I had the privilege of taking a vacation with my little family along with my Dad and Stepmom this week. Nothing special, just a few unscheduled, unencumbered days at the beach with those closest to me. Since moving 325 miles away from "home" a year ago, I just don't get to see my Daddy often. And I miss him. A lot. My Daddy is like the older male version of me. I have always been and always will be a Daddy's Girl. This vacation couldn't have come at a better time. I've been struggling so hard with anger and resentment. Not towards anyone specific, but, needless to say, my precious husband has caught the brunt of it. He works hard to provide for our family, but is sinfully underpaid and under appreciated. So our finances have been in a real pickle since work slowed down and overtime all but disappeared. We rely on that overtime to survive in this expensive Florida economy. So all of that, combined with my severe loneliness and longing for a close friend, have created some serious turmoil inside of my fragile heart. I have been questioning and pulling away from God. I knew I was doing it, and I didn't want to do it, but somehow couldn't stop it. I've felt Ike Paul, in Romans 7:14-25.
"So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." (Romans 7:14-25 NLT)
I am constantly at war with myself. But this week, while getting away from the Internet, Facebook, and all of the other distractions in my life to spend some quiet time with family, I found a glimpse of that peace that goes beyond understanding again. I found a quiet place within my soul that I can retreat to when the every day becomes too much. I found my real Daddy again. The One who still wants me to crawl up in His lap, cry on His shoulder, and just rest in His strong arms. I've missed Him. I'm so thankful that even when we are struggling with our love for Him, His love for us only grows stronger. His desire to hold us only intensifies.
And I'm thankful for my earthly Daddy. I'm thankful that his wife provided this vacation for us, I'm thankful that even when I have been critical and unfair to her out of my own grief that she chose to love me, and I'm thankful that through the years, my Daddy has always loved me and been there for me. I'm thankful that after losing my Momma after nearly 37 years of marriage that OUR Daddy has given him happiness again. I miss sharing a driveway with him, but am thankful that we still share an even stronger bond of love.