Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jars of Clay

Our friend Tim Sexton recently said,  "Unfortunately pain gives way to some of the best blogs." He was referring to Amie's post she wrote here.

I don't know what makes for a good blog post. I just know that the funny ones are so easy and enjoyable to write.  The pain-filled ones not so much. I hover over the publish button thinking, "do I really want to say this - and to strangers?"

This Moses thing has me upside down.  I am uncomfortable with almost every emotion and sin that his presence brings to the surface for me. 

As we've struggled a bit the past few weeks and as I've been overwhelmed, emotional, and completely conflicted over the situation, and choices still to be made with Moses  -  especially on top of many other things going on -  Troy has caught me in moments of fatigue and frustration and said something along these lines:  "You're doing great. You're a broken but beautiful jar of clay."  Both times he said that I burst into tears.

I don't feel beautiful, I feel overwhelmed and uncertain. I feel inadequate and and short-tempered.  I feel weak and stressed. I feel very protective of Paige. I don't know what the right thing to do is and I feel guilty that I don't really want our family to be a long-term solution for Moses  - yet at the same time I don't feel good about not being his long-term solution. I want him to go away and I want him to stay safe here. I tell myself not to get emotionally involved. It doesn't work. At times I feel resentful at the weight of responsibility he represents --- yet I  feel possessive ownership when it comes time to hand him off to someone kindly offering to help.  None of it makes sense. I hate learning I am capable of resenting a handicapped two year old. I hate that the world is full of this brokenness and loss. I hate my own brokenness.

We don't have an answer for his future yet and we don't yet know what the right thing is. Each day we chat with folks about him and each day we decide that many available options are unacceptable to us.

Indecision and uncertainty is an uncomfortable place. 

This post from our 10th month living in Haiti speaks to some of what we've been thinking and feeling of late. It is written about Mozambique, Africa but it could easily be written about Haiti.

Along with figuring out what is right for Moses, Troy's phone rings off the hook with requests for school money and rent money (many of these calls coming from folks we worked with three plus years ago in a rural village). Emails and calls come in asking for advice that we feel too unqualified or too cynical to intelligently answer - and as things that need attention keep getting pushed to the back burner -- these portions of that post ring true:

"We barely find time and patience to handle one drastic crisis only to run into ten more the same day. We pour out love and compassion one minute only to run dry and turn irritable the next."

"We are asked for counsel and direction as though we have the answers at all times -- How do we become missionaries? How will I support myself? Can I please have a truck? How can I run my churches in my district without a phone, an address or even a pencil and paper? We haven't eaten in weeks. How will I get to Bible school? What will happen to my family? Can you pay for my child's funeral and buy a coffin for us?"

As those portions ring true, we ask God to help us stand firm on the truth found in this portion of that post too ...

"Yet in the face of everything Satan can do, we maintain that there is always enough."

"We are, in fact, hard pressed, perplexed and struck down-but not destroyed. We don't know how we will endure through the day or the week. We don't know how to please everyone, answer all our e-mail, send all our reports, pay for every need ... We don't know how to keep all our staff, brief all our visitors, reassure the disappointed, lift the weak and provide clear direction for everyone. We are only a few jars of clay! Yet Jesus has revealed that because He died, there is always enough, and we will never deny that revelation."

"We are only jars of clay, but God's power is made perfect in weakness. And in all our weakness we will keep submitting ourselves to Him, that we can see His glory, that we can be part of His answer for Africa and the world."

"We will always say, 'Go to Him. Eat and drink of Him. What we don't have, He has. Be desperate for Him. Have faith in Him. Love Him. Look into His eyes. His body and blood are enough for all who will receive Him.' And we know we will see more revival. We will keep testifying to the Gospel of God's grace."

Go to Him. Eat and drink of Him. What we don't have, He has.