Trust has been the theme for this week’s post because I’m smack dab in the middle of an intense trust session. Again. I wish these posts could be all about you and I could write from a ‘been there, done that’ perspective, but that would be a nasty imitation. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything to do with fake stuff. Give it to me real, or don’t bother. So here goes.
My husband and I are in the process of getting our house ready to sell. This means purging, painting, packing, polishing, and power-washing, just for starters. At this point we don’t know where we’re moving next, we just know we’re supposed to sell the house. It’s a gut feeling we’ve both had for over a year. We’ve prayed about it, hoping God would change our minds or dangle some carrot out in front of us to work toward a known goal. Instead we are trusting that he’ll show us the next step after we’ve taken the first one. Sell the house.
While I was busy cleaning up the living room last night, the enemy (Satan) was busy reminding me of some pretty miserable times in our past. He reminded me of how we packed up all of our things just a week after our honeymoon and drove from San Jose, California to Longview, Texas with big dreams of Matthew becoming an airline pilot. After driving for three long days, we pulled onto the university campus into married housing and began to unpack our truck. It was our first apartment and I couldn’t wait to play house.
The next morning Matthew went to check in and get all of his ducks in a row to start classes. I stayed home to unpack and get things in order. I will never forget the look on his face when he came home. He explained to me that the university would not accept any of the credits he’d earned at junior college. We believed he would be starting as a junior, but they said he would be starting over as a freshman. The news was devastating to him and our imaginary finances. We were hurt and angry. We felt completely duped by the school and by God. Why in the world would he bring us all this way to have a gigantic door slammed in our faces? We thought this was what he wanted us to do. We trusted him.
We did the only thing we thought we could. We moved back home.
Fear gripped my heart again last night like it did almost seventeen years ago. The ‘what if’ questions began to pelt me like golf ball sized hail. I began to doubt my husband’s leadership. Again. Worry worked its way into my gut. My stomach hurt. My security felt like it was slipping away. Again.
In the past I would have allowed those memories to pull me deeper and relive them over and over again. I would have been tempted to agree with the enemy that God had disappointed us then and he would surely disappoint us again if we didn’t abandon this crazy idea right now. Agreements like that are exactly what the enemy needs to get me off the path of trust and back into clutching false security. I’ve been down this road before. My memory is a virtual scrapbook full of failure, disappointment, mistakes, regrets, sin, and hopelessness. It’s why I have to work hard to renew my mind and allow the Holy Spirit to transform it. I can’t mess around with this stuff if I want to stay free from depression and the darkness I used to call ‘home’.
Last night I sent a quick text to people who I know love me and will pray. Next, I sat down at the kitchen table to find some scriptures to quiet my anxious spirit. I read the story where Jesus healed the boy with a demonic spirit. This boy’s father was desperate to see his son free of this thing that had been physically assaulting him from childhood. Our enemy is relentless. So is our God.
The boy’s father said, “If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!” Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”-Mark 9:23-24 The Message
With that reminder I was able to take up my shield of faith that extinguishes all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Just because I have a history of doubt and a tendency to ask “what if?” doesn’t mean I can’t trust God with my future. Jesus is helping me with my doubts. My shield of faith gets thicker every time I say, “Satan, you’re a liar. I’m believing God.” My spirit is strengthened and my resolve is renewed.
I can’t go back in a time and tell that frightened young couple to stay put, stick it out and see what kind of miracles God would do for them. I can, however, tell my anxious heart to stay put, stick it out and see what kind of miracles God will do now.
Anything can happen.