Yesterday I was working on the bulletin, as I do on Monday mornings, and of course, I decided life wasn’t hard enough so I was going to change the scripture, liturgy, and hymns I had previously picked. Because of course. As I searched for a better text for my theme I read this verse from 2 Corinthians.
But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
I stared at this text for a while, contemplated using it, and then got really angry. I mean ridiculously angry. I texted with some friends about what this could mean. I mean, I know what it means, “I must decrease so Christ can increase” it means that those of us in positions of power should get out of the way for God, for God alone has true power. It means a loss of ego, of self, of worldly pride and power. It means being knocked on our asses the way Paul was.
But yesterday, it felt like God was kicking me while I was down. Forcing me to stay down. Like me lying on the floor in the fetal position, arms protecting my face, begging for it to stop.
It’s been a hard few weeks. I am adjusting to a custody schedule where I only see my children 7 of every 14 days. We are “nesting” until my husband’s apartment is ready and I am tired of living out of a suitcase. I am working with a lawyer to write a separation agreement, dividing debt, making budgets in which I adjust to a new way of life and a new financial reality.
Money wise I’ve been here before. For many years of our marriage we were on one income. 5 years one of us was in graduate school, there were at least 2 years thanks to the economic recession that my husband was out of a job and I made less than $30,000 a year. I made it work, we had more than enough, we provided for our children, I will do it again, I am just tired and don’t want to.
Which is where the kicking feeling came into play.
I like my God as a good God, one that does not kick me when I’m down. One that lays on the bathroom floor with me while I cry uncontrollably, one that weeps with me and loves me through the pain and darkness.
I appreciate that God can give me a swift kick in the ass every once in a while or a smack upside the head, that’s fine, that correcting. But does God kick me when I’m down? Has God done this before and I blamed myself or others?
Maybe it’s a little of both, maybe I’m missing the whole point. But it’s a thought worth exploring.