunday . . .
Let me set the stage. Mr. P and Boy Patriot were camping last weekend. When they camp, I rarely go to church. I am not a social animal on the best of days, and church is often more than I can take. So I really didn’t have any intention of going to church last week . . .
. . . except that I couldn’t get rid of the nagging thought that I should go.
I won’t call it a guilt thing. It was more of just an insistence that I needed to be there. We’ve been intermittent attenders lately, anyway, so it’s hard to say that I was feeling compelled out of habit. I just thought I should go.
I went to bed with the sense that I should go to church, but I set my alarm and figured I’d see how I felt in the morning.
I woke up early.
That never happens.
The nagging thought was still there.
I sighed. “Okay, Lord. I guess I should go to church. I hope there’s a good reason.”
The first song was a favorite hymn–something that set my attitude aright. I think God knows what we need when it comes to worship. And worship isn’t just the singing–it’s the listening and integrating, too. I needed that little reset in order to hear the words offered by our pastor.
And such words they were, too!
He spoke on work–our need for it, our calling to it, our warped view of it, and the rest.
I have long accepted the notion that God created us to work–that we are wired with a deep need to perform some task that brings glory to the Father. And in my head, there are different kinds of work. I’ve loosely categorized them as creative, constructive, restorative, and maintenance. There may be more, but those are my categories.
But although it seems obvious, I never really thought about God as a worker.
It makes sense though, doesn’t it? That God was the FIRST worker in history? He made things. He created. He built and molded and shaped. And when He had finished, He rested. How could He have rested had He not worked first?
So that was a revelation.
But the real revelation was this:
I have identity issues.
My crisis over the past several months/couple of years came on because of idolatry and disobedience, and I do believe that. But what I didn’t realize until Sunday was that my idolatry and disobedience were born of a warped sense of identity.
I forgot Who I belong to.
I am so used to saying “I’m a writer” that I forgot what a lie it is.
I’m not a writer.
I’m a daughter of the King, forgiven and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, given new life and restored to right relationship with God the Father, bought back, purchased, restored, covered, and adopted as a child of the Most High God.
Who happens to write.
I think that my head has been moving in that direction for a while, because ever since I had my little “come to Jesus” with . . . well, Jesus . . . a couple of weeks ago, I have found myself much less bothered by the writing posts of writing acquaintances from my old life. Where they used to feel like a punch in the gut, I can now share them with my own followers on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t know if you can call it jealousy or irritation or pain or just the grief of saying goodbye to something that was so dear to me, but for the longest time, just even reading a post about someone else’s write almost drove me to tears.
And lately, those posts just don’t bother me.
Which, really, is rather ironic considering that I have had zero time to pursue any of my own fiction work in the last two weeks.
But I think, maybe, possibly, I’m starting to remember who I belong to. I’m starting to put my identity back in the Hands of the One Who created, constructed, restored, and maintains it.
And suddenly, going back to working on or sharing my fiction just doesn’t seem all that important.
This isn’t to say I’m shutting the door or saying I won’t work on it, and it’s not angst, I promise. It’s a recognition–a position of my heart–that says that even as important and fulfilling and wonderful as writing fiction was, it pales in comparison to the redemption and grace and mercy and love offered at the foot of the Cross.
I’m 44 years old. I accepted Christ when I was five. You would think I’d get this by now. But I’m still learning.
I’m still learning that He is my treasure and my strength and my source.
I’m still learning that my hope is built on nothing less than His Blood and Righteousness.
I’m still learning that nothing I do in this world–being a wife, mother, writer, troop leader, volunteer, or anything else–can ever get me to where I want to be, because the only place my soul longs to be is in the presence of Jesus.
It’s spring break here, and the ducklings are home. And I’m working again, trying to maintain some semblance of discipline so that I can have focused time to work on rebuilding my freelancing business. Discipline means office hours, free time, and the things that I and the family need built into the day without begrudging any of it.
But it also means remembering–moment by moment if I must–Who I belong to.
Because for all my talk about balance and the work-at-home life and parenting and the rest, I never had the anchor in the right place. I anchored my best laid plans in the work itself, not the One who provided the work.
So maybe I am getting it, just a little bit.
Till next we meet . . .