Friday, March 4, 2011

Friendly Friday: The 4th Frog

First, I have to tell you that I've got a guest post up elsewhere today! It's actually a memoir-type piece for The Red Dress Club meme. Check it out at my Twitter pal Nancy's blog, Away We Go! Stick around to read some of her work, as well—she's very talented. For reals.

Today's Friendly Friday post is from someone I've actually gotten to meet! In real life! Her name is Amy, and she writes at The 4th Frog. Her blog is mostly about her family, and she's very open and honest about things going on in her life—which is how she ended up doing this blog post for me! I was really moved by some of her recent trials and how her faith is persevering through them. Be sure to go check her out when you're done with this post, and definitely send some encouragement her way right here!

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When I started blogging almost three years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. I just really wanted to invest some time and energy in writing, and blogging seemed like a good way to go. And now, here I am, guest blogging on The Lazy Christian.

I met Rachel a few weeks ago at the Indiana Statehouse. Then a week or so later, my husband was laid off – for the second time in just over a year. I posted on my blog that the sudden upending of our lives led me to a fairly frank conversation with God that went something like this:

"What is it? What haven't we learned yet? The past 4 or 5 years have seemed like we are swinging from one crisis to the next. Unemployment. Separation. Illness. Financial strain brought on by all the above. What now, God? In the last two or three months, I've finally felt like we were becoming whole again. Paying off debt, learning to trust and love again, enjoying each other's company. What are we missing that our path keeps plunging us into chaos and disarray? What do You want?!"

I wasn’t – and still am not – angry with God. I just wanted to be clear about what is being asked of us, so we can get back to a smoother road as soon as possible.  As I poured my heart out to God in church that Sunday morning, I began to hear a message that maybe I’ve been ignoring for too long.

It’s not about US. Maybe our focus, MY focus, has been too narrow. Perhaps God is calling us to look beyond our own trials and reach a hand out to someone else in need. I felt pretty good about hearing that grace-filled whisper. I believed that some of the “stuff” that’s been overwhelming our lives might be resolved when I reached out to help someone else with their stuff. And that’s where I was when Rachel invited me to guest post here.

Since then, I’ve gone online to find information about the organization I felt called to volunteer for. It’s a retirement home for people who have little to no family and even fewer means. I’ve considering volunteering there for quite some time (we’re talking years, people) and felt certain that God was nudging me in that direction.

What?! I can’t submit a volunteer application online? You mean I have to print it out, fill it in and drive it over there?

I called to talk to the person listed as the volunteer coordinator.


What do you mean she’s not there? Oh? She’s a volunteer, too, and not in every day?

I could feel the frustration rising within me.

Can’t they see that I want to help? Why are there so many obstacles between me and them?

I was sure that I had heard what God was calling me to. But I could also hear my own objections.

There are too many hoops to jump through. I don’t really have enough time to do this.

So the application still sits on my desk, glued there by my own frustration and my own stubbornness.  And I’m back to what got me stuck in the first place: ME and my concerns.

Somewhere, God is shaking his head, wondering when I will ever learn.

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