July 24, 2013


Yesterday I was involved in an accident. Though there are some very real ramifications I’m going to have to deal with now, it was not as bad as it could have been; there are many reasons to be thankful. But all I have felt has been a deep-seated sense of guilt, and of dread. My emotional reaction has made me aware of something pretty significant regarding my faith. It centers around a phrase that hit me some time ago now, as came out when I visited with, and vented to, an old friend this afternoon. The phrase was from a B_ble Study I was doing back when I lived in Afgh@nist@n. A group of us ladies were working through a Beth Moore study in which a question was raised that struck me deeply. So much so that I scrawled it on a scrap piece of paper and taped the torn strip to my work computer. It read “In your heart of hearts and in the darkest dark, do you believe that God is a Giver or a Taker?”
I knew when I first read that, and I know it now that, against all my wiser sensibilities so far as who I want to believe God is, I fall more consistently into the latter—“taker” category of believers . . . at least when it comes to my own life. But I guess all of us hold our truest beliefs about our own lives more tangibly than about any general ideals about humanity.
At any rate, I raised my hand sheepishly at the time, and I raise it once more, now.
The reason it came to the forefront at this point in my life is that the fault I feel about this accident made me speak a series of phrases to myself that went somewhat like this:
But of course. Serves you right. That’s what you get for enjoying your life too much. For settling in too happily with your family, and with your friends. “Life is pain,” after all, as Wesley put it in The Princess Bride . . . isn’t it?
Well yes. And no.
Yes there is much pain in this life. But no, it’s not all pain.
Yes, there is hardship. But there is also great Joy, that is ours for the taking.
I do not believe God is out to get us. I will not believe it. And the strange thing is that my eyes tear up as I say that to myself because of how acutely aware I am that this is a struggle for me. Somehow, somewhere along the way I got it into my hardheaded brain that I had to earn my keep in this world. And that I had better not settle in too much to love because, surely, I was going to mess things up if anyone cared too much for me. The worst part about that belief system is that it goes the opposite way: it hardens me off from loving others too much as well.
Lord help me move past this tendency. My hope is that the reason it hit so hard now is that I was indeed making progress in moving past that, so that this bump along the road [excuse the pun ☺ ] was more instantly obvious to me than it may have been in my younger years.
This wrong thinking has impacted many areas of my life, I suspect, holding me back from hope in some very significant ways. Lord help me continue being able to embrace the gifts You have given me. Let me laugh by the poolside with a friend and her little ones. Let me love this life.


One Response to “choosing”

  1. Catherine illian said

    Thanks you for sharing Anna! A good reminder for all of us! Our view of God colors so much of our reality in !

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