Thursday, April 12, 2012

live out the situation

Posting songs and pasting in quotes and other people's words is the 'mysterious' way to say what we're feeling ... Without actually saying it.

Let it be known, the recent lack of new posts with original words and unique content written by the people of our tribe doesn't mean there is nothing to say.

No, no, quite the contrary.
There's stuff to say but so much of what is going on of late is still sort of unanswered and unclear.

It is easier to post song lyrics than it is to try to write sensible words out of so much confusion.

The larger problem with walking through times of challenge and confusion is that we're faced with a choice ...

Be confused and challenged- graciously, exhibiting faithful patience...
Be confused and challenged- ticked-off, self-sufficient and totally impatiently. 

I excel at the latter.

This quote was shared by my nugget-sharing friend Sarah-

"The word 'patience' means willingness to stay where we are and live out the situation to the full, in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us." -Henri Nouwen

I've been waiting for some stuff to sort itself out and I've been fighting against Henri's advice to "live out the situation to the full".  I don't want to 'live it out' so much as I want to be done already.

I don't need to over-share on this one. I really don't.  Apparently there is a thing called 'restraint'. Sometimes it's called for; or that's what people tell me. Because I was born an over-sharer that cannot keep a secret to save my life, deciding to keep something private is a lot like deciding to stop breathing air.

The problem with half-sharing (as opposed to over-sharing) is that it seems like it is a ploy for attention, even when it not.

"Hi! See me over here dropping only morsels of information in an effort to make you curious."  "Look look! I'm melancholy. But I cannot tell you why. You'll have to wonder forever and ever." 


There is one guy in Haiti that excels at only posting mysterious stati (status plural?) on facebook - we call him "ambiguous stati guy".  He'll go down in the annals of history along with "greatest disparity in couple size" and  "rice-cake girl" and other people we've met and named by their unique quirks.

Well, now you see I'm no better than ambiguous stati guy. I'm just telling you how helplessly  impatient (and frustrated) we feel in our current situation and I'm pretty much leaving it at that.

There is one thing though ...
I don't think crappy and hard things happen because "God wants to teach us patience."  People say that to me and I just stare at their lips and think, "Yeah. No." And then I wonder why people always go around telling each other what God is doing and teaching and I wonder why I never know what God is doing but so many people around me do. And then sometimes I want to punch things.

I think crappy and hard things happen to us all because the world is a ginormous jacked up mess full of trouble, sin, injustice, and every evil thing. I think there is hope anyway.

I think there is war going on around us all the time, it may feel intangible  - or invisible - but it never stops. Never. I think there is hope anyway.

I think the war we cannot see is more real than the things we touch, taste, see and smell. I think there is hope anyway.

I think shit $%&# happens that is painful and hard and sometimes even horrible because of that war. I think there is hope anyway.

I think we learn from it by default and sometimes we end up getting a little more refined and a little more patient, and other times we don't.

I think either way, there is no choice but to live out the situation. 


Unknown said...

Heavy duty.... It makes me think of a quote... ".......... Not really.... But if you hadn't said, "A guy who lives in Haiti," I would swear you were talking about me! Very convicting Blog... Also, thank you for the "linking you" Blog (The one about STM!). Ugh!

T & T Livesay said...

ha. a fellow ambiguous and mysterious facebooker?

Bec and Baz said...

Hey T & T
Don't know what you are going through but Know God does and that's enough info to pray. Love you both and your incredible sweet hug-able family. Praying for clarity and peace for you all.
Bec & Barry

Jessica said...

I cling to the truth "there is hope anyway..." Have to, or I'd be depressed and overwhelmed all the time! :) Love y'alls blog. Praying for things to get sorted out and that in the meantime, you become closer to Jesus because of it.

Adrian Waller said...

"And then I wonder why people always go around telling each other what God is doing and teaching and I wonder why I never know what God is doing but so many people around me do. And then sometimes I want to punch things."

This times a million. Great post!

Ream Family said...

I know I can't guess or relate to the situation you are living out right now. I could say, "God knows", but that doesn't make it suck any just means there is always hope. Thank you for sharing how you feel. I can overwhelmingly relate to the feeling. The personal situation we are painfully living out is appreciative of your vagueness, relatable impatience, and desire to punch things. I would like to share this so that I can say what you said without having to say it myself. Otherwise, I will soon be forced to half share in an effort not to overshare (as usual) and then be accused of either trying ot get my way or wanting to relive the junior high drama. And I don't think I can handle that right now. Defalting with you. Would really like to hang out sometime if you're up to it. I promise I won't say, "God just wants to teach you patience" nor take offense if you cuss.

mb said...

Ah, you are doing such hard work already, it doesn't seem fair that there are times it is even harder.

