Another year older…but still not much wiser!

At least I know enough to know that I don’t know anything, right?

I woke up inexplicably at 3:34 a.m. this morning.  My geriatric Dal was up snuffing around.  I could hear him trying to get more comfortable, so I got up and tried to help him as best I could.  This silly dog has loved to be UNDER the covers at bedtime ever since he was a pup.  Of course then I was wide awake and grumpy about having my sleep disrupted.  But then my thoughts turned to my mother…who, thirty seven years ago, underwent a special kind of hurt and gave birth to me!  I think the time, if my memory from what she’s told me is correct, was around 3:30 a.m.  So I guess I had it coming.  Thank  you, mom.  As a mom myself, I know firsthand the sacrifices involved in child-rearing.  You aren’t free of me after thirty-seven years.  I hope my daughter and I have the same kind of relationship as adults that you and I have.

Wisdom.  When will I ever learn?

  • To believe God.
  • To put faith ahead of action.
  • To serve out of love.
  • To see those around me as the Lord sees them.

As we begin this new year as a family, there are many unknowns.  We are walking along a mountain path, unsure which way the trail will take us.  I’ve seen God lead us over and over again…sometimes we’re kicking and screaming, and other times we are oblivious to His call until we’re neck deep in something special and realize just how precious the fingerprints of God really are.

These precious fingerprints are everywhere (thanks, Holly, for your post on looking back and believing!)

…they are on the day that my husband and I met and the circumstances that had led up to that point.  I had just exited a very painful relationship a few months before.  My heart was hurting, but I was trusting God and thankful.  I had been in the wrong relationship, and I had continuously ignored the Holy Spirit’s warnings.  One night, with my heart bruised and aching from the emotional abuse I had received, I was on my knees praying for a revelation — praying for a sign as vivid as a rainbow.  I needed the Lord to bop me upside the head with something big to get me off the path I was on.  And he did.  The subsequent bop on my head wasn’t literal, but it was unquestionably as clear to me as if the Lord himself had written the message in the clouds: Get Out.  This Man Will Hurt You.  I found out that very week thatt the guy was into some deviant things of which I was totally unaware, but God knew, and he rescued me from that pit.

Contrast that with my knight in shining armor who swept me off my feet from our first meeting.  He still does!  Every day he treats me as a lady.  He loves me and cares for me and puts my needs above his own.  His actions are the embodiment of the instructions given in Ephesians 5:

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.  In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.   No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.

When I look in the mirror, I see wrinkles and an occasional zit and hair that needs to be colored, again.  But my husband sees me  without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.  I am amazed at the thickness of the rose-colored glasses he must wear in order to overlook my failings!

I believe this happens because God created us for each other.  I mentioned the day we met.  Well, my husband was also hurting when we met.  His older brother had died earlier in the year in a Naval accident.  At that point in time, he was angry with God and filled with grief and pain.  Why did God choose to bring us together at that moment?

The other part to this story is my background in grief training.  As a college student I worked as a secretary for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  In my work I often had contact with people whose lives had been damaged and who had lost loved ones unexpectedly due to someone choosing to drive drunk.  I knew a little about how to be supportive in a person’s grief without being dismissive…and I was a Christian who had just experienced God’s deliverance from a bad situation myself.

So the Lord used me to show him that he was still very much loved by his heavenly father.  And the Lord used him to show me that I was still loved by my heavenly father — and to show me what it felt like to be treated so well…as someone without a blemish or a spot.

The fingerprints are revealed even more when we discovered that my husband wasn’t even supposed to be working the day we met.  Someone else had called in sick, so he worked a double shift.

The rest is history!

…another moment of clear direction we received from God happened several years ago.  My husband had accepted a job across the country.  This was not an easy move.  Our daughter was only two years old.  It took us over six months to sell our house in a buyer’s market.  The movers held our furniture hostage. Two weeks after we moved in our home, the country endured 9/11…and we were only 25 miles away from D.C.!  Then we had the anthrax scare and the sniper attacks. Those happenings were not necessarily signs from God that we were on the wrong path.  My husband received some very beneficial experience in that position.  But when it was time for us to move on, he gave us clear notice.  All in one month, our mortgage went up $500 a month due to an escrow imbalance and my husband’s employer had to implement salary deferments.  So we lived on Visa and Mastercard for a few months and found ourselves in a gigantic hole…

…which the Lord again filled up.  He moved us to sunny Florida.  There has been one time in my life that I have literally heard the Voice of God.  I don’t know whether it was actually spoken for others to hear or if it was just spoken for me to hear, but hear it I did.  I was in prayer about our financial hole, and God told me to go apply to teach at a certain Christian school.  I didn’t know anyone who worked there; I had seen the name in the phone book while researching preschools for my daughter.  So when God told me go to get an application, I obeyed.  That minute.  I immediately got in the car and drove to the school to request an application.  Within three weeks, I was offered a position for the next school year.  Talk about goosebumps!  It was ordained.  I was right where God wanted me for that time, and the additional income allowed us to come out of the hole.  I also made some close friends and grew so much closer in my relationship with the Lord.  There is something about teaching in a Christian school that helped me stay accountable with my own study.

…which brings us back to Texas.  As much as I loved living in Florida, I missed home.  I missed seeing my family especially at holidays and during my daughter’s special events at school.  Christmas of 2005 found me in a depressed state of mind.  I missed my mom and dad so much I felt an acute ache in the bottom of my heart.  I sat at my daughter’s piano recital and cried as I saw all the other families with grandparents and uncles and aunts there.  My husband and I prayed together, and this verse was foremost on our minds from Psalm 37:

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

So we prayed that if it was His will to move us back to Texas, that He would find a way.  That He would open a door for us.  And then we trusted that He knew the desires of our heart.  Two months later, I was sitting at Sonic when my husband called me up and asked me if I’d like to move back to Texas!  His company was expanding into Texas, and, knowing he was from there, he was offered the opportunity to move…along with a moving allowance.  That phone call was another goosebump moment as I saw the Lord clearly working out the details.

Now as we set our backs to 2008 and forge onward through 2009, I feel the beginnings of something in my heart.  I don’t yet know what it is.  But I sense God is again working the details.  I’ve been praying for us both to have wisdom as we move forward.  Any wisdom that I do have is not my own, that’s for sure!  It’s from God, whose fingerprints are found not just on the creation of me, but on the day-to-day things of life.  I’m so glad it isn’t all up to me!

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