I was talking to a friend this morning, struggling to deal with the reality of finances and where we’re at right now. It’s not a nice place, and I’ve been getting very depressed about it. This time of year is always especially difficult, as my husband’s work inevitably dries up around November, and doesn’t kick in again till February or so. We live hand-to-mouth pretty much all year, and have no credit because we can’t handle it, so the winter months tend to be faith-stretching. I had a bit of a wrestle with God yesterday about it all. Like I talked about rather abstractly last month, where the hell is my faith anyhow?
I hate to ask for help. Hate to admit that I can’t do something. I like to feel capable, magnanimous, and in control. Who doesn’t? I don’t want to admit that I need anyone or anything besides myself, thank you very much. When I married, I worried that I’d need my husband! I was afraid of becoming co-dependent. I’ve learned, painfully, that while I can handle life and kids without his daily involvement (we spent 4 months apart last year due to work), I crave his balance to my life, and find it far easier when we’re together. I do need him, but am not crippled without him.
So where is my faith these days? After my argument with God yesterday, there was no dramatic resolution but I think I know where it’s headed. I can’t do it alone. I need God. I need my faith in him to be first, not stuck in line behind my husband, my bank, doctors, credit cards, work, or whatever else I’m trusting with our lives and health and well-being. They’re all helpful, and mostly necessary, but they’re not where my faith belongs. My object needs to be waaaay bigger than me to pull off the things I’ve got in my mind’s eye, and I’ve simply run out of do-it-all-myself steam.
One other bit, that I waffled on last month. Intensity. The intensity of your faith. While it’s a great indicator of how strong your faith might currently be, it doesn’t have any direct bearing how how much it will be rewarded. Faith isn’t something you bank, and then cash in on. It simply is. It flows, conducts, and connects. It focuses you on your object. In my case I’m trying to simplify the picture a bit, putting God in the center, and trusting him to arrange all the other players as needed.
Life on the edge, however real or imagined or sharp it is, is hard. It tests, pushes, and throws things into relief. It breaks you down, shows your imperfections, and forces humility and courage and acceptance. In DaMomma’s words, “It is the surrender to imperfection that builds life”. Giving up the pursuit of perfection in the interest of actually living. Surrender is part of faith, isn’t it? Surrendering to, not just giving over the bits we can’t handle. I’m still learning. To surrender my do-it-myself-ness to God, my daily life to imperfection, and my joy to anything but circumstances.