7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Joshua 7:7
3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:3
ohmygoodness, how many times have I said the same thing? how many times have I freaked out because we have no $ in our bank account and a stack of bills piled up....or when we took the job here and our landlords back there charged us $8000 that we didn't have b/c of the fine fine fine print on the lease we signed (after discussing our situation with them and getting a completely different lease breaking number from them prior to signing our lease)...or each and every time i find myself in a very very uncomfortable situation....I scream those same words.
I'm not going to lie to you. I have not for one instant enjoyed being "financially unstable." I do NOT like knowing that our savings account is pretty much non-existent...or negative, that's a better description of it half the time LOL. I do NOT not not for one instant WANT to be in want...I do not enjoy being sick OR most importantly all of the Dr. bills that contribute to our zero balance bank account.
but, then, I guess I wouldn't need to trust in God, now, would I? lol...I am asking myself that question, not you.
I wanted, with all of my heart, to go to SCAD. We wanted to live in our apmt near the beach. We planned for this dreamy warm weather lifestyle...this snowy cold environment hours from anything metropolitan just so we can have better health benefits was most certainly not in our PLANS.
I'll be honest, I am just like those complaining Israelites...I find such comfort knowing that they witnessed with their own eyes, some pretty amazing miracles, and yet, still found themselves questioning God, questioning what on earth they did leaving a place where they had food. I take such comfort in knowing that they were just like I am: scared, confused, and trying to gain control of the mess I've found myself in on a daily basis.
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7
I have not not not enjoyed being sick. Not for a single moment, when I am spinning or trying not to throw up or losing feeling in my limbs, have I said "oh this is so great, God is growing me! He's teaching me to trust in Him! this feels so fabulous!" LOL maybe I've said it in sarcasm...but, honestly, I haven't realized that is what is happening during the pain...I don't recognize growth until I've crossed over through the "trial."
I remember hearing a sermon by Joyce Meyer and she pointed out that in order to understand this verse:
"31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
we must first understand what an eagle is like...they WAIT for the storm...they WATCH it as it rolls in...THEN, spread their wings and as it HITS them, they SOAR up above it. I guess I've always translated that verse as something like this "because I am a Christian and I try to hope in God, I won't have any troubles, I will always be strong, and I will always soar like an eagle. Because I am a Christian I will never get tired, and never be faint," lol...much to my surprise, this Christianity mumbo jumbo is not panning out to be the easy soaring-running-full-of-energy kinda journey that I thought it was going to be.
I find, I am realizing, that this is more of a journey of trust...of learning to place my trust in the writer of my story. I am finding that this story doesn't actually revolve around me...I guess I've always thought that I played the leading role...when mine is actually more of a supporting actress role...some days I really have no idea who i am, i have so many roles...especially now that I've stepped back into the world of my childhood where i slip back into roles that have been chosen for me...i spend days trying to figure out which label i am...we all do it...we go to parties, we meet people, and instantly categorize people...we give each other our resumes: where we are from, where we went to college, what we studied, what our chosen profession is, what our zip code is...yada yada yada...
and i really throw it all off.
i am in chronological order:
a college drop out after 4years in pre-med sciences
a failure...never reaching any one's expectations of me
a college knock-up...twice
a wife to my best friend
a mother to some fabulous little people
a stay-at-home mama
an artist...with no formal art education other than my private school days and self taught
my parents' administrative assistant (that's a fancy way of saying, I somehow have my high school job back)
and I struggle to figure out which story I'd like to finish...I didn't really struggle with this until I moved here and I have parents and people I knew from my childhood asking me what I plan to do with my life...or I have people ask me why I am back and I have to explain our only reason for moving here...
and yet, with each day...as God brings different people into my life, I just really want to "be" in this world He has thrown me into...I don't really want to figure out my retirement plan, or even spend my days resting in bed b/c my body protests...I just really want to "be." I want to love my husband and my kids, I want to love people, I want to enjoy these few days I do have on earth...I struggle with this need to find purpose in life...and maybe that's just it...maybe the whole American career-driven purpose isn't all that it's cracked up to be...maybe that's what blinds me, blinds us...the drive to find success and mostly security (isn't that why many of us changed our college majors to pharmacy from one of our gifts/passions in college? or some other career that guaranteed super fantastic job security and loads of cash??)...maybe I miss out on all of the people around me as I try to finish all of the stories that I started years ago. because when I ask myself, if I had a year to live, what would I want to be remembered as?? would i want to have paid off all of my debt (well, yes...but), to have a ton of money in savings? to have quickly finished my three upper level chemistry courses (that I remember nothing about) to finish with a chem degree when i don't even want a career in a chemistry related field??
I, in this world, tend to freak out about our finances...we started out young, and in college, and with kids right away...that's not exactly a recipe for financial success. but, God teaches me on a daily basis to trust in Him...as I look back on all of the times we've had huge bills come in, He has always provided...the time when we had mortgage and rent in two separate states...we had just enough...the huge Dr. bills were somehow paid as well. i am learning that perhaps, maybe, this life isn't about me...it's about the story and who it points to. what story does my life tell? what story does your life tell? or, more importantly, what do we want it to tell?
in the grand scheme of things...aren't we all just living one form of a redemptive story or another? and aren't we helping others to write redemptive stories for those around us too?
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.