Unsung Faithfulness

“You can reach people with a story like that; I can’t.” It’s a line I’ve heard so often it takes supernatural strength to not scream. I understand what someone means when they say such a thing. On one hand, with medical trauma, trials, travesties, and long awaited triumphs, my story seems miraculously riveting.

After all, it’s not common to be told you can live with 3/4 of a brain, a neurological “shocker collar,” and a body which literally enjoys living in the realm of pseudo heart attacks. But to survive all that–praise be to God– and pursue a career in writing, get married, and live a life that seems subliminally normal? Yeah, that’s awesome.

Then you have the spiritual aspect. In not-so-Christian terms, at 17 years old, I told the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to take a hike because no logical person needed Him. Though Christ never left my side, He did let me experience life without Him. My sinful desires almost burned away every recognizably redeemed part of my soul. I shouldn’t be alive. I shouldn’t be safe. I shouldn’t be claimed as a Child if God. But somehow, like the Hound of Heaven that Jehovah is, He let me play the harlot, He let me experience my “prodigal power,” and when I’d had enough, He let me come Home.

So, yes. That story is riveting as well. Unfortunately, the story seems to shut up the individual who believed in the Lord Jesus as his or her savior at four years old and never looked back. Oh, with all my heart, I wish it didn’t.

If you are one of those Believers, take it from one of the people who gets handed a microphone way too often. You, my friend, are the Story that makes people like myself cling to Jesus even more. You are proof that returning to Jesus really is more than enough. As much as I am confident of my salvation in Jesus Christ, as head over heels in love as I am with my Savior, there are days I doubt whether leaving my life of sin was worth it. Redemption takes the place of the lies within your heart, but the lies can run deep.

I sold my Jesus for a season to get my way. You didn’t. Your story may feel boring. To people like me,though, it’s a breath of fresh air and the whisper of Jesus telling me to shut out the lies and keep my eyes on Him.

We were all given our faith journeys for a reason. Just because you don’t see your impact doesn’t mean it’s absent. Thank you for your faithfulness to our Jesus. Your faithfulness brings me to tears and reminds me to keep going.

Advertisements

Laughing at Adjustments 

The “how’s-adjusting-to-marriage” questions crack me up. My dear husband of 20 days, in his insightful and sweetly introverted way, says what he always says. “It’s going well.” Only his family and closest friends know that it’s all in the inflection in his voice as to what’s underneath that statement. I find it funny, while quite a few others are left oblivious.

“It’s going well” = I’m tired, don’t know why you’re asking but I’m trying to be polite. I love my wife, it’s why I married her. So, yes. We’re good. Also, like everyone else, we still have no idea how to do this thing called marriage, so I don’t know what specifics you’re looking for. Need I say more?

“It’s going… well…?” = Help. I just discovered my wife’s hormones don’t magically turn nice when I tell her I love her. She’s crazy, a morning person, and went from laughing and crying four times today but I don’t think it’s my fault. So yes, we’re doing… well… just adjusting, that’s all. I still love her. I can just now fully confirm she’s human. 

“It’s going really well.” = We just somehow worked our way through yet another last minute crisis, and didn’t kill each other in the process. Also, I was just informed we’re somehow staying in-budget for the month after the 20th trip to a retail store. We’re good, just adulting and trying to remember that we live together now. Also, crockpot meals are awesome.

… My answers, on the other hand, prove to anyone wondering that I’m the chatty one in the relationship. In my late twenties and married for the first time, I laugh more at the little adjustments than he does. I’m independent, strong-willed, and sarcastic which means everything about marriage has been an amazingly fun, yet slightly awkward, adjustment. 

But it is going well. Not because we have it down perfectly, or because we don’t annoy each other at times. Marriage is going well because of the best adjustment of all: Peter is my reminder of Christ’s constant forgiveness and redemption and I am Peter’s. It makes life so much more fulfilling when we see Christ in each other. 

That’s the adjustment which always makes us laugh with joy.

But God Didn’t Do It

She had been widowed for over 20 years. *Connie was lonely. She wanted a relationship. In her old age, she felt as if that ship had sailed… Until she met him. 

*Daniel. She took such pride in talking about Daniel. He was kind, funny, intelligent and seemingly intentional on pursuing Connie. As I sat listening to her talk like a 13-year-old schoolgirl, I could tell she was at least infatuated with Daniel. I knew Daniel, though. He could make the wrong side of a mule feel like the queen of England. 

When I asked her how she knew Daniel loved her and wanted to marry her, she very matter-of-factly said, “I had a dream where I was Esther of the Bible. I looked out the window of my house and there he was. Daniel shouted my name three times: ‘Esther! Esther! Esther!’ Obviously, that was God’s way of promising me Daniel. Have faith, Darlin’! It’ll happen.”

Sadly, Daniel didn’t get the picture. He married someone else two years later and my friend Connie was, needless to say, heartbroken. I was convinced Connie would reconsider the hope she had placed on a very sketchy plan. However, when I asked her about it, she swatted away my concern and said, “You’re 17 and have yet to be in love. I’m just know God’ll make it happen. You’ll understand someday.”

I never got the chance to see it her way. Neither did Daniel. Connie’s relationship with God never went any deeper and the questions she could have asked God laid silently on my prayer journal, not hers. She tried to stay faithful in her walk with the Lord, but she felt betrayed, angry and as if God had lied to her. 

Connie refused to take to heart that the Bible states “…God is not a god of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33) or even that Titus 1:2 shares God “…does not lie.” She had dedicated her life to God giving her Daniel. When He didn’t, she was positive He would eventually…and sooner rather than later. 

Before you shake your head over Connie’s views, and though this example is extreme, don’t we all do this? Whether it’s the desire for a relationship, a child, healing from a disease or that perfect house on 32nd Street… If we’re fixated enough on something it’s dreadfully easy to stop listening for the real Someone of all someones. 

It’s good to have hopes and aspirations. It’s healthy to have dreams of the future. But we need to be careful that we are not weighing God’s character against what He does or doesn’t do in accordance to our plans. 

We were made for His glory; He was not made for ours. Our perception of His will may change. But that’s our perception; not His ability to come through as our faithful God.