My girls stood over my bed the other morning whispering “Mom…hey mom…wake up.” Through blurred vision and very dry mouth, I blinked myself to reality. They needed me at 7 AM in the morning…for crying out loud! You need me to WHAT?! So I threw on some jeans and layers of warmth, shot-gunned a cup of hot coffee and drove them down to feed the horses and break the ice on their water so they don’t dehydrate…(side question: can horses dehydrate when the fields are full of snow?). As I sat there in my warm van (with heated seats) waiting for my daughters to finish up…I just looked around me and suddenly became overwhelmed…I hope I can put this into the words that will express the fullness of what I believed God revealed to me.
For months…and months…I have prayed for situations…something in the realm of “Lord, show yourself BIG in this situation, do something BIG that I just can’t miss. I need something tangible Lord, PLEASE!” I’ve prayed “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God….Purify my heart God…I want to see you in my life.”
Don’t get me wrong…just the mere fact that my marriage is intact is a straight-up miracle after what I have done. The problem with my prayers is that I was praying them with a desired outcome of certain situations in my life. What I should have been praying was “Lord I want you to fix this relationship and this situation…show yourself big and make these things work the way I’d like them to work.” And since THOSE relationships and situations weren’t working out the way I was praying for, then He just wasn’t showing Himself BIG in my situation. Oh how embarrassed and small I felt as I sat in that van this past Friday morning waiting for my daughters.
I watched my two daughters as they worked hard in the cold and I was overwhelmed at how blessed I was that they forgave me for what I had done to our family and that they love me to pieces. I looked across our snow-covered fields of family land and was overwhelmed with gratefulness that I was still a welcomed wife, mother, daughter-in-law on this property. I thought about my husband who has been an example of Christ to me like I’ve never seen before as he took my hand in his again and proclaimed in Christ new life into our marriage. I was overwhelmed at the abundance and extent of his forgiveness and love towards me and towards “the other man” in our situation, our brother in Christ. I was overwhelmed with joy as I thought of the relationships that God has given me in this season of my life, the richness of each one, all of them knowing full well what I have done and yet each one forgives me and moves towards me as we are firmly rooted in Christ where we can move about freely with each other, living out the Gospel. I was overwhelmed at the job He had given me where I have the opportunity to meet new people every week and talk about our Jesus while we work hard together.
My girls were trudging back up the hill towards the van and suddenly my conscience was struck by the Spirit. I repented. It wasn’t that my prayers were awful but, because the Lord wasn’t answering the specific requests I was laying out for Him, I was missing all that He was doing. I couldn’t be thankful for what He was doing because I was too busy being unthankful for what He wasn’t doing. I can be such a dummy.
Before my girls hands were on the car door…I had this image flash in my mind…it was a white ball or balloon with my hands gripped tightly around it…I can’t tell you if the sun was actually shining or not but as my fingers let go of that ball/balloon, a bright and shining light shone between the ball and my fingers…I let it go and it floated up…up…up to God. I have peace that passes understanding, such that I’ve never experienced before. That ball, I am sure, was the things, people, situations that aren’t going the way I want them to. It belongs to God and I am blessed to give it to Him.
What a beautiful morning…God does answer prayers…maybe not exactly like we expected. I asked Him for something tangible. He gave…and is giving me tangible Grace.