It’s so strange that I sit here typing with so much in my head and a clear understanding that I am not remotely qualified to write more than, “My name is Kim.” This silly blog that I started as a way to process life with a chronic disease has become at times, therapeutic. In a way, a virtual journal that some folks read and occasionally like….but more so an outlet to express a day, a week, a month, a season. Today, I sit here typing with the question swirling in my little pea size brain of….did I start this for me, for you, because I was led to by God? Maybe, it’s a combination of the three. (This question likely to never be answered fully.) The move to Chicagoland has forced me so far out of my little “comfort zone” and into a zone where I am forced to really take stock into things I had just taken from others and applied….people much wiser than me…so surely no need to question, doubt, research….verify. And yet….that’s what I have found myself doing now for a few months…..what if, as I have said before…this was the entire reason I am here….that it has nothing to do with a job…a city….maybe it was the only way God could finally get my attention. Maybe He had no choice but to pull me up from my roots….
One thing I have been exploring are things I have heard for so long….assuming they were God’s word…or at least a close interpretation of it. Phrases we say….without a second thought as to if they really are Biblical…you know…those things “good Christians” say.
I think the first offender has to be “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Malarkey. Yes He will, and yes He does. What is even the point in turning to God if we can truly handle even the hardest of circumstances on our own? Isn’t the whole point of us being in this broken world to have us see that our only hope..our only way to navigate is by trusting God…something so much bigger than our tiny little humanness? Everything is more than we can handle…everything. It’s only because of Christ that we are able to put one foot in front of the other…..That’s the entire premise of faith.
Isaiah 41:10 (The Message)
“But you, Israel, are my servant.
You’re Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
God never says, Oh Jacob….pull up your bootstraps and figure it out. If we could handle it…why oh why would God have sent Christ to die on that cross at Calvary? We can’t. We didn’t. We never will be able to.
This next one has been swirling in my head a lot lately….maybe it’s all the political rhetoric floating around…maybe it’s being more connected to a health community where I know folks that are wonderful, Jesus loving folks…that well…struggle…whether it’s emotionally, physically or financially….struggle is a daily routine. It’s the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves.” I see that, I hear that and all I can do is sit and go…nope. That runs against the entire Gospel of Christ….Sally, well Sally is exactly where she is because she can’t help herself….well…what if Sally really can’t? Sally, through no fault of her own, has an illness that makes just walking outside her home a nightmare we can’t imagine? It seems, to me, the attitude of self-reliance and self-righteousness just doesn’t match up with Matthew 16:24. My new thought process on this is God intended us to be a community…so that when one of us is not strong…weak…whatever the issue may be…we come alongside, with Christ as our captain….to hold that person or community up….and sometimes…that’s a very long gig…sometimes it’s not.
Matthew 16:24 (The Message)
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
There are so many more things we say…I’ve said….because well…maybe it’s because I grew up with it and just assumed…maybe it was something I heard in a sermon one day….and I sit here and just type these words going, “Man….some of these things are just hurtful to others.” I have a feeling this season for me might be a tad long…a season where I have a very long overdue tune-up. Last night, in a message, the challenge of “Resolve” was issued…so, my “resolve” is that I’m checking my vocabulary…my phrases…and I am going to likely blog as I uncover more of things said…that well…sound all Christian…but aren’t…just man-made gibberish.
As I close for today…I just received a verse via a group text I am part of daily…I close with this:
2 Peter 3:17-18 (The Message)
“But you, friends, are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever. Yes!”
I’ll make a point to title these blogs (my chronicle of my tune-up) so if you want to skip…well..it’s easy. I’ll start with “Tune-Up.” Kimmielou signing off….up since 5AM…clearly time for more coffee.
PS-Farmers Almanac is predicting a doozy of a winter here….currently looking for anyone that needs a house sitter on a tropical beach from December-March. (Insert fact…Kim doesn’t like winter…even mild winters.)