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Change is Loss, Loss is Change

April 30, 2009

“Change is loss and loss is change.”

Rob taught on this a few weeks ago, and as I was looking through my journal, I came across it again.

I have wrestled a lot with change lately, as anyone who reads this blog can see. I have tortured myself with finding God’s will, all the while not even taking off my blindfold to see what was already spread out before me. With a deep breath, I feel like I am finally at peace with where I am. The engines in my head have finally stopped spinning and for one moment, I am at rest.

I love my city, I love where I am. And He knew that. In all my fervent, dramatic, demanding prayers, He knew that I wouldn’t mind staying so much.

Life has changed as I lose these dreams, dropping them like coins, one by one, into a bank saved for later rainy days. I know that even when I feel static, He is always dynamic, always doing, always up to something.

He is a God that wastes nothing.

Not even my indecision. Not even my stubbornness. Not one single drop of my life. He uses it all. What for? His good and His glory, though I’m still figuring out what that even means. They’re big Bible words with a thousands layers of meaning and context and I am peeling away the layers, like an onion, day by day by day. I don’t know if I will ever reach the core.

In Just Do Something, the author, Kevin DeYoung, admonishes readers for hyperspiritualizing what he calls “nonmoral decisions,” such as where to live, what job to have, who to marry etc. These are important decisions, he acknowledges, and should be approached with prayer and guidance. But God gave us brains for a reason. He provided the Holy Spirit and that sneaky thing called wisdom for a purpose. If His will for a person centered around one certain place at one certain time with one certain person, well then, we’d all have made a huge mess of it, seeing how no one is divine. We get things wrong all the time. I make mistakes on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Life isn’t like a puzzle, where if you mislay one piece, the whole picture’s off. Life’s not even one picture or image. It simply…is. And in all its wildness and indecision and mystery, we are fighting our way through.

To try and understand, I have been thinking a lot about what DeYoung calls God’s “will of decree.” This states that God has ordained all that will happen and it is all according to His sovereign will. Yet still, knowing that these life plans center around flawed human creatures, I have to think that He took all of our missteps, our shots in the dark, our giant errors and arrogant misjudgments, and found ways to redeem them all. Even in the tiniest act of hope, His will and His love is seen.

I watched “Hotel Rwanda” for the first time tonight, and my head is still spinning. After seeing and hearing of the atrocities that happened in Rwanda in 1994, I found myself questioning how in the hell God’s good will was present there. Was He so greedy that He needed genocide in order to be revealed? How was I born into a loving middle-class family that showered me with affection and safety, while these Rwandan children rode down their streets to see the bodies of their neighbors littering the lawn? It was most shocking to me to see that the genocide wasn’t just in remote, primal villages where people didn’t know any better. It also happened in Kigali, a modern, bustling city with houses and people not so different from here. One of the opening scenes shows little girls in their backyard, skipping rope in sundresses. It was so…normal. And days later, it was hell on earth. When I see things like that, sometimes I wonder why God needs Hell at all, or even if it’s a real place. With all of the hatred and tragedy that swallows up the world here and now, isn’t it enough? Isn’t this enough?

I don’t know. I don’t have answers, and I don’t think I ever will. Some would shake the Bible under my nose and tell me there are all the answers. In this book, in this verse, it tells you this thing. While I don’t discredit the Bible, I also don’t think it’s the sum of all the answers. Mostly, it just gives me more questions…that will become more questions…that will lead to more questions. And that’s okay. I’d rather spend my whole life searching than cemented in apathy, convinced that all that I don’t know isn’t worth knowing anyway.

For now, I am here. I see God and His kingdom in what I am doing each day, and that is what He wants. If I decide to pick up and go someday, if I finish what I am doing here and see another opportunity to be His hands and feet somewhere else, I’ll gladly go and with His blessing, I think. Life is not so much about the beginning or middle or end as it is about tension between all three.

If I miss the point, there is always another point to be known.

If I misread the signs, the Holy Spirit will still be there, patiently dancing through each breeze and heartbeat, leading me on in its infinite mystery.

If I doubt or can’t believe, His love can handle that.

And that’s really it I think – no matter what, His love can handle all I throw at it. And that has to be enough.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ratsekad permalink
    May 1, 2009 5:20 pm

    I would go as far as saying that “Life is loss.” And while that sounds depressing I promise it is quite uplifting.

    When you say you have tortured yourself with finding God’s will, I can’t help but think of something I wrote you:
    “Heaven is like a man standing in a spring prairie searching for asters.”
    I am not sure if you understood what I meant by that but it fits perfectly and perhaps I can explain over spring rolls. =)

    “I wonder why God needs hell at all?” That question could bring me to tears with its sincerity. Beautiful!

    Can’t wait to see you!

  2. Caroline permalink*
    May 2, 2009 7:57 pm

    I would love to hear all your thoughts over spring rolls. I’m so excited to see you! It’s been too long.

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