Sometimes I wonder why God created me. This amazing Creator who made a universe full of wonder ... the One who invented the sun, came up with the idea of planets that revolve around the sun and an earth that rotates to have seasons, planned for all the intricate details of our world ... is the same one who invented me. He designed me with all of my personality quirks. If I believe His word to be true, then I have to accept that I am created by Him and in His image. And sometimes my heart wonders why ... why me, like I am?
Why am I here? What is my purpose on this earth? At times, I've felt like I've known the answer to that question. For a long season, I felt like I was useful in loving children who needed love. As a school teacher, it was easy to say that this was my purpose in life. As a wife, I was needed to be a helper for my husband and to bring him joy. For a period of time, I thought my reason for being here was to homeschool my children and to minister to hurting military moms through the chapels on post. I'm honest enough to admit that those were the days when I felt most useful.
But all of those things were stripped away. For two years, I've wondered why. Why? Why was my purpose taken away? Why was I sent here ... to this desert of a place? Why do I feel so utterly useless most of the time? It feels like I'm searching without ever finding ... and so much of the time, I'm not even sure what I'm searching for. Just when I think I've rounded a corner to a place of healing, something happens and I discover that perhaps the journey has just begun. I'm weary of it. I want to feel like I'm needed for something other than preparing meals or finding lost shoes. I just want to be wanted simply because someone really likes me and finds me fascinating ... well, okay, maybe not fascinating but at least likeable enough that I'm cherished for who I am. I want to be able to wake up every morning with a purpose ... a reason for existing. I want to feel like I shine again ... rather than feel that I'm dull at best or invisible at worst.
Today I've been asking God why He made me. I'm not sure anymore ... why me, why here, why this place of all places. Why this church? Why this town? Why this job? Why not what I want anymore? Why were my dreams lost? What dreams do I even have for my future anymore? Who am I? And do I like my cheesecake with strawberry, blueberry or cherry topping? Some days I think I've forgotten even that! Just who is Angela Paige Terry Thompson? What does she like? What are her gifts and talents? Why am I special, and am I called to be more than who I am today? And if I am called, then what am I called for?
And, perhaps this is the very crux of my recent breakdown, I just don't feel loved. Oh, sure ... my parents love me, but they pretty much have to simply because they brought me into this world. My kids love me, but that may only be because I make them fish sticks for dinner and allow them the occasional SpongeBob episode and can nearly always find their missing shoes and they can pretty much bet that I will be a sucker for letting them crawl into bed with me at 2 am. Yes, I feel like I'm just waiting for someone, anyone, to discover me ... to realize that I'm here and that perhaps I'm worth knowing and worth loving for forever.
Which brings me to another thing ... did you notice what a selfish desire that really is? I have to admit that tonight I'm much more interested in who or what can increase my own happiness in my circumstances, instead of what I an do for the Kingdom of God or how my soul can worship that One who loves me more than any other. And that, my friends, is a sad and sobering thought to consider.
Yes, tonight I feel very lost and all alone. Like I'm wandering in a desert just like the Israelites ... and I'm wondering if it will it take me 40 years to find my way out? Oh, Lord, I hope not! I'll be 76 if it does! Exactly how long will this healing take? Personally, I'd like to be totally healed ASAP ... but maybe if I just had a date circled on the calendar it would help me gather my strength and push on through this rough patch! Sadly, I don't think God works quite that way.
A time of healing and mending ... it's been a journey that's lasted two years already. Some days I look and I can see that I've come so far. The footprints in the sands of my life show my progress. I'll look back amazed at all that has transpired and what I've learned in the process. But then there are times, like this past week, when the waves of life seem to overtake me. The storms threaten to take me away completely. My life feels out of control. I can't see where I am at for the pelting rain, the dense fog and the wild wind that howls all around me. If I don't know where I am at, how can I possibly know where I am going? I'm hoping that when it all settles down, I'll discover that this storm has propelled me even further down the road to healing ... but for now, I'm just hanging on by a thread.
All of these questions from this current storm leaves me to ask yet one more thing ... what exactly did God see when He dreamed of me? When He planned for my life, and as He worked out all the details, what did He want for me and my life? I want so badly to be that woman ... the woman He created me to be. All I know to do is to ask and seek and keep pushing ahead ... even as the tears stream down my face, I'm chosing to seek God. For right now about the only thing I am certain of is that I can trust that the very One who dreamed me up, created me and wrote my life's story, will be able to help me become everything that He envisioned I could be.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10 Praise God for that! When my searching seems in vain, I can trust that Providence is seeking me, to save me when I feel so lost. And that, is a wonderful thing to remember on nights like tonight.