Today I feel like calling it Tired Thursday. Not because I'm not thankful. I am. But I am also tired. Very, very tired.
Maybe that's because the moving process is finally in full swing here at my house. Moving is hard. Don't let anyone tell you different. I am on the verge of completing move #7 in less than eight years. You would think by now I'd have it down, that this would seem normal and routine. In reality, it seems to get harder each time I have to pack it all up and start over again. I think this will be my hardest move yet. Although there have been many challenges to living in this house, it is my first house and I have absolutely loved being in my own place. I have felt such freedom and independence, such space to grow and change. And such room to garden! But once again it is time to uproot (literally and figuratively!) and find a new home. I am THANKFUL I had the opportunity to live here in my little house and experience the blessings it provided. I am THANKFUL that although I don't know where I am going, God does. I am THANKFUL that it doesn't matter if I ever find a "forever home" in this life—I already have one built for me by the One who formed the universe. I am THANKFUL for all the times I've been given the strength to start again. I am THANKFUL for the hope of yet another new beginning.
Yes, I am THANKFUL. But I am also tired.
Maybe that's because, amidst all the moving preparations, I have also found myself in the middle of a very difficult and painful relationship conflict this past week. Relationships are hard. Don't let anyone tell you different. I think it's safe to say that over the past several years, relationships have been the cause of both my deepest anguish and my greatest joy. If it weren't for the latter, I probably would have sworn off relationships all together. And I suppose that's the point. It seems like that's exactly what God experiences in relationship with us, His chosen ones, His creation, His beloved. We are the ones He loves, the ones He wants to return His love, the ones He wants to shape and use for His purposes. And when we run to His arms, when we sing "I love you" at the top of our lungs and mean it, when we welcome His work in and through us, when we shout His name to the world, when we love the least of these for His sake—oh what joy it must bring Him! But it does not come without a cost. We do not always seek Him, love Him, honor Him with our lives. We do not always do the work He asks of us. We do not always allow Him to refine and change us into the image of His Son. Sometimes we walk away. Sometimes we run. Sometimes we give up. Sometimes we say hurtful things—and sometimes we mean them. Oh how it must break His heart! And yet, He is not dissuaded from pursuing us until the end of time. Yes, relationships are hard. But I am THANKFUL for the courage to choose relationship and community over isolation and independence. I am THANKFUL for the friends who have surrounded and upheld me this last week, helping me process my thoughts and emotions, encouraging me to move forward. I am THANKFUL for the example of God's love and His tireless pursuit of relationship with us. I am THANKFUL that God believes I am worth the effort. I am THANKFUL for the promise of an eternity with healthy and unbroken relationships—not only with each other but with the One who chose us for Himself before the world began.
Yes, I am tired. Tired of starting over. Tired of saying goodbye. Tired of facing the unknown. Tired of broken relationships. Tired of hurting. Tired of fighting. Tired of trying to understand. Tired of trying to be understood.
But I am also THANKFUL. Not just a little. Not just some of the time. Not just when the sun is shining. I am THANKFUL way down deep in the farthest reaches of my soul every single day because the One who created me has chosen me for Himself, called me out of darkness, redeemed my life, and rewritten my story. And every day of my life He will continue to love me, change me, strengthen me, and use me for His glory. Yes, I am THANKFUL. Are you?