Over the past week, my decision to move to North Carolina has sunken in. I don’t feel like I’ve had time to think about what’s happened until now. Everything was so new and different.
I don’t adjust to change or new situations very well. I feel stressed and confused, and I don’t know where I’m supposed to go. Because I’m naturally and overly introspective, I have a tendency to become anxious, lonely and depressed at times like this. Normally, when I’ve experienced any kind of suffering, I’ve either run away to a more comfortable place, or I’ve done something rash to fix everything. I know I’m not old, but I am getting close to my mid-twenties, and I am old enough to know that neither of these approaches works. Things become messy, I end up regretting my decisions, my feelings are hurt, someone else’s feeling are hurt. Then I feel like a failure or I’m afraid and confused. I shift the blame to God and ignore that He has called me to be patient and wait on Him and trust that He knows what He’s doing.
I don’t know why I feel like I should find peace and security in something other than God. It’s like I think sin will make me feel strong, but it never has. I only feel defeated and weaker, and by sin I’m not necessarily talking about specific acts; I’m talking about an attitude of impatience. Selfishly trying to turn earth into heaven for myself when God obviously does not want me to be in heaven at this time. It’s an attitude of focussing on my own comfort instead of sacrificial living.
I keep praying for comfort, but God keeps sanctifying me. I read Romans 4 and 5 today, and a couple verses that stuck out to me were Rom. 5:3-5 which read, “… we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance and endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
God declared me righteous through Christ. When afflictions come, God molds my character. When my character is a little more Christ-like, I know I belong to Christ and have hope, or assurance, of my faith in Christ and of my inheritance. Just like Abraham was declared righteous and then was circumsized as a sign of his righteousness, we are declared righteous and receive sanctification as a sign of our righteousness.
And back to the loneliness, anxiety, and depression: I could turn to anything to cure myself. Food, anything sexual, relationships that aren’t particularly healthy, I could even turn to a false idea of God. Basically, I could impatiently turn to sin as an attempt to cure my discomfort.
David had been promised the kingship over Israel, and he had two opportunities to kill Saul, but was patient and trusted God to follow through on His promise. God has promised to finish His work in me, and to provide me with everything I need. By faith, I know that I have everything I need right now, and I know I need to be patient.
My strength and joy should come from nothing more in quantity or less in quality than the Gospel. Friendships will come in time, and God will provide. I’m going to (try to) be patient this time.