Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making It Public - Part 2

Upon leaving High School in 1980 I was completely prepared to go forth and live my life for Christ. Well as prepared as an 18 year old can be for facing the adult world. I was well armoured and ready to become a soldier of Christ (a phrase from my childhood) more than that I was excited. I had my armour, my shield and my banner and of course those three verses that I had claimed as my very own.

Number 2 was

Is 40:31

They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not be weary
They shall walk and not feint.

One of the benefits of attending a private protestant high school is the fact that they not only teach you the bible they expect you to incorporate your learning into your everyday life. We used bible verses as part of each of our classes, clubs and teams. Each group would pick a verse that they felt best described them and would use it as part of their meditations, in a way it was another form of a mascot only this time it was the mascot of our faith. Is 40:31 was something of an "it" verse back in the day. It was used frequently it didn't hurt that it had been put to music and was sung often during chapel as well as at church. Our softball team even used it as our team verse so obviously it must be a good one..

Can anyone tell me what a child can possibly know about waiting, this is the age group that invented the phrase "are we there yet". As a teenager waiting means dreading that the phone won't ring and you won't have a date for the weekend or waiting for the results of a particularly difficult test, or waiting to see if you made the play or the team or won the election. Or standing at home plate and waiting for that perfect pitch. Needless to say I had no clue what waiting was and even less on waiting upon God.

When I left school I had such great plans, fantastic hopes and dreams. I had no idea how I was going to make these plans, hopes and dreams happen only that surely they would all fall into place. I knew God had plans for me I even had an idea of what they were. Even now all these years later I believe that. What I didn't understand was that God didn't just have plans for me He had a plan! I knew I was supposed to be a wife and mother. I knew that God had these plans for me, that this was where I would serve God best. Accepting these plans would be defying my family but I understood that I needed to follow God. And yes I said defying. My family expected me to be a doctor, a lawyer, president, a career woman. An interesting mover and shaker. So believe me when I say being "just" a wife and mother was a defiance. I was told "no one has a right to freeload like that" that I was "wasting my brain" and other such things.

Because of the way I was brought up I honestly believed I was "sacrificing" my life for God. But I am an arrogant fool, God gives you your gifts does that not mean He expects us to use them? And when you follow God's plan for you, you do it in His time not yours.

When I was 22 I met a man, a totally unsuitable man, one who had been wicked and wild
divorced not once but twice but he had turned his back on that and was dedicated to family or so he said. He was a good son a dedicated father, charismatic and sexy. He was the flame and I was the moth circling it until I was all but blind to God's plans. I knew I was getting older (ok, stop laughing I was 22 that is old when you are 22) and I needed to get on with God's plan. I was so afraid that no one was going to want me (again not waiting for God and certainly not trusting in Him) no one would love me that I would be alone for the rest of my life missing out on the chance to be wife and mother I rushed into a relationship. Looking back, knowing the two of us as I do now I have to admit I not only rushed into it I forced it. What a disaster!!! I survived a marriage that can easily be described as hell on earth. No joy, no happiness, no life of living according to God's plan. There was misery, despair, disdain, drudgery and contempt. God was not a part of my marriage! I am lucky that God did not abandon me but no instead He continued to protect me even in my arrogance. I stayed in that fiasco of a marriage for 10 long years before finally ending it.

Even then I did not as for God's guidance I knew what had to be done. Yet with every wrong choice, every time I rushed forward knowing what was wrong and ready to fix it all by myself. God blessed and protected me. Why? well not because I am some prize of a follower nope because He loves me and has plans for me. It took me a long long time to let go and really let God. I would pray but then I would start bargaining, then I would ask for forgiveness and say I knew I wasn't supposed to try and bargain with Him, then I would ask for help but I would lay out my plans and let Him know how I needed His help. I did not listen to what He wanted done and I certainly did not wait upon His plans.. Oh arrogant, arrogant child. Can you not just picture God sitting there shaking His head after we finished our little talks? I am so lucky that God did not give up on me.

Now I find myself praying not for what I need as much as for the ability to wait upon God's timing. That I will learn to listen not control. Even as I write this I wonder at my motives. Am I truly trying to share what God has done in my life? Or am I trying to manipulate God's plans again? See one of the negatives to rushing God's plans is that when He speaks you are not quite sure if it is Him. I mean we don't get a lot of burning bushes these days. So you tremble and pray it isn't once again your ego and arrogance taking charge trying to "fix" things.

I submit these words to God asking Him to use them as He sees fit, even if that means He doesn't use them at all. I hope finally I am on the right path and am using one of the gifts He gave me in a manner that becomes Him. and yes, I am praying that I learn to listen and wait.

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