January 1, I do not do resolutions. I do however, this year, want to have “one word.” In his book My One Word Mike Ashcraft says, as he explains the concept, that one word “didn’t have the trappings of regret or the pressure of sweeping promises to change like my resolutions did. It awakened something in me. Not a compulsive desire to change born out of being sick of the way I was, but a desire to live an authentic life that flowed from my relationship with Christ.” Keep it simple. I like it Mike. Well when the Lord gives you a word like “desperation” how on earth are you to take that? It is so… negative, dark, sad…desperate?? I refuse to accept, thank you Lord very much, I will chose my own. How about success, joy, light, maybe even focus, I could do that. Ok, how about desperation vs. Entitlement for your first lesson Elizabeth. Again Lord, thanks but no thanks.
We have had sewage back up in our basement/cellar three times now. Did you read that correctly? SEWAGE and when I say sewage I mean poo amongst may other yummy things. Yep, three times. So when it happened New Year’s Eve, before we were having friends over, I was less than amused. I called the plumber feeling very desperate for some news that this was not our fault but the city’s. We had spent any extra cash on Christmas for four kids and the last thing we needed was money sifting like sand through our fingers to put toward poo clean up and new pipes for our home built in 1925. New pipes meant tearing up the driveway, brick wall, sidewalk, street and lots and lots of cash. I was getting lower and lower by the minute – exhibit A of desperation. Plumber shows up, proves it is the cities fault and that is where the entitlement kicked in. Well… if it is there fault, they need to pay, now, clean up the poo, replace everything and while they are at it, why don’t they give us a new driveway? Hell, why don’t they give the neighbors that we share a driveway with a new one? Why don’t they give the whole side of the street a new sidewalk? Air quality, they need to check the air quality in my home and make sure my children are not inhaling poo fumes…. On my dime: desperation, on their dime: entitlement. Exhibit B, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I am all about a good story, especially one that makes for good conversation and makes you think “what would I do?” This book does just that. Moyes paints a beautiful picture of one character, although he is a quadriplegic, full of entitlement thrown into a relationship that has many different facets and stages to it with a poor, uneducated, “completely ordinary” desperate girl. Desperate to discover who on earth she is. As I read this book I truly felt the Lord showing me the difference between the two and that my heart can sometimes look like that…entitled. I think entitled is often blind. When you expect things, especially your own way, you are so blind to those around you and what they may need, you will do whatever it takes to get what you are deserving of. When what you deserve and what you are used to is snatched away you are lost, you are consumed with the fact that you were wronged and you are again blind. This book shows the opening of two pairs of eyes. One pair of eyes is blind to the fact that none of us are entitled to anything and much can be instantly taken away. The other pair of eyes is blind to the fact that desperation can sometimes lead to beautiful revelation even through working for one of the world’s largest “arses”.
So, poo and a novel lead me to believe that the Lord has been trying to show me that I should live in a constant state of desperation. He is not something I have invited into my life. He should be embedded in every aspect of my life. Anything that can be taken away would still leave Him behind, thus never destroying me. Everything I do, say, participate in, should orbit around Him- that would be what a desperate person would do, use Him in everything. I do not get to put him in a pocket and use him where applicable- that would be what an entitled person would do, use as needed.
Mid - January, a sweet friend struggling with post –partum and all the terrible, horrible, no good very bad and fantastic all at the same time feelings a brand spanking new momma feels. I am desperate for you to help her, comfort her, heal her, be near her, and hold her. My best friend, my partner in crime, my everything, a survivor of stage1 level 4 melanoma, finds a few new moles. I am desperate for you to heal her, make them absolutely nothing but beautiful new pieces of my beautiful her. A five year old girl in our church whom I do not know is battling for her life against cancer that she will not win unless there is a miracle, I am desperately aching for you to heal her, comfort her, hold that momma as she is holding that baby girl, so so very tight. I am seeing my desperation very clearly in these very vivid pictures of struggle. However, because my focus is this word, I am seeing more. If I walk as if I am desperate for the Lord to come into every situation, every conversation with my sweetest and dearest friends, every hard afternoon with four children, every tired evening, tired morning, tired workout, tired meal….maybe tired should have been my word… When I walk that way, desperation becomes revelation and light and life to me. He is speaking to ME in the midst of my desperation, I feel it.
While “desperation” may not have been my word of choice, I am already seeing the fruit, already listening to it soak in every day. I do not feel “trapped” in a resolution. I feel like this is “doable, memorable, effective and sticky.” I like that word too, “sticky.” I bet He wishes everything He showed us would stick more. So, 2015 I chose to be in desperation on a daily, basis…. Show me what you’ve got.