Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Lord. Promises. Thankful.

Many moments happen in a life where one thinks he or she knows exactly what is going to come next. In the moment of whatever is happening, they know nothing can ruin it. Be that a prosperous job, an education, or a friendship, nothing could ever stop it. However, no one knows the absolute future except God. People can guess at what might happen or be even 99.9 percent sure, but no one ever without-a-doubt knows.

I'm learning this the hard way. About a month and a half ago, I was convinced that I would be in a relationship right now. I went on a couple of dates with a guy, and I was convinced that our week together would lead to more time spent time together. And then things changed. I found out a relationship between us was not going to happen. So I had to erase all the plans I had made for us. Yes, I planned things. Guilty. I'm a woman. Women do this.

I look back on the time we spent together and sometimes wonder, "Why?". I know God had a purpose for it, but I wonder why he allowed it to happen when, on this side of it, I've seen nothing good come from it. Yes, I was able to spend time with an awesome person, but I grew attached to that person for no reason. Maybe someday I'll see and understand that reason, but right now, I do not.

If I had seen the future of what would happen between that person and me before any of it happened, I probably would have never gone to coffee with him in the first place. Yes, I would have missed out on a week of fun, but I would have saved myself from about a month and a half of grief (not including what is to come).

I have all these "if's" that keep popping up in my mind. If I hadn't done this . . . If I hadn't said this . . . If I had only said this . . .

But for every "if," God gives me a promise. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world."

I have been resting on these promises and others to battle the lies and the "if's" the enemy keeps hurling my way. This has not been a fun month and a half, but I am thankful for my roommate and my family who have walked through this with me. All my tears, my ramblings, my questions, my complaints, my sighs, my frustration--they've dealt with it all.

But I'm thankful for my Lord. Even though he allowed this to come into my life and even though I've lost sleep over it and wasted many tears over it, I know--and I've said it once, and I'll say it again--he let it happen for a reason. I may not discover that reason for many months or years, but I'll keep trusting my Lord until I do. I will also keep trusting him to be my first love, to fill me and satisfy me before anyone or anything else.

So yes, I am thankful. I may not be dancing on the rooftop or writing a message in the sky, but in my heart, I am thankful.

Until next time,
God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trusting Him with the Intangible

About a month ago, I went through something I had never experienced. It didn't last very long, and I wasn't emotionally scarred; nothing detrimental happened. It was just one of those bumps that happen in the road, and I had to learn how to deal with it.

Over the last month, I've been discovering what that looks like. It hasn't been the most fun. From that experience, dozens of emotions have bubbled to the surface, and I'm here wondering from where they came. They are not familiar, and I don't want them, but they are still there.

I've been hashing this out with my roommate, asking her why I still feel certain things when I don't want to feel them. Why, when I ask God to take away certain feelings, do they still persist?

Her answer was that maybe God still lets me feel certain things so I will trust him more. "How else will you learn from this?" she asks me.

I know she's right. It's hard, but I know it's true.

Which leads me to my next question: how do I trust the Lord with something that I can't physically touch or see or will never touch or see? How do I trust the Lord with something that is inside of me? And all those Biblical scholars say, "Well, come on silly, if you can trust an intangible God, why can't you entrust intangible things to him?"

My answer would be, "Well, because I'm human."

So many times I trust the Lord with circumstances outside me: school, the future, car problems, money, job, friends, and the like. And yes from time to time, things in my heart bring me to the Lord, but I've never had this inner turmoil, if you will, that I do now. It's like one minute, I'll be fine, and then the next minute, I'm in tears.

And I keep praying that the Lord would take away these feelings if I'm not supposed to have them. But they're still here. Even after a month, they're still here. My roommate says it's just going to take time, that I need to patient. And I know that's true.

God could take away these feelings in an instant, and that would be so easy and so convenient. But where does the Bible say our journey is supposed to be easy and convenient? If you find that, let me know. I know the Bible does say, "Cast your cares upon him," and "His burden is easy and his yolk is light," but the Lord is doing the carrying for us. And sometimes even with the Lord carrying our burdens and giving us rest, hardship still comes.

This is something new for me. And maybe it's taken me this long and will take longer to be done with these feelings because it's the first time this has happened. But I know my sweet roommate is right. How is God going to grow me and make me stronger except by making me trust him with this, something totally new and different?

So I'm learning to trust him in a new way, again. I'm trusting him with something I can't touch or will never see. It is inside of me, buried away where only he can get to it, guard it, and then someday hopefully, someday soon, remove it.

It's hard, and sometimes crying is the only thing I can do to relieve my frustration and impatience, that and praying. But I know I am not alone.

Earlier in the semester, I was worried about a lot of things, and then one day I was in the bathroom getting ready, and these four words came to me: "No worry. Only hope." My roommate and I keep dry erase markers in our room, and we frequently write scripture and encouraging sayings on the mirror in the bathroom because we see that mirror a lot. I wrote those four words on our bathroom mirror, and they are a constant reminder to me of the truth and goodness of God. I know those four words came from the Lord, and they have been such a constant for me this semester. And so they are now as well.

All of these musings have been in my head for the past couple of weeks. I guess I've only recently been able to put into words what all these musings mean, and I know I don't understand things completely. But someday, I'll look back on this beautiful mess and see the purpose behind it.

No worry. Only hope.

Until next time,
God Bless