Why I’m Here (and maybe you, too?)

By default, I find myself thinking that God put me in His world here because He knows my kids need me. There’s something pleasingly martyr-like about the idea of living for my kids’ sake.

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He moved us out of our country home a few months ago into town- it was a little bit like prodding me out of a warm cozy bed to start the day’s work honestly- and now here we are in the factory/oil refinery side of town, because this neighborhood might need me here and there too, is what I find myself thinking. I’m glad we did it, but I make excuses to drive out of town sort of often lately. This morning I caught myself looking over my shoulder as I drove by a wheat field filled with cold sunshine. I wanted to sunbathe in it for a day or two and see nothing but sky and snow for miles. Even better, a cabin right in the middle of it where I wouldn’t have to see people or talk to them or make decisions about them.

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I realized that that idea was a little crazy, although I’m sometimes jealous of people who live that way. But I asked God as we drove further from nothing and closer to town, why did He put a recluse like me in a world full of people? My family and friends might need me some, but I’m not necessary for their lives to go on living.

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My neighborhood is a little broken down in places and there’s obvious work to be done; but it would go on just fine if I never set foot in it again.

All this I told God, and even as I write that I’m astounded that the curtain was torn and we have access to the God of creation, of everything that is and will be…. that I can drive along and lust after some sunshine in a field and lay out my conundrums before *that* God and He hears me.

So I’m not necessary for life, not at all. God’s work in my family and my community will get done just fine whether or not I choose to join in on it.  And before I had a chance to ask God- “Then why in the world am I here???”- I realized the truth about it. (How do I forget for so long?)

God loves me enough that He wants to include me in on the work He’s doing in my family and in my community. He knows I’m nothing but dust, that I don’t deserve to raise these three kids that I get mad at and parent badly (too often!), that my husband would survive just fine without me and my community would too.

But He loves me, and this work He prods me out of bed for every day is so that I can get closer to His heart, because it’s His work to be done.

I realized it’s like those times when my dad would be fixing one of the cars that had broken down and he let me hand him tools from the box, or even, if I proved myself especially trustworthy, turn the wrench and get some grease on my fingers too.

How do I stay so so selfish to think that everyone and everything important to me needs me, grieve when they act like they don’t, and find joy in the worth they place on me by trusting me to meet their needs?

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I feel silly and a tiny bit ridiculous writing all of that out because it’s obvious to many people, I forget more than most. But God is good, He reminds us when we go astray because He loves us, and I’m so thankful for that this morning that I had to write it out:)

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