The Story of Us: The winter before.

August 19, 2009

In September of 2008, I joined a Bible Study with about twenty other girls. I treated it as something to do on a Wednesday night; just another way to get my God fix. I showed up with my Bible in hand, sat in the room, listened and learned, and then left soon after the closing thought. Most times I would drive off and call him or go see him. I had no one but him and a couple of girlfriends and it was no one’s fault but my own.

Oh, how God puts us in places at the most opportune moments.

As the fall continued and winter pursued (if you would consider it winter in Arizona), work became busier and my schedule tighter. I couldn’t hang out with him as often as I had before and the Bible Study became a much-needed break on long Wednesday work nights. In the meantime, I was also dealing with insurance issues with the car accident, chiropractic care for my neck from where my head had hit the window, and a new job that kept my stress level high and stomach in knots. I was exhausted in every way – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Too many things weren’t going the right way. Too many things were falling through the holes. I had to get a new car that I really couldn’t afford. The couple who hit my car was trying to trick me into paying for everything outside of their insurance (and I was falling for it). I was dealing with constant headaches and neck pain and making a thirty-minute commute every other day for four months to the chiropractor. My anxiety was starting to rear it's ugly head from years prior. My credit card debt was building due to unforeseen expenses. I was whittling away through savings too quickly for my own comfort.

I was adding bricks to the already too-high wall surrounding my heart instead of taking bricks down like I so desperately wanted to. I was exhausted.

But in the middle of it all, one word kept reverberating in my mind.

Goodness.

As in God is good. He does good. His plan is good.

We walked through Matthew in the Bible Study that fall and studied a chapter a week. When we came to chapter four, I realized that I was sitting in Kathy's living room on Wednesday nights for more than just something to do. More than just a God fix. He was trying to get to me. Like I said, things were rough. I felt like I was in a place of darkness and I didn't know where I was going. In Matthew 4, the Scripture talks about how Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. He was alone, tempted, shaken, and His soul was burdened.

I finally recognized I was in my own wilderness, but I wasn't alone.

I closed my eyes and saw Him on the other side of the forest in a lit clearing and He motioned that I just had to keep walking through the brush to get to Him. I finally saw my answer of how to get out and my focus began to change. Ironically enough, it took about forty days from the moment I walked into the dark woods to the moment I realized I wouldn't be there forever, or the moment of my car accident to the moment I saw Him behind my shut eyes.

I came home that night and wrote this:

"There are times in our lives where we are brought to a place of complete surrender. The road ahead is dark and foreign and redemption seems absolutely unfathomable. It’s the Wilderness. Its long days and sleepless nights take away everything we are dependent on aside from God. We feel depleted, empty, hopeless and want to fall on our knees and give up. And maybe some of us do give up. But at the same time, we are brought to a place where we are forced to turn to God in absence of everything else. He fills us up."

We are forced to turn to God in absence of everything else.

In absence of answers. In absence of money. In absence of comfort. In absence of friends. In absence of hope.

In absence of it all, His goodness is revealed.

I was able to take the check cut for my totaled car and put fifty percent down on my new car. Turns out, my old car was about to need its tires replaced which would have cost at least a thousand dollars. I had needed a chiropractor but was skeptical to go to just anybody. Rachel recommended a group to me and I couldn’t have asked for better doctors. I had a more strengthened faith since my last bout with anxiety and I was able to deal with it from a completely different angle. Come January, I got a letter in the mail. The accident insurance claim was closed and I would be receiving a large lump sum for personal damages. I was able to pay off my credit card debt and put a chunk into savings.

In absence of solutions. In absence of funds. In absence of trust.

Goodness.

I started the new year with a clearer mind.

One that was focused on Him instead of him.

One that was focused on what I needed first instead of what others were trying to take from me - which was always more than I could give.

One that was focused on building up my community instead of hiding the key from those who wanted in.

One that was focused on tearing down walls instead of constantly building up ones that had fallen already.

One that stopped focusing on what was absent in my life and instead focused on what was being revealed in my life.

One that was focused on God’s overall plan instead of the daily parts to His plan.

Because things make so much more sense when you look at them as a whole.

And that’s why this story didn’t start the night I met Chris. It started long before then because He needed to change me before I would accept what He wanted to give me.
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2 comments:

  1. You are so wise little one. And I get to see you in less than a week.

    xoxo, Mama

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is amazing to hear the separate and amazing reasons God brought each of us to Kathy's living room in the last year(s)! I too cherish wednesday nights and you girls as my god-sent life line in AZ!

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