Crimson Sockets


I walked into the Bible study with my eyes blood-shot red because I had just finished one of my now-too-familiar crying sessions in my apartment. As I entered the study, it was one of those times when you KNOW that everyone notices that something looks different, but no one dares to ask...except him. Him. My awesome brother in Christ who is known for his bluntness and honesty.

" You look like you just woke up", he said, 
" No, I was crying before I got here" I replied dryly
"Oh" .... *insert awkward end of conversation here"

Not sure why I decided to be so uncomfortably honest in my response, but I had reached my end. I no longer had any regard left for what sounded socially correct and nicely polished. I was hurting and that was okay. This happened during the summer and while I'd like to say it was the first time I cried till my eyes were crimson sockets, that statement would be one of those nicely-polished lies I spoke about earlier.

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James 1:2-4  says "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials;  Knowing this, that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

How awesome does that sound??? Well, not the entire thing, but the part that talks about us being "perfect and complete (entire), lacking nothing", sounds pretty splendid to me. Except, as you read the verses closer, you realize that the second half of the verses are contingent upon the first part. So basically, in order to be 'complete and lacking nothing", I have to first be able to have my faith tried by various temptations and trials and let patience have her perfect work in the midst of all of that.

Conceptually that may sound, acceptable, until you actually live it out. For me, this year has felt like the "various trials" part of the verse has been coming at me non-stop. Literally the best way to describe it is as if I am in an ocean drowning, and every time I manage to gasp back up for air, another wave crashes over me, and pulls me back under. 

For me, the strongest trial came in the form of fear, confusion, worry, not trusting God, and idolizing my emotions/ feelings. When I respond to life's situations in this manner, I end up sinning against God, and many times against others as well. It has been such an unpleasant (feelings wise) journey. Like honestly, you guys, I've seriously contemplated if I was psychologically unstable. When my heart is gripped by my anxious feelings, or worry, or fear, or confusion, it seems like I become a different person. In those moments, instead of "putting on the new man in Christ", my response is one that is closer to the "\old Diana. 

BUT GOD

He has been the true MVP this entire entire entire entire season. Jesus is so very very amazing! There is no way to stress that enough. If I'm going to be honest with you, I'll let you know that before this season of seemingly unending trials, I knew (in my mind) that Jesus was my savior and portion  and Lord, but my heart had a huge disconnect from the magnitude of what He had rescued me from. But now, I am able to more fully see Him as my refuge and saving grace. Seeing my sin more pronounced has made me realize even more-so, just how much I COULDN'T save myself, even if I wanted to. Romans 5 talks about how God shows His love towards us by having Christ die for us while we were still sinners. I am so grateful for that amazing truth. Knowing that His love for me is greater than my inability to get it right. Knowing that He never leaves nor forsakes me (Heb 13:5). Knowing that His grace is sufficient for me because His power is made perfect in my weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9). Knowing that even when pain, trials, and sin persist, He is still faithful to continue the good work He has started in us (Php 1:6).

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The Bible study that night , ended up being on James 1. I was able to wrestle through the difficulty of God's truth with my other brothers and sisters in Christ. At the end of it all, although none of my circumstances had changed, my mind was renewed and my perspective was lifted. I could finally see how having Christ as my perspective, made "counting it all joy" possible. I'm not going to lie and say that once you start being joyful in the difficult circumstances, that God all of a sudden changes your situation, but I will say that you realize  in the moments when your hands have failed, your feet have  fallen, and your countenance has shifted, that you can let your praise and worship of JESUS, convince and remind your heart and soul that He is truly your greatest treasure. So, if I ever have my eyes look like crimson sockets again (which I am sure they will) may they only be markers to point myself, and others to the crimson cross of Christ.





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