Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thank you - even for the crappy stuff

I couldn't have had a worse week. Job felt like it was falling apart. My body felt like it was falling apart. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat. I was beyond frustrated and in general outraged at the perceived injustices I was facing and the unfairness of everything that had been steadily contributing to my growing misery.

I picked up "Mere Christianity" again Friday night, after a really, really, really lame totally awful, depressing, exhausting, soul-crushing day. I opened it up to the first chapter, "The Law of Human Nature." "Everyone has heard people quarreling... [Man] is appealing to some kind of standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about." Lewis, the author, goes on to explain how we quarrel over 'unfairness' or 'injustice' - we "try to show that the other man is in the wrong." He ends the first chapter with this direct conclusion: one, that humans everywhere have a concept of how they should behave; and two, that they do not in fact behave the way they think they should. Lewis, in the succeeding chapters, goes on to postulate that this universal sense of Right and Wrong is evidence of God.

Amidst my constant internal litany this week of how unfair work and life were, this first chapter seemed to sum it up. But even inside this awful week, it was evidence of God. No matter how much I had been avoiding Him lately, or felt that He had been avoiding me - He was right here the whole time.

I calmed down over the weekend - which strangely should not have happened. After injuring my foot this week, I attempted an 18-mile long run on Saturday morning anyway. This turned out to be a terrible idea for several reasons. One, between my left foot incapable of completing a toe-off while just walking, and my right knee incapable of going down the stairs, I was a complete mess and should have known better. Two, it was raining, windy, and below 50ยบ out. Three, I was still really upset and stressed, and in no shape to make sound decisions - like turning around in the first half mile.

But this ended up being an opportunity to spend some quality time with my mom, which we both sorely miss. Albeit, this quality time was spent in the ER making sure I didn't have a stress fracture, but it was oddly comforting quality time nonetheless. We've spent so many days in emergency rooms or hospitals and it reminded both of us of how we've supported each other in these situations over the years. Saturday, my foot issue seemed almost pedestrian in comparison (hahahaha foot issue.. pedestrian! Come on, funny, am I right??)

Sunday morning I went with my aunt to her church for the first time - and was totally surprised that I really liked it. I found myself caught on a prayer leading into the worship. "God, thank you for your gifts this week." It reminded me of a clip of Pauley Perrette - and how when she didn't know what else to pray, she'd pray "Forgive me for everything. Thank you for everything." It hit me like a truck - I should be thanking God for my crappy, awful week! Yes, I realize this doesn't make much sense. But clearly He's provided me lessons and opportunities this week. And for sure they were difficult, but equally were they important. I'm not even sure what all the lessons from this past week were, although I'll be continuing to face their consequences for much longer. But I've got to believe the pain I'm suffering now is to spare me from worse in the future. That by putting me through trials, He strengthens and teaches me. I pray that I'll learn.

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