I have known few seasons of lasting joy up until now. Not that I would characterize my life as unhappy, quite the reverse. But since elementary school I have never been completely content, as if I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have felt seasons of brokenness and loneliness and pain, but even these subsided back into a longing to be sure of where I am, and why I am, and who I am, and simply be glad for it’s own sake.
And now I am. I haven’t the foggiest idea how it happened. Nothing outside of me changed or shifted. I simply lived alone for a summer and did nothing extraordinary. In fact I did little of anything at all. But as I rounded up on the end of it I saw something extraordinary happen. I felt like a different person. I suppose the prayer that I always pray and never had expected an answer to “God change my heart” finally came about. I had been convinced for so long and by so many people that we are the primary activators in our change, but my change came when I least expected it, didn’t deserve or earn it, and in ways I wouldn’t have chosen. Now sure, I have been actively seeking God, and attempting to grow, But it was never me who completed the change. It was entirely in his will and timing.
It was as if I woke up one day and inexplicably I realized that my taste in clothing, music, food, activity, my character, my ability, my desire, my state and frame of mind, and many other things had all changed. I cant explain why I get up at four thirty in the morning to run every day. For years I have scoffed at both runners and early risers with intense dislike. I couldn’t three months ago. Now I can, and I like it. I can’t explain why I cut my hair from down to my shoulders, to only an inch in length. I can’t explain why I like soup now.
I don’t have some incredible insight to share about all this, simply a reminder. God does not work like we think he should or will, but he is working and will work. If we live in obedience to him, our strongholds will come down, our hearts will change, and our lies will radiate his joy, even if it takes ten years for it to happen. He is able to do abundantly more than we know, and he uses pain and joy to do it.
With Cacoethes Scribendi,
The Indefinable Emotion