If I Were Living For Anyone But Him

I got sick this week.

I forgot how bad it feels to be sick. How hard it is to remain optimistic and gracious. How difficult to not pity yourself and shut others out.

I almost didn’t make it to church today. I was sitting in front of my computer, eating breakfast, reading the news, looking though random photos on Facebook, and I just wasn’t sure I felt up to it. Was the hour-long commute worth it? Why not just listen to the sermon via podcast? It’s not like I really needed to be there. It’s not like there was anyone I really needed to see.

For some reason, I still went.

As soon as I got to church, I heard everyone singing at the top of their lungs with all this energy and passion, and I began to wonder if coming had been a mistake. I couldn’t sing past the junk in my throat. I didn’t have the energy to raise my hands or even sway to the beat. What was I doing there? Once again, I was going to be a disappointment. Just as I had been letting down my friends and teammates recently, canceling on social engagements, texting in sick to practices, I was now going to disappoint God in my inability to properly worship Him.

But then I started listening to the lyrics being sung around me. You’re never gonna leave me dry. No you don’t, no you don’t. I started to remember who God is. And I started to cry.

God: Welcome, my daughter. I told you that if you came, you would be blessed.
Me: Yeah, but I didn’t really believe you.
God: I will never fail to bless you. You are my faithful one, I will never pass you by.

I cried harder.

Everything in my life is pretty uncertain right now.

I just decided to move down to Busan (with four of my church plant teammates) earlier than originally planned. We decided to move in December–in a mere two months! It was a tough decision because it means leaving my kindergarten kids, the kids I love so much I still can’t bear to think about saying goodbye, and it means giving up a significant amount of money that could have been helpful during the move.

So now I have no idea where I’m going to live, when I’m going to have an income, or what’s going to happen. (And I feel pretty miserable physically at the moment.)

From the world’s perspective, I can see how strange my life must look. Sometimes I feel that it must look downright pathetic. Barely getting by financially, leaving my first full-time job in dishonor, already having given up my biggest passion (piano) and left my family and friends in the States, now moving away from my community in Seoul with no tangible opportunities in sight. What kind of life is this?

But then God reminds me of how my life looks to Him, how incredibly beautiful it is. I am that person laying down her entire life for Him–everything, holding nothing back. I am the person for whom He made the promise, “You will not fail to receive a hundredfold in this life and in the life to come.”

The only question is, will I believe Him?

Am I going to look at my circumstances and draw normal, practical conclusions from them? Or will I be like Elijah, who declared that it was going to rain for the first time in 3 years simply because God told him it would, no rain clouds in sight?

I think the biggest lesson I am learning in this season is that it’s supposed to be supernatural. It’s not supposed to make sense in a normal way. God is going to provide supernaturally, in His way, in His time, and He is going to get the glory for it.

My job is simply lift up my requests to Him and to partner with Him. And in this season of waiting, with no rain clouds in sight, I will stay bowed down before Him, trusting, for as long as it takes those clouds to appear.

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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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