You know what I’m continually learning?
(Besides that when that thing, that whatever-it-is-that-seizes-me, that produces in me that insidious need to find a pair of scissors and start “trimming” my bangs, Micah’s hair, Asher’s hair, that I need to just walk away. Walk. Away. It’s so simple, but I’m just now learning.)
(Asher, consequently, now looks like the newest recruit to the United States Army.)
But besides that, you know what else I’m learning?
That just because it’s what God wants and has for me doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or always feel right.
Know what I mean? I think sometimes I subconsciously think that when it’s what God wants, then it’s going to be easy-peezy, and everything at all times will be wonderful and amazing. My feelings are going to confirm it because then I’ll have that feeling of peace and well-being.
I’m not sure exactly where that comes from because I don’t find it in Scripture.
I do read that Jesus gives us a peace that the world doesn’t give, and that we’ll have his peace that transcends understanding. But do you know what those verses are saying? That, in spite of, and because of our circumstances we’ll have peace that’s un-understandable, and it’ll make sense why it’s not peace that the world could give, because the world’s peace is circumstantial.
The peace he gives will be so remarkable because our circumstances would otherwise naturally warrant fear, anxiety, distrust, unbelief. But, in Christ, we can still have rest in our hearts. Peace.
When I consider that the early Christians and writers of the books of the New Testament faced terrifying circumstances as a part of life because of their belief in Christ, it further leads me to believe that belief in Christ does not mean absence of unpleasantries, if you will. Or discomfort, as many of us 21st-century American believers like to avoid like the rabid plague. It means in-the-middle-of, in-spite-of peace.
I was reflecting tonight on instances in my life where, if I had used my feelings as my guide, I would have actually missed out on exactly what God wanted for me. Like, for example, my favorite gift ever.
Matt and I had been dating for only a couple of months when suddenly I was sure that I did not want this relationship. I liked him, but I was terrified I was making a huge mistake. In perfect hindsight I clearly see that I was just ascared because I couldn’t control all the what-ifs and I was still pretty soured from a previous relationship gone bad and Matt couldn’t promise me that we would be missionaries in Argentina for the rest of our lives. (True story.) But at the time I was sure I was making the right decision to call the troops back.
I remember so clearly sitting with him in his car on that one spot by the golf course, looking out over Durango, and telling him, I just don’t think this is what I want. I need a break. Being the confident man that he is, he said, Ok, well let me know what you decide.
(That seemed rather callous to me, so I was a tad consoled when I later found out that he was actually super depressed and aimlessly walked around Wal-mart, which, if you know my husband, is like fiery ants upon oozing sores upon feral cats.)
(And, if he had reacted desperately, that would’ve sealed the deal, effective immediately. No sir, no desperadoes wanted here.)
We took our break, but since we had already planned a trip for me to meet his family in Texas at the end of that week, I decided I would not be a total jerk and still go, even though I really didn’t want to because I was just sure that he wasn’t right for me.
Somewhere, sometime, somehow over the course of that week in Texas, meeting his mom (whom I now love with all my heart and soul and mind), being introduced to his friends and Texas life, I fell head over heels in love with him. Seriously, it was just that fast and amazing.
We were married 6 months later, and we’ve never looked back. 5 years and 2 kids later, I continue to see that I couldn’t have married a better man.
I’m so glad I didn’t ultimately let my feelings and desire for the world’s peace (perfect circumstances, perfect people, perfect answers) rob me of the best husband ever.
Don’t let your feelings deceive you and keep you from what the Lord wants to do in your life. You may miss out on your most favorite gift ever.