This is a difficult morning...torn between what I know and what I don't want to know. A feeling of being lost, knowing I was once found. It's all new and yet I've been here before.
God, please give me the courage to give an honest chance to this person. Lord, please fill my mind, heart, and soul with peace and love today.
I hurriedly typed the above on my phone while sitting in church yesterday morning, awaiting the beginning of service. Then, shut the phone off and reflected on the prayer I had spelled out... repeated it in my mind and heart, with hands folded and eyes fixated on the cross at the front of the church.
Yesterday we got a new pastor. Big deal, right? Pastors come and go. I noticed that very few were really affected by the loss of the old one, and the 'gift' of the new one. They were like children of a mother who has been remarried so many times, they're no longer affected by a new father coming into the fold. Well, for me, I'm not used to having a new father. I'm not used to divorce. I want mine back... not some imposter. Not someone forcing their way into our home.
Harsh? Yeah, maybe. But this is how it feels. Stupid? Probably. But, this is how it feels. Immature? No doubt. But, this is how it feels. This is how I am feeling. This is how I felt sitting in that church yesterday. And I felt so alone. Looking around me, I saw many accepting faces watching the new guy. And perhaps, had circumstances been a bit different, I may have had a genuine look of acceptance on mine as well. But instead, all I could do was fake the smile and pretend it was all ok.
It was requested (nicely ordered) of me to give the new guy a chance. This request came a few weeks ago, when new guy was moving to town, and I insisted I would.... which was immediately followed by doing the opposite. And so yesterday, the first service conducted by the new guy... I prayed. I prayed for God to open my heart and help me be accepting. I prayed the Lord would help me to not immediately close off my heart. I prayed I would find peace in this new marriage, this new union. (Rather ironically, the sermon was about marriage... and how his becoming the new pastor of the church was like a marriage).
After service, I sat in the fellowship hall with the wife of the new guy... soon joined by him and a few others. And while I surprisingly found it very easy to be accepting and open towards her, I still found myself wanting to hide under the table and/or throw a complete temper tantrum when he was sitting there with us. I am such a child at times.
My prayer had not been answered. I did not have an open heart. God did not open my heart to this new guy. Depression and sorrow and grief tap-danced on my soul. And it dawned on me... I didn't want to accept him. I still don't want to. And I learned a couple things...
1 - God doesn't answer a prayer which isn't heart-felt.
2 - It isn't God's responsibility to open my heart
Of course, this doesn't change the fact that I don't want to be accepting. I'm just still being a bit childish on that front...