This song “Where I Belong” by Building 429 blared through my car radio speakers for the first time several months ago and ever since has been one I’ve added to my life’s personal soundtrack. I’ve listened to it many times now, and it hasn’t failed to bring tears to my eyes each and every time. “Sometimes it feels like I’m watching, from the outside, sometimes it feels like I’m breathing, but am I alive?”
Sometimes life just feels like a long, monotonous, drawn-out journey designed to crush a person and exhaust the spirit, and if you make it to the finish line then you finally get to go home, to heaven. I know it’s been a recurring question is previous blogs I’ve written, to ask, where is this abundant life Jesus promised? Have Christians misinterpreted that part of the Bible? Have theologians determined that God promises abundant life now, in this life, mistakenly?
Sometimes life just makes me tired and I have to wonder.
Why is it so hard?
“Every woman I’ve ever met feels it-something
deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone.
After all, if we were better women-whatever that means-life wouldn’t be so hard. Right? We wouldn’t have so many struggles; there would be less sorrow in our hearts. Why is it so hard to create meaningful friendships and sustain them? Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventure but with duties and demands? We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought-that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feel uncertain-uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be.
Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story. But the desires set deep in our hearts seem like a luxury, granted only to those women who get their acts together. The message to the rest of us-whether from a driven culture or a driven church-is try harder.” -Excerpt from “Captivating” by John & Stasi Eldredge
It’s often tempting to live like a hermit to avoid the drama and irritations of daily life. Except that we are made in God’s image, as a relational being, as a people who crave connection and relationships, just as He does with us. No matter how frustrating it is to attempt to gain, we cannot escape the 5 basic human truths, that define what each human wants/needs in life: To be understood, To belong, To feel special, We crave more control over our lives, We dream of reaching our potential.
I thank God for my life, and for second chances, for renewal, for redemption, for my future. I don’t know what my future is or what His plan is for me. I have no idea what I’m meant to do in this life, why I’m here, or what my purpose is. I often feel alone in a city where all I really have is a job that I don’t even care about. I go to work every day to make money to get through the end of the month. I own 2 horses that I never see, and when I have the time to see them I don’t even feel motivated to drive the hour to get there. Is this all there is? I don’t know. It all just seems meaningless. Just meaningless. I want to live deliberately, not just exist.
But I do know, that I’m not alone. Even if it feels like it, I’m never alone. I have people that love me, no matter how far away they are or how little I get to see them, and I have a Father who holds my whole life securely in the palm of his hands. I also know it can’t be meaningless. I can’t see where the pathway leads and the signs are unclear, but I will hold on to His promises. That He does not abandon or forsake us, that He does not begin a good work in us that He doesn’t intend to finish. What seems like a long time to me is merely a passing wind in the eyes of eternity, and God’s time is not the same as our time. I will rest in that, I will bide my time, I will take it day by day… and keep my eyes and ears open for the door to something more.