So after my week in a half of being way too deep in my own head I finally came to a point of utter done-ness. If you haven’t read my last blog and learned about my little freak out, I encourage you too- if nothing else you’ll probably get a good laugh.
Back to my moment of done-ness. First let me explain some things about me. 1) I am a ridiculously independent person. Tyler is one of the only people who has ever seen my full range of raw emotions, most people will think they’ve seen me mad, sad, or even happy but it’s usually a very tamed down version of my true emotions. 2) Even though Tyler has seen those emotions and is so good about helping me through them, the first thing I want to do is be alone. In fact, if he tries to comfort or talk to me, the emotions usually end up turning on him in a blaze of angry fire eyes. (love you honey!) 3) I am a control freak. As much as I try to “let go and let God”, “let it go”, and all the other needlepoint sayings about releasing, I just can’t. I’m working on it, but it’s definitely an uphill battle. Now that that’s covered, here we go:
So Tuesday night we have our ABS Bible study. We usually go from 7:30-9pm and have a really good time. This Tuesday night was a little different because instead of studying a specific topic, we decided to come with questions and discuss them. Not surprisingly, a lot of our questions had to do with the differences in denominations and why we believe what we believe. So 9 rolls around and Mama Carmen’s start shutting down, but we do not. We decide that what every person needs after Coffee and Jesus is Ice Cream and more Jesus, plus we’re still discussing so we head to Braum’s. Flash forward about an hour and most of the ABSer’s are gone with only a handful left when Michael asks me how my week’s been going. Word Vomit. That’s what comes out of my mouth, Word Vomit. I unload on this poor guy all my questions about concerns about living in the “But if not’s” (again see last post for clarification). And my awesome self does this in front of one of my bosses, my huzzyband, and a few other ABSer’s that I’m supposed to help lead. Neat. So they ask me about it. I explain that I’m great in the “but if not’s”, in fact, I tend to live there most of the time. I have an issue with believing God will do what he can do. It’s not that I don’t believe in miracles or that God has the power to work miracles, it’s just that in my experience the answers have been “but if not’s”. I’m stuck in this place of head knowing God can do it but not truly heart believing that He will.
Reminder, when I get like this I have to work problems out in my head, at least a little ways before I can discuss them with other people.
Tyler and I head home and he asks if I want to talk about it which I decline wholeheartedly. He goes off to do some work and I set up with my Harry Potter book and my Bible. Weird mix right? I switch back and forth reading for a few hours until it’s around 1am. I get ready for bed, Tyler tells me goodnight because he’s still working and then he asks if I want to pray. Y’all I said no. I just couldn’t. As silly as it is, the last thing I wanted to do was pray with this private school kid to a God that I felt like I was failing. So Tyler, being the kind and wonderful fellow he is says ok and that even though I don’t want to pray he wants me to know he has been and will continue to pray for me and he goes back to his office. What do I do next? I lock him out. Not because I was mad at him, but because I knew I needed some alone time with God to hash everything out and pour my soul out (super independent emotional remember?). I get in the floor because suddenly my bed felt uncomfortable, started praying, and flipped open my Bible. I knew I wanted to land in the Psalms, but had no idea where so I started flipping pages until something caught my eye:
I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, the years long ago. I said,1 “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah
Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flockby the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Psalms 77 was exactly what I needed to read. I don’t know if you caught the third paragraph, but notice “I will remember your wonders of old” and “You are the God who works wonders”. Ummm What?!?!? Now skip down to the 4th paragraph “yet your footprints were unseen”. I felt like God was flicking me in the forehead with this!
Confession Time: I ugly cried. Just me, myself, and God. With my Bible open, my door locked, and my face flat on the floor I cried and cried and begged God for a sign that He will work miracles. I specifically asked that He would send rain the next day. Rain is one of my absolute favorite things so it just made sense to ask for rain to be the sign, plus it’s been so hot lately. I wake up the next morning (yesterday), still asking for rain. I go about my day still asking for rain. Nothing happens. Well, things happened but no physical rain.
So tonight Tyler and I go to dinner. I haven’t told him about my cry fest yet, so we start talking about it over food. I explain what happened and how I’m not even that disappointed because I live in the “but if not’s”. I’m comfortable in them. And then he asks me something “If God had made it rain, would it have changed anything?” Honestly no, other then I would’ve felt better. I still believe that God is God and He is good. I still believe the Bible is truth. I still know that God can work miracles and has in the past. I just don’t expect him to. So we go on about our evening and I start cleaning the house. He takes a break from work to come take the trash out and when he comes back in he says he needs to show me something. I’m thinking someone has broken into our cars or the trash busted and we’re going to have to pick it all up. I walk outside and am met with flashes of light. At first I don’t get it, and then Tyler just looks at me and smiles and I get it. While it’s not quite rain, it’s lightening. It’s a sign of rain to come. Not 15 minutes later I’m sitting on my front porch watching it rain and laughing at myself because I remember what I asked for. I asked God “to make it rain tomorrow” as a sign He still moves and works miracles. I prayed that pray about 2:30am Wednesday Morning. It started raining Thursday evening. Tomorrow. Today. God showed up, even with me doubting.
While I will probably always live in the “but if not’s” and be comfortable there, I have assurance that God does rescue, He does save, and He does answer prayer. And just as a fun fact for you, Tyler wasn’t going to help me clean tonight, he was busy with a proposal for work. He just happened to decide to get to a pausing point to take a break and decided to see if I needed help cleaning. As we were cleaning, he just happened to take the trash out and see the lightening (because we could’ve waited until tomorrow to take it out). Because he had taken a break and helped me clean, we got done earlier so I just happened to decide to stay up for a bit and read. Because I was reading and not watching TV, I just happened to hear the rain start. Y’all, that’s a whole lotta coincidences in my “tomorrow”.
Tonight I am humbled by God’s love and provision. I praise Him because no matter how many times I pull away or try to fit Him into my god-box, He shows me who He really is and pulls me back to Him.
Tonight, I am praising God for rain.