*I wrote this blog when Thomas was a wee little nugget (early 2015) and I just came across it now and felt called to share it*
This new season of my life has come with a plethora of emotions that I didn’t even know I was capable of having. A lot of joy, a new level of exhaustion, and even spouts of unnecessary and foolish anger. The most surprising of them all is pain. Not a physical, but an emotional pain. Pain when I cannot get my baby to stop crying. Pain when I get rejected from jobs, scholarships, friendships, even retreats. There is a part of myself that died when a new life came… and that part is all of me. My prayer life changed into all these questions…why the heck is there all this pain and sadness and feelings of loneliness and abandonment? Jesus, why do you love making me wait?? Why won’t you tell me what to do now?! Why won’t anyone hire me, why can’t I get grants to go to school? Why is my prayer life changing? Why does Thomas scream and hurt more than other babies? Why are you leaving me in this internal agony all alone?!
God in His slow, patient, and mysterious way is leading me to the Garden. The only thing I can do is just sit with Jesus in the Agony in the Garden. No one will sit with me for just one hour. I am alone and abandoned and in agony. In my selfish humanity, I really thought the Gospel of the Agony in the Garden was a little dramatic. Is “agony” really an appropriate word to describe it? Was it really THAT bad, Jesus? You were just praying to God alone, there is no reason to have all your friends sit and watch. They’re tired. Calm down.
Dude, Jesus was terrified. Yes, He was God…but he was also man. He desired friendship, community, and love just as much as the rest of us. I never knew how I needed community until I was not in it anymore. I never understood the agony of loneliness during a trial until I was alone at night with my suffering baby. Praise God for his grace and mercy and for the time in the desert. Thank God for my time alone with my baby. Thank goodness we have God who is gracious enough to teach us lessons to help us grow in holiness. It hurts, but it is good. It is a holy ache. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Everyday I am learning that I don’t get to chose what I want: I don’t get to choose how much sleep I can get, I don’t get the luxuary of choosing what I will do today, I don’t get to decide if I want alone or quiet time, I don’t get to decide when I will eat. Oddly enough, there is a freedom in that. There is a marvelous freedom in knowing that Jesus desires me and desires Thomas and wants both of us to be with him in Heaven for eternity. Jesus wants to strip all of my selfish ways and what I thought were my desires to make me a Saint. The ache is real. It hurts, but it is a redemptive suffering.