Thinking of you, wishing you well, and checking back often from very far away.

Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary said...

Jeez. I could relate to this on so many levels... Reading it made me (and all my allusively mysterious bullshit) feel known, and I love that. Thanks for writing.

Naomi said...

Ohhhh.. So good and so timely. Thanks Tara. I want to punch things too.

Marla Taviano said...

And this would be why, after months (years) of blogging 5 days a week, I can barely eek (eke?) out 1 post every few days these days. Too much HARD CRAP going on. Praying for you guys. You inspire me when things are awesome and even more so when they suck. Love and hugs!

Kelly said...

I appreciate your honesty. I feel that I'm often in the minority as far as knowing what and why God does what He does. Seems a lot of other people have it all figured out.

Was just in Haiti this past week and was bummed to miss out on meeting you. I left a bacon T-shirt gift with your husband. Wow, that was a random sentence. :)

Becky said...

I guess you now get to add "Potentially Creepy Commenting Chic" to your list of weird acquaintances. I don't mean to be creepy, and I know it may sound strange coming from someone who has never met you and has rarely commented...but after reading your post, there was an overwhelming compulsion to say one simple thing to you (which I've managed to turn into a paragraph, but I digress...): I Love You. So. There ya go. Be creeped out or encouraged. But know that it is true despite never having met you. You are loved. Because we're family, after all.

Beth said...

Good blog post, we, your blog followers, don’t need to know everything that is going on but we do need to know when to amp up those prayers for you during hard times. Today’s post did just that. I also learned that I probably need help because I laughed out loud at your crossed out four letter word!

Danielle Johnson said...

This moment I am so thankful that God ordained the internet to exist. You have no idea the ministry you just did to my weary heart. Thank you for the reminder that there is hope anyway. Prayed for you just now.

Alicia G said...

Oh I can so relate. Love your "I think there is hope anyway." Somedays that's all we have - the choice to hope and trust that He will bring us through and give us clarity at some point. Life is messy and somedays I want to punch walls too. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone in that. Praying for you and your family.

kim noah said...

Dear Tara,
If you can stand reading a another quote...actually I can't take credit for it, it is from Anne Frank. It is one I have thought of most in times of confusion, trouble or mind-numbing misery when I am seeking "patience" amid our human messiness. It is very much like your statement "I think there is hope anyway." Yours is shorter :)

"It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death. I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace & tranquility will return once again."

Forgive the length of this comment, your posts are so strikingly honest & open...even when you are not sharing everything. I agree with Beth in that while you ask for prayer for everyone else, we all would not mind one bit to amp up just for you!

take care!

BJ said...

I think I really like you! I always enjoy what you have to say, but I especially love how you say it!

Carsen said...

I kind of wish I could copy and paste everything you just said and pretend it was my words because this is exactly how I feel right now. But I'm pretty sure that's something called plagiarism. So instead, I will leave you with a cliche "Amen!"

Heather Nozea said...

"I don't think crappy and hard things happen because "God wants to teach us patience." People say that to me and I just stare at their lips and think, "Yeah. No." And then I wonder why people always go around telling each other what God is doing and teaching and I wonder why I never know what God is doing but so many people around me do. And then sometimes I want to punch things."
I am SO with you on this!!!

Lori H. from Minnesota said...

I hope you are feeling better these days. I take comfort in something Mother Teresa admitted later in life. She often did not feel the presence of God in her life. She felt abandoned at times. That's the way of this world, isn't it. Sometimes simply horrible and nasty things happen to wonderful, lovely people. With all of the tremendous needs and chaos around you, do take care of yourselves first.

T & T Livesay said...

Thanks to each of you for your comments. I am more and more sure that we're better off mourning with those who mourn --- I don't think it is my job to tell you what God is teaching you in your trial ... I'm thinking God can tell you Himself and I can not be ridiculously arrogant and know-it-allish.

We'll live it out and put our hope in Him and trust that farther along we'll understand why.

Lenny & Allison said...

I OFTEN think of your link to Sarah Bessey's blog entitled "Lean into it." It resonated with me in so many ways, and I feel I'm slowing starting to feel my own release. I read a quote from my SIL the other day that made me think of that very post: “I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answers…”- Rainer Maria Rilke...Thinking of you all this day. *allison*

Mamita J said...

Thank you for your incredible wisdom in the face of difficult circumstances. Praying for you here in St. Louis.

Chapter Two said...

I've been through some terribly deep sufferings in the past two+ years and I, too, give no reply to some things said to me. But I have hope still, too. And now I seem to get people squirming when I am simply willing to say this world is totally messed up and backward but I still have hope. Seriously, this world is a war and it's not my home anymore.
I don't know what you're facing, but I'll start praying more for you as I can remember.