One thing that keeps me from sleeping at night is the fact that I can’t rest until I have come up with solutions to problems I’m currently facing or trying to solve. That’s gotten a little better the past few weeks, as I’ve actually STOPPED DREAMING ABOUT WORK (woo hoo!) and anyway I’m so exhausted from baby care that whenever my head hits the pillow I tend to drift off, problems notwithstanding. In general though, my mind turns problems around and around as I try to analyze the situation with new angles, come up with workable solutions, or at least think of SOME way that things could work out ok. One of my resolutions this year is to try turning those problems over to God, rather than turning them over in my own head.
You’d think I’d get past this problem solving penchant, given how one of the major themes of my life has been God solving my problems and working things out in ways so far beyond my imagining as to render me speechless (and when I’m rendered speechless, that’s noteworthy!). Growing up, I used to cope with the news that we were moving again (I’m on home 15 so far) by coming up with scenarios for how I would like the new place, find great friends, and have a fabulous life. In college, I used to come up with scenarios for how I would fall in love, get married, and have kids, or, if not, how I would cope with lifelong singleness by getting on the Supreme Court. As time passed, I started to think the Supreme Court option, long shot though it was, was the more likely scenario. I even took the LSAT. Seriously.
See, I figured I’d never find a Christian guy to marry, because although there were Christian guys at my college, as they say “the odds were good, but the goods were odd.” Plus, my friend told me that her boyfriend told her that the guy’s Biblestudy had decided that I would never respect my husband and would want to wear the pants in the family. HA. They obviously had misread the Scripture, which commands women to respect our OWN husbands, not every random guy out there! I just had to find the guy God designed me to respect, which was Josh, and I do respect him deeply, he is an amazing husband and wonderful leader and every day I realize more fully how wonderful this man I married really is. But I digress.
Since there were no promising fish in my fishbowl, I thought maybe I would move somewhere totally random after college, like maybe Texas. And maybe I’d get a red pickup truck, since that seemed to be a Texas thing to do. But then a few guys from school moved to Texas after they graduated and sent back to campus tales of how Texas was full of hot Christian girls looking for husbands. No offense to those gentlemen, but I figured if THEY were scoring hot Christian girls in Texas, I would need to find greener pastures.
Most regrettably, I also dabbled in taking matters into my own hands and getting involved with non-Christian guys, since there was such a dearth of Christian material. This was quite possibly the worst idea I have ever had, and it was a wretched drain on my spiritual life as I got sucked into believing all kinds of lies about life, myself, my identity, and the like. It took me a while to bounce back from all that.
Finally, about a year after graduation, God used my good friend Laura to point out some hard truths about trusting God with my love life. It took a while, but finally I came to the point of telling God that I wanted His will for my life more than I wanted a husband and children (which was saying something, since that was the desire of my heart). I trusted that God is good, that He loves me, and that He has a plan for my life that is PERFECT for me and far better than anything I can imagine. God gave me a tremendous sense of peace about the whole thing. And then God took the wool off of my eyes (around the same time He took the wool off of Josh’s eyes) and Josh and I were engaged a few months later. I’m not trying to say that all you have to do to get engaged is make a pact with God, just explaining how God worked things out in my life.
Anyway, the point of all this is that today I was meditating on God’s infinite faithfulness and mercy towards me throughout my life, and was reminded of this particular part of my life and how God was patient and trustworthy with it, providing for me and working out His plans for me in spite of my attempts to manipulate the circumstances and my inability to figure out how God would turn the odd goods into good odds.
It’s good to remember the works of the Lord. The Israelites had a good idea in erecting piles of rocks to remind them of God’s faithfulness. It reminds me of a verse from my favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing:
Here I raise my ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I’m come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the courts of God.
He to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (1 Samuel 7:12)