Mixed emotions

These days, I'm trying to learn how to deal with mixed emotions.

For instance, I had a great time over Thanksgiving break, but it was hard to see my mom deteriorating. I guess I never realized how amazingly active cancer can be. Two years ago, my mom turned yellow while she was traveling in Israel. Since then, her life has been a constant state of attempting recovery, in what ultimately looks as though it will be a losing battle. I guess I thought of it more like a tired quietness, like a person whose heart is just too weary to keep beating. Instead, it is more of an angry little beast, scurrying around her body and finding new ways to drive her mad. It's hard to watch.

On the other hand, I love seeing what God is doing here in Lansing. I love our little church. Our theology is terrible and people have a hard time seeing large themes in their treasured traditions and we don't have elders and we allow women speakers and we can't get a prayer group started to save our lives, but I love it.

I love that people who were born before the atom bomb care about whether or not I have a job. I love that people are curious about my relationship with my wife. I love that they let me preach even though they know I'm going to say hard things. I love that they listen to things they don't want to hear. I love that they love us.

I also enjoy my job. It's exciting work, things that would have had me geeked out of my mind three short years ago. Of course, at that time I was an aspiring politician just starting to date my second girlfriend and hoping to graduate. Now, though, I get to deal with trends and projections, use statistical charts and make gut calls. It's a load of good experience for me.

And, of course, I love being married. You really haven't lived until you wander around in the morning with bleary eyes, messy hair, and bad breath, and get a good-morning kiss anyways. More importantly, I love that when I cry Samantha cries with me. I love that when I'm tired she gives me hugs, and even when I'm procrastinating on my chores she feeds me and cares about my day.

Most of all, though, I love seeing how badly I need God. Whether it's my nervous sermons, my complex job duties, or loving my somewhat emotional wife, I desperately need His guidance. As I learn to need it more and more, I learn to love more deeply the amazing things He has done for me, and I learn to praise the kind of God that can glorify Himself by doing that.

So, it's mixed emotions. Sometimes it feels like trying to appreciate a beautiful car with a big dent in the side. In the end, though, I know that what God is doing is right, and I can only be amazed at what He's given.

1 comment:

amanda said...

:)I am always encouraged by you.