Ice Cream In The Microwave

You know when something utterly makes sense to you?  You rationally defend your claim and stand beside it-no matter what.  You feel it can’t be disputed and you convey a persuasive, logical reasoning to it’s unusual case.  In your mind, it’s unquestionable and you have true conviction about the whole idea.  Should these feelings be on display about everything?  No.  Should it be about things that matter to you?  Oh, yea-definitely.  Could you see another side to the argument, perhaps?  Maybe (but unlikely to come to a regulated agreement, unless it’s to agree to disagree).  Your probably wondering, “What on Earth is she talking about?!?”  Well, let me tell you a story…

It’s a week night, and my husband and I decide to enjoy a wonderful bowl of ice cream.  Mmmmm.  I love ice cream.  I could eat it once a night for the rest of my life.  So, as we take out the ice cream, my husband turns the faucet on to ‘hot’ and begins to hold the ice cream scooper under the running water.  I simply ask him what he is doing and his reply is, “I am getting the ice cream scooper warm, so it will cut through the ice cream better.”  Hmm, okay.  I, on the other hand, decide to grab the whole carton of ice cream, open the microwave, and press ‘start’.  My husband, freaking out, says, “What are you doing?!?”  I very rationally explain that this is the most efficient way to soften ice cream, while keeping it still cold, and easily scooping it into our bowls to then enjoy.  Rolling his eyes, he says I’m crazy, and argues that his way is better…

Fast forward a few nights later.  Once again, the ice cream craving comes.  My husband and I want to enjoy a lovely bowl of that creamy goodness.  He goes into the kitchen, pulls out the ice cream, turns on the faucet, and yes-waits for the water to get hot.  Observing him from the comforts of our living room, I watch as he aggressively tries to scoop and scoop ice cream from the carton.  Continually placing the ice cream scooper under the hot water, he attempts (for a lengthy amount of time) to fill our bowls with that yummy sweetness.  As he is struggling, I simply say, “Now you know why I use the microwave.”  Hard to step down from his prideful ladder, he gently shakes his head back and forth, smiling just enough to indicate that he’s secretly thinking, “I should have put the ice cream in the microwave.”

Okay, so I am not telling this story just to be silly.  I wanted to expand my thoughts on something more concrete.  In reference to that first paragraph I wrote, I would like to discuss the feeling of having conviction.  You don’t feel wrong, you don’t have doubt, and you express your thoughts in a clear-cut manner that makes complete sense.

I look back on the past few years, and I see myself manifesting in various degrees of light.  What I portrayed to people, wasn’t always what I portrayed at home.  However, what I portrayed outwardly, was my way of helping the internal part of me feel better.  I felt strength in how people viewed me as this ‘encouraging person’.  Someone who had thoughtful, godly things to say, almost daily.  I always thought it was weird, though, because I just felt it come out naturally.  The way I expressed myself, and the things I ‘said’ on a daily basis were real and clear to me.  I remember telling someone that it wasn’t me talking, it was God.  He was using me as a tool to convey certain messages, or words.  I believed every single thing that came out of my mouth, and I wanted to people to hear it.  I wanted them to feel equally convicted of that same strength and courage.  Why not?  Was it really helpful to be sad and angry all the time?  No.

This time in my life started in the late winter of 2012.  It had come after a rather horrifying end to 2011.  My husband and I experienced our first pregnancy loss that included months of uncomfortable moments, pain, and inevitably surgery.  In addition to that, I had finally reached my breaking point with my Dad and brother.  They had pulled me in all sorts of directions, up until that point, and I finally couldn’t take it anymore.  I cut them out of my life and disabled all forms of communication.  I even paid to have a service put on my phone so that I could intentionally block several of their phone numbers.  Then, in December 2011, just as we were coming to the end of the year, Adam was let go from his job.  Since he was the ‘bread winner’ of the house, we were lost.  At this time, we had been physically, emotionally, and financially beaten down.  However, God’s timing was (and is) always mercifully perfect.  When the news was shared that Adam was now unemployed, we were at a church event, surrounded by loving church family.  My husband and I describe that moment as, “God literally holding us in His arms, through every single person there.”  In that moment, we knew life was going to change dramatically, but that God wasn’t going to leave us.  We had conviction that He was going to hold us through and provide for us in every way.  And He did…

Anyway, as the new year began, I was prepping for my mission trip to Guatemala.  I had already raised my funds, and had been preparing for months.  I was ready to go, yet hesitant to leave at such a fragile time.  Looking back now (and even soon after that trip) I would have never changed a thing.  That was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.  I came back to the states filled with a humble heart, hope, and love for life.  I vowed that I was not going to display myself (like those on Facebook) as a complaining, depressed human, pretending to having a wonderful life.  I was only going to say what was helpful and use words that I really meant.  If I was feeling down, I allowed myself to express that, but only after seeking wisdom from God.  I wanted to be pure and honest, but hopeful with truth.  I believed in my words because they were from God.  I loved sharing my heart because I felt as though people needed it.  It’s like God literally pressed on my heart to step out and speak.  So, I did…

That time in my life kind of reminds me of now.  However, I don’t necessarily have that passion to be as encouraging (though I would like to be somewhere around that again).  I feel like the encouraging type of person I am becoming encompasses a steady calm, with meaningful energy.  I don’t feel like I am as ‘crazed’ with excitement to share my heart.  I look back at that time and view myself like a firework (and no I am not referring to Katy Perry’s hit song).  I just see that “Sarah” as overly driven to some degree.  Which makes sense because I ended up falling very, very hard after that.

So, what I mean about me feeling like I did then, now, was that during that time, I knew God was right there.  Not that He was (or is) ever gone, but we really felt His presence in our lives, and He made Himself well-known.  The way things were provided for, the depth of our trust in Him, the ease we had about all the chaos and mess around us.  He was there in every moment, placing His hand wherever we put ours.  I think I just got way over excited and took the ‘encouraging’ to a level that maybe…was not Him.  That’s the thing about the enemy, he can sometimes mask himself to resemble good.

Anyway, after feeling so high, then coming down soooo low, I feel like I am starting to stabilize.  The majority of the time, I feel rather consistent.  Not only that, but I feel that specific presence from God again.  Actually, we do.  We feel God moving in our lives in a surprising way.  We trust His idea’s for us and we literally are just following His plan at this point.  We are praying, we are listening, and we are letting God lead.

If you are weak in faith, in mind, in body, in discipline, in self-control, or in determination, simply wait on God.  He is your strength when all you have is weakness.  It might not be what you want, or how you think it should look, but it will be exactly what you need.

Until next time…adios.