This Monday's Not me! confessions come from a bit of a different place than weeks past. I hope you'll indulge a more reflective rant. Today I cannot believe how unbelievably grateful I am to be living my life. I feel as though the trials others are going through around me are reaching a frenzied pace. It's as though the days of stubbed my toe, forgot my wallet, out of gas hassles have been exchanged for the less welcome cancer diagnosis, failed adoption, unexpected death in the family variety. But would I question what is going on in the world? Not me!
Would I dare say the refiner's fire is becoming hotter and more consuming? Not me! Would I speculate that there are lessons, infinitely perfect and wholly holy lessons, that only come through great personal trial? Not me! Would I say with utmost surety that such trials evidence to me that God is not turning His back on the world, but instead pouring out His love in ways only as strange and misunderstood as the life He came to live? Not me! Indeed, His ways are not our ways, but His love is perfect and I know He wants us to feel of it--in its most tangible and powerful form.
He sends that love through trial. Through service. Through parents. Through entire, once hidden communities of people who choose to rally around each other. People whose words you rely on to wash over you on days you feel most scared or alone and whose words somehow make you feel new again. Strong again. Loved again.
I once used to say in a half-joking, I'm-oh-so-untouchable way that I could take any trial God sent me, "Just so long as He didn't start messing with my kids." I probably said that exact phrase out loud at least a dozen times to different people in my life. I don't challenge God in that way anymore. And, ironically, every night my most fervent prayers plead for Him to keep my children safe; even as though they were in the very palm of His hand. The arrogance of my "Don't lay a hand on them" threat has become a "Please lay thy hands on them" plea.
So this Not Me! is about how I, in all seriousness, must remember how I feel so overwhelmingly grateful to have been custom built for my life. My challenges. My joys. My heartaches. My truth. At times it leads me in and out of messy places and dark corners, but always back into a light of warmth and love. I am truly overwhelmed by the blessings that are mine.
Trade places with you? Not me! Well, maybe for a minute if you needed a break, but I'd take my life back, the good, the bad and all that's in between, in a heartbeat. We were made for each other.