Linking up with "Five Minute Friday" today for Lisa Jo's writing prompt: "close"
If you want to join in on the fun, spend 5 (ish) minutes and just write what your thoughts are on the prompt - not worrying if it is appropriate or perfect or "sounds nice"
My thoughts on "close".....
Sometimes I feel like different stages of my life could be summed up with this word: CLOSE as in close, almost, just about, not quite, etc. Being "close to" some goal or desire is almost harder than being so far away -- because you feel the rush of anticipation, the belief that if you push a little further and harder then you will soon make it, hopeful that indeed, your prayers and wishes and desires will soon be met -- all to end in disappointment, another "almost, but not quite" I am truly happier to receive a "no" than "just wait" from the Lord (or from others). Even if an answer is not what I want, at least it's a definite answer, clear and concise, that I can hear and accept and deal with long before I throw my heart and soul in hoping and believing. (and I know I am not alone in this preference towards black and white answers)
Having a "close but not quite" experience makes one feel foolish...how could I have thought this would work out? how was I silly enough to really believe ________ (that he was the one, that I might be pregnant finally, that this job would be pan out, that our house would sell, that the cancer was gone for good, that this person had changed, etc, etc) These "close but not quite" moments are exhausting and deflating, causing us to want to guard our hearts and never hope for the best again.
So living a life full of "close but not quite" moments can be disappointing- and challenging- and just plain hard, but I truly believe that this is where God does His best work -- in our circumstances and in us. It's easy to trust Him with positive answers and it's difficult to trust Him with disappointing answers, but it is the most difficult to hold on when the path is unclear and hope is dashed in the last minute! It's hard to dust yourself off and keep going when you just lost the answer that seemed within your reach. But that is where our hearts learn to trust the most by resting in uncertainty and by making our hope in the Lord our anchor. It is in these "close" moments where we learn to trust God not only in rough circumstances, but when the answers seem to be snatched away from us.
So, for those of you struggling with a recent "close but not quite" today- a false positive on a pregnancy test, a breakup with someone who you thought to be the one, a job lead that didn't pan out last minute, know my heart mourns with you. Those are tough moments and all I can encourage you to do is take a short time to mourn and pray...a month off from dating, a couple days off from job searching, etc and then dust yourself off, try to keep your heart soft and hopeful and cautiously move forward in faith. It may seem like dashed hopes to you, but to the Lord, it may be an important step forward.
Stay close to the One who holds your hand through those "close but not quite" moments. Trust in the One who can make those close moments a reality. Anchor your hope in the One who remains steady when circumstances do not.