Originally posted on December 2, 2013, this story took place four years ago today. Like the Israelites set stone markers to remember the faithfulness of the Lord, I have these posts. I’m thankful for what He has done, how He has spoken, and what He will continue to do.
I set my vanilla rooibos down on the table that faces the window. I plug in my earphones, put the buds in my ear, join the Starbucks Wi-Fi and open the Pandora app: John Mark McMillan. I open my Bible. The music starts playing. I’m shaking.
I blink, then stare at my Bible. I open my journal and clutch my pen. I begin writing.
“January 1, 2012.”
I skip a line.
“Well that feels weird. 2012. Who’d of thought I’d make it this far?”
How do I say this? How do I start a new year with words to express what has just happened? Where do I begin? How do I quiet my soul to know for sure that these words God’s Spirit has spoken are true?
Fear. Fear of waiting. Fear of pain. Longing. Hope. Hasn’t God proven Himself trustworthy over this past year?
“How dare I not trust now,” I write, “Follow Him with pure, holy, defiant hope. Hope that will look silly to the world.”
It will look silly to the world. It sounds silly even to me. My mind must be playing tricks; my heart is surely not trustworthy. How will I know? I know.
“I keep trying to work it out in my head. And what if it doesn’t happen? But what if it does?”
Okay. I’m listening now. I’ve been running, but You got my attention. Clearly you said what You did, when You did, how You did for the shock value. But what is the point of trying to understand the ways of God?
I was in the shower. Somewhere between washing my hair and rinsing the soap, somewhere between daydreaming about the possibilities of online dating and planning my afternoon – You spoke. It was clear:
“I have for you to marry Trent and move to the Philippines.”
The next few seconds were a tornado of thoughts and emotions. Trent? We haven’t spoken in months. Sure, I like him. Very much. But he’s in the Philippines. And You… You want me where? Trent did send me that tweet this morning. What verse did he mention? “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” Maybe I’m thinking this because he just wrote. Maybe it’s me. Maybe… no. No, this isn’t me. This feeling, this makes me want to worship.
I dropped to my knees. Right there in the shower. I dropped to my knees and no words came, only surrender.
I came to Starbucks to read. I came to saturate myself in God’s truth so that I would know for sure that these are His words. I read through Ephesians, writing down every thought, every question, every verse that jumps out. As I write, the music also spoke out:
I’ve slept through the sunrise
And I turned away every time it got bright
So, I won’t run when it looks like love. (Needtobreathe)
I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me. (Josh Wilson)
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me. (David Crowder Band)
I doubt I’ve heard Your voice because I doubt You to be this good. You speak these words to me because You want me to believe that You are this good. When I embrace this calling, allow this longing, my heart opens. I was closed; I was protecting myself. When I open myself to this…Trent… the Philippines, my heart feels open to love again. To love and to accept love. Lord, give me the strength to wait.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).”
I breathe deeply. I’ve reached the end of a page. I’m finished for today.
With a full heart and a mind at burdened rest, I pack up my things, throw away my empty cup and walk toward the car. Getting inside, I press the power button on the car’s sound system. The CD begins where it last left off. I pull out of the parking lot and turn left toward home.
“So how should I come to the one I love? I will find a way,” Jason Gray sings as I wind up the tree-arched road.
He sings of Mary. He sings of sending His Son to a lonely, faithful girl who has protected her heart to a point where He will break through her walls by placing love within them. By this He will save the world.
God sees me and knows me. I’ve protected my heart to a point where He will break through my walls by placing love within them. By this He will change my world.
I wrote a few more posts about this journey in waiting. They’re located on my previous blog and you can read them by clicking the link here.
Part 2: Beauty in Waiting