So, I came to the end of building my altar, or at least it felt that way yesterday. The whole time I’ve established our new home, I’ve considered it “building an altar” to the Lord. This home is His. This place is a place of ministry, thus an altar. I’ve run out of extra money for little things I didn’t know I would need for this house, so the rest of the building will happen as we live. My life had been quite busy between selling the old place, moving to this one, and setting it up. When things started to slow down, I began to feel to the old frenemy of mine creep in: longing. Up until then, I’d kept myself busy enough not to focus on blah, blah, blah, why am I here crapola.
I don’t know how it happened exactly, but I’ve led a Bible study this summer on Galatians. It has been good, and I’ve enjoyed it. It started a couple of weeks after I moved. As it drew into completion though, my desire crept up and my heart felt wrenched again with the question of purpose and where to be and what to do. I felt drawn to a certain group of women in study, and I contemplated whether the Lord was calling me to do something with them. The more I serve the more I feel the tension to serve more. I get to use some of my spiritual gifts when I lead studies. However, I long for a long-term gig. If shepherding is one of my gifts, I think that’s why I long for something that goes even deeper.
All that to say that yesterday, it all hit the fan. I spiraled downward. I recognized that I have a long-term history with longing, especially with calling and significance. This seeing the problem did not in fact help things, but helped me to belittle myself. Why in the last 20 years have I continued to long for things that will probably not make me happy once I do them or achieve them? Why do I know that God is enough in my head but still struggle with this? Hi, my name is Jamie, and I am addicted to longing.
I had a big ole fit about it, which did indeed make me feel somewhat better to get all the swarming things out of my head and into the atmosphere. But I felt bad knowing this would be in my reel when I stand at the judgment seat. Glad grace covers it, but oh goodness, how more indebted can one be? I know how I need to act too, and throwing down is not it. Maybe, just maybe, it’s okay since I am making up for lost time in not rebelling in childhood. (Note: it isn’t really, just self-soothing).
When I was done, I decided to ask God to help me work this longing thing out. I am believing that this asking Him about why I keep longing for more is going into the adventure of non-adventure with Him. I believe that He wants me to journey to Him in this endless, excruciating ache of endless “I can’t get no …. da na na …. satisfaction. And I try, and I try, and I try.”
Luckily, I am reading Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram. I am actually listening to it via audiobook, which I love because it is like she is sitting on the couch with me (and I love her), but I hate it because it is hard to take notes and write down quotes. This means I will have to buy the hardcopy eventually I suppose. She wrote a chapter or section on longing and the wilderness and every part of her book is speaking to my heart right now. So the journey of non-adventure has begun. God has a lot to teach stubborn me.
Assuming learning about longing does not make me long for more and that I actually learn something, I will let you know what I am learning. 🙂