"A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations... Nostalgia."
I recently had a conversation with my mom where I mentioned that I think that bittersweet is my emotion. Okay, I have a lot of emotions. I'm sure just about everyone can attest to the fact that I am a hardcore Feeler. But bittersweet just seems to match how I often feel about things in life. A little triumph but a little a cost. A new path to begin but a wistful longing as I look down the path from which I just came.
I am going through "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges with a friend right now. We have been learning about God's sovereignty. It is incredible to realize that nothing is beyond God's control and He is not defeated or phased by anything. I love this because even in the messy, broken path I have traveled, I know God has allowed it. For His glory and my good. Even the wasted days and years, when I rebelled against Him and refused to accept His love, He has redeemed and somehow brought to beauty. There is such beauty in seeing God's faithfulness in the life of a broken, messy sinner like myself.
But even in the seasons which were not wasted, even in the day to day life which one goes through, it is so easy to begin to regret and wonder why things happened the way they did. Today, Jeremiah 18 came to mind.
"The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 'Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.' Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. The the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. 'Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!'
-Jeremiah 18: 3-6
In my journal, I inserted my name into the spots where it mentions Israel. "Anna, can I not do with you as this potter? Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand!"
I love the image of God being able to shape and mold my life for His purpose, for a good and beautiful and worthwhile purpose. I can't help and think that God can use different circumstances to shape us one way, and then when we need to be perfected a little more, made a little more usable for something, or fashioned more specifically, He can change the circumstance, the experience, the people, and even the heart, to begin to mold me more and more in His image and for His purpose.
I spend so much time trying to find a perfect path. I wonder if I have wasted my life, my time, my abilities. I wonder if I will be used, will be made whole, will be able to walk a new path. But if God is sovereign, if He is loving, oh so wise, and perfectly good, then why should I worry?
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!"
Oh keep waiting my soul. Wait only on God. Let Him be the one who directs your paths. Be still. Be in awe. Be full of joy. Let peace reign.
Yes. It is bittersweet. But I think the sweet wins out. The new breath of fresh air. The path ahead to blaze. The air of excitement which comes with each new day, each new experience, each new command when walking side by side with Jesus. It is a joy. An adventure. Surrendering in expectant hope. Surrender to the King of kings does not mean dull, formidable existence but beautiful new life. Surrender to Jesus is the sweetest of freedoms.
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
My heart stands in awe of Your name
Your mighty love stands strong to the end
You will fulfill Your purpose for me
You won't forsake me, You will be with me.