On April 25, I wrote this in my prayer journal:
“Lord – I know nothing now but to fall at Your feet. I know not peace. I know not rest. But I know You, Lord – May that be super-sufficient.”
That night, I had a dream that struck me as odd.
I have always dreamt of being abandoned, stood up or deceived, but in this one, whoever it was with me stayed.
Crazy, isn’t it? I mean, our subconscious fears are only accentuated when things go wrong in life. The dreams started before my trust issues started… and they continued until April 25.
On April 26, I wrote Psalm 116:7 in my prayer journal:
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
I thought I was heading for peace; God knew I was entering into a preparation time that would end with me laid bare before Him.
A young man came to me on April 26, not knowing what to expect. I was honest with him.
And every day from then until a few weeks ago, I asked myself, “Why couldn’t I just say ‘yes’?”
But I couldn’t say otherwise. And I refused to say otherwise unless I was sure… afraid of the unseen (and seen) motives of my heart.
I spent the summer questioning, wondering what would happen once I was back here at school. I refused to let myself dwell on the situation more than necessary, but I kept drifting back to it… always asking the same question.
Over the last few weeks, I have been laid bare before the Lord.
I have been split open and had some things wrenched from my grasp that I had placed there and kept there for no reason; I have known such agony knowing that I had caused such pain and that I had the ability to cause even more; I was tempted so many times to just give in.
But I held out, knowing full well that if my motives were not pure, what would be the point?
The first weekend back, I unknowingly laid a fleece before the Lord (like Gideon).
I passed off everything I felt as emotion and attempted the disentangling of my heart, attempting to find the peace and rest that were lost far before April 25.
While at home last weekend, I was reading over some of my latest entries in my prayer journal and I came before my fleece, finally recognizing it for what it was… I realized that I could not take it back, nor did I want to.
If I am foolish enough to dare God to move, who am I to withdraw before I let Him answer?
But there’s the rub… it’s all foolishness and stubbornness.
My heart was prepared for last week by the last four months.
And in my state of readiness, Chris came forward again and, this time, I had a different answer.
I have never known such a persistent peace.
“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” [[Proverbs 14:30a]]
How true it is! I am so incredibly blessed to have been given Chris.
He will be there when I come back. He’ll stay. He’s in. I’m in. There is no half-way.
And I’m happy, which is a weird thing for me… but I’m getting better at it.
The whole timing this is funny, though, ’cause it definitely was not ours.
In every way, the timing is God’s and it is for a purpose… even though I don’t understand why it has to be when my roommate is having a hard time or why it has to be when another friend is dealing with a similar situation.
I feel helpless at times… I want to fix things, but I can’t fix these things. All I can do is ask what I can do and receive the answer of “nothing”.
And in the meantime, I have become very good at getting nothing done… I can deal with that, though. I just worry for those around us who are in a season where God is withholding peace for whatever reason.
But perhaps it wasn’t God withholding peace… perhaps it was merely my foolishness and my stubbornness stirring up conflict within myself just so that I wasn’t at peace. I didn’t recognize it then, but I fear that was the pattern.
I like running from peace. But no more.
No more closed doors. No more ambiguity. No more getting work done. 🙂
Praise the God who has mercy on us and directs us despite our stubbornness!
“I passed understanding a long, long time ago
And the simple home of systems and answers we all know
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful
I keep wanting You to be fair
But that’s not what You said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that’s not what You said
When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful“
[[Sara Groves, “What I Thought I Wanted”]]
God gives good gifts to His children in His timing… it just takes a while sometimes. ‘Night.
Mood: Reflective Listening to: Sara Groves, The Other Side of Something
Reading: My (old) prayer journal