It was like a perfect storm. . . . almost like the Lord pretty much set me up, of course in a very loving way, but nonetheless, a complete set up.
My husband recently got a big promotion at work, a promotion that he had been working towards for almost 4 years now. . . it is such a blessing and with it brings new goals and opportunities. Last Saturday, Zachary and I were discussing said goals and opportunities. . . creating a new budget, discussing paying off loans early, saving for a down payment, house repairs. . . etc. We had all these plans, all these hopes. . . all this trust in our savvy budgeting skills. That was Saturday night. Come Sunday night I was sitting in my van, staring at the scene in front of me: a cop, my husband, and a totaled car. I was a mess. . . . but even worse. . . I was mad.
One hour earlier I was sitting at church. . . not even 5 min before I got the fateful call, I jotted down a hurried note from our lesson:
Idols of Believers 1. Economic Security 2. Materialistic Comforts 3. Social Acceptance
I jotted this little tidbit of wisdom down and had a little moment in my head of “yeah girl, you have been through so much, you know all you need is Jesus and these things don’t really matter!” (patting myself on the back, while pushing away my piece of humble pie). You know that moment, the moment when you think you got it, the moment where you look at yourself and all that wisdom of yours and take your eyes off Christ? Yeah. . . your butt falls right into that water, am I right? Well not 1 minute after my pride-filled head session, my phone rings with a little test. “Can you step outside?” “I am fine but I just got into a wreck and the car is totaled.”
Now guys. . . during our Saturday savvy budget session this car was going to last us at least 5 more years. . . and I mean, we had JUST spent almost $1,000 in repairs to keep it up to par, so of course it was going to be around for a good long while because what else could happen to it? Right? I would love to say that I asked my husband again if he was alright, I would love to say I told him that it was okay, it was just a car and it was just money, as long as he was okay. I would love to tell you I didn’t cry and I didn’t bang the steering wheel and I didn’t have to pray for kindness. . but that would all be a lie. I gathered up my purse, stuffed my little jotted down wisdom into it and started crying, thinking about how this was not in the plan, thinking about how we were going to have to find another car, how we didn’t budget for car payments, how I had so many plans. . . so many plans that the Lord was just really throwing off track. O yea, no idols here guys, just literally losing it over a busted budget and a crumpled car. . . . . . When my economic security and my materialistic comforts were threatened I learned just how much I cared about them. . . . too much guys, I cared about them too much.
My sister handed Zachary an excerpt from a book that she had printed out before all this happened, she handed it to him as we were pulling out of the church parking lot probably because she saw that I was literally breaking down and because God is so good to us, even when we are ugly, he plans ahead of time to comfort us in our dark moments. This is part of what it said,
“…. but he will use no painful remedy that can be avoided. Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified and that the work of making you holy is His, not yours. At the same time you are not to sit with folded hands, waiting for His blessing. You are to avoid laying hindrances in His way, and you are to exercise faith in Him as just as able and just as willing give you sanctification as He was to give you redemption. And now if you ask how you may know that you have truly consecrated yourself to Him, I reply, observe every indication of his will concerning you, no matter how trivial, and see whether you at once close in with that will. Lay down this principle as law— God does nothing arbitrary. If He takes away your health, for instance, it is because He has some reason for doing so; and this is true of everything you value; and if you have real faith in Him, you will not insist on knowing the reason. If you find in the course of daily events that your self-consecration was not perfect— that is that your will revolts at His will— do not be discouraged but fly to your Savior and stay in His presence till you obtain the spirit in which He cried in His hour of anguish, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will but Thine be done.: (Luke 22:42). Every time you do this it will be easier to do it; every such consent to suffer will bring you nearer and nearer to Him; and in this nearness to Him you will find such peace such blessed, sweet peace as will make your life infinitely happy, no matter what may be its mere outside condition.”
(Stepping Heavenward, pg 87-88)
See. . He is good, He is kind, He gently speaks to us through his Word and through the mouths of writers who love his Word. I read this in my unhinged state once I was home and just lost it again. O how much my heart loved my precious savior at this very moment. . .when he was saying to me. . “until you stop crying and learn to trust me. . I will keep letting you practice trusting not in earthly things, but me. I will keep taking away your securities until you realize your only security is in me. I will keep taking away the things you hold up as more important than me until there is none left but me. I will keep causing you discomfort, daughter, until you are complete and at peace with ME alone, because I love you and I am the only one that you can place all your trust in.”
I still have so much to learn. My holiness and sanctification is an ongoing, painfully beautiful journey. I keep holding my plans too tightly and in turn sometimes revolt against the Lord’s perfect will when it does not line up with mine. After the car was wrecked I woke up to a water leak in the kitchen and a baby with a high fever. . practice guys. . . the Lord gives me lots of practice in not freaking out over the small things, the trivial things, so as to build me up when big things might come my way but really ultimately to be able to look at this life, this world, the sin, the trials the hard stuff and simply whisper in complete surrender. . not my will but Yours be done. I’m praying for you, reader. . that this will be our chorus in the days to come. . come what may.