Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ordering the Steps of a Modern Day Hagar

It feels like a lifetime ago that I was writing on this particular blog. I remember specifically choosing to do it after making a vow on my 30th birthday that I would be dedicating that entire year to the service of God through loving others. I also remember knowing and preparing  for an intense spiritual backlash from the Enemy for choosing 365 days of unselfishness.

I thought I was prepared, but I had no clue what I was in for.

There were so many blessings that came with that year, they were impossible to count. But it was also the beginning of the hardest few years of my life. I have been gossipped about, lied to and lied about, my good name and spotless reputation eradicated, family had deserted and me spread lies about me, friends have proven themselves the opposite-instead of praying for me,dropping a line welcoming me  to call or talk anytime- set their tongues to wagging over speculation and "Can you believe she....".  I am not going to say I have been completely blameless in the past couple years. We are all human and make mistakes and apparently quite a few of my innocently chosen ones have turned out to be the worst decisions for me. I am far from Jesus, but boy do I understand the stigma of being a man of sorrows.

I'm in the scariest place I have ever been in my life. Alone. I'm far from home. I'm surrounded by people who hate me or just don't understand or just don't care. I no longer have someone to follow and be lead by. I AM the leader, and I have no idea where I'm going. Ruth is who I want to be, who I was and who I am trying to get back to. Hagar is who I am now.

I am really beginning to feel how this poor woman must have felt. Granted, our stories are very different- with her being the handmaiden to a wealthy woman and used for procreation(possibly against her will)then sent away. But we are very similiar as well.

 We both had to deal with situations for years that we didn't like and didn't want to be able to keep a comfortable lifestyle. We did what we had to in order to please the ones in charge of yanking it all away. I'm not saying I was a slave, but sometimes it felt like it. I don't know how long Hagar was Sarai's slave, but if we assume she had been in Canaan the whole time with her and Abram, then we are talking ten years (Genesis 16:3). This also right around the time everything fell apart for me as well.
We both, when we stood our grounds were sent packing. I mean, I'm still here, but my life is polar opposite of what is was. I am in my desert and instead of the safety of my tent.
Genesis 18:8 is interesting because the Lord asked Hagar: “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” One thing I've learned is that the Lord doesn't ask questions because he doesn't know the answers- it's for our benefit, to get us to recognize something. I remember the good and the bad of where I came from,the prayers I prayed and the constant living in suspicion and self loathing that came from that suspicion. I know where I want to go and the life I pray everyday's just a question now of how to get there. How do you move forward while looking behind?How do you move to a better future when you don't know how?
Not gonna lie, it disturbs me that she was ordered to go back and submit to the very woman that put her in this position and abused her. But she went. She obeyed, not knowing how bad it was gonna get.

By chapter 21, Ishmael has been born and is well into his teen yrs. and has taken to teasing little Isaac on the day he was weaned. Sarah is furious and orders Abraham to send him and his mother away. How in the world must this poor woman have felt?First she runs away from the abuse to have a better life, and ends up being told to go back, stays an additional 13 years and is sent packing again! It gets so bad she ends up dragging her starving dehydrated son to a bush and leaves him there to die, because she can't stand to watch him suffer any longer. I don't know about you, but as a mother i can't imagine the pain she was in to find her only solace in abandoning her dying child. As many times as I have said "I can't do this" when it comes to my babies' pain,for whatever reason, I have stood by them- through tests,needles,hospitalizations,stitches and yes, starvation. I understand the feeling of holding your only son in your arms and knowing there's a very real chance he may die of starvation- and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

I praise God that may children are happy and healthy, but at the same time I feel like this is where I am now.I am Hagar on her 2nd stint in the desert.No one to make it better,not sure if a life without peace is better than no life at all, sobbing and drained and crying out to God day after day after day...waiting for help and direction.

My prayer as late has been for God to make VERY CLEAR his will for my life. I can't rely on the advice and suggestions of others, since only a very small few know the whole story and every detail.Others speculate and make up what they don't know.The only one I can trust is God, and right now- either he is silent or I am stupid and stubborn. I honestly don't know which way to go because out of 2 decisions, both seem right and both seem wrong. Proverbs 14:12 scares me to death :

"There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death."
It is because of this verse I have resigned myself to not making another decision until I very clearly and very explicitly hear from God, and not thru well meaning or over opinionated "friends" or whomever. This ones a big one and it is gonna take God's voice,loud and clear to make me make take a step.