As we passed under the sign for Dallas my mind returned to the last time I made a road trip from San Antonio to the big city.
It was right about the same time of year in 2013 and Marlene Salcher had invited me to head up north to sit in as the studio audience as Christine Caine delivered a teaching at James Robeson’s Life Outreach studios. It was a “girl’s weekend out” and four of us enjoyed fellowship and ministered to one another in some profound ways.
But the memory that kept coming back to me was one I’m frankly a little ashamed of.
We were over half way to Dallas. I was in the back and two of the three other ladies were up front. I was trying to nap, but couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. The subject was husbands and their thankfulness to God for men of honor and integrity ignited a wave of discontent in my heart. I found myself throwing a pity-party for myself and I was celebrating with gusto.
Inside my heart, that is.
I couldn’t admit it out loud, but I was jealous. I felt sorry for myself that I was still in wait mode and thought the guy He wanted me to wait for was taking way too long. God continued to whisper “Be STILL” in my ear, but I never fully received and obeyed that word in this area of my life because I was tired of waiting. I wanted a husband like they had, one who would love me as Christ loved the church, lay down his life for me, and protect me.
I’m embarrassed to say I sat in the back seat and complained and grumbled in my heart to the Lord. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to wait for so long for restoration in this area of my life.
Of course, hind sight is 20/20. Knowing what I know now, having Him provide over and above anything I could have ever asked for in a husband, brings me to tears as I realize how little I trusted Him, and how impatient I was. I’m sure I missed many lessons He was trying to teach me because I was just so wrapped up in my “self” and what I felt I was “owed” after so much had been lost.
But praise God that He overlooked all of that when I finally repented for my lack of obedience … when I finally surrendered to His will and let go of mine, everything changed. And to look back and realize that this time I didn’t repent in hopes that He would finally give me what I wanted. I didn’t give to get. I didn’t check the box in order to feel better as I’d done so often in the past.
Truth be told, I could do nothing else as the conviction of my willful disobedience overwhelmed me.
And what a faithful God He is to forgive, to restore, to redeem … even after all my emotional rants inside my head … even after my struggle to trust Him with my life …
He has some broad shoulders to be able to take what I dished out and love me anyways.
Do you ever look back and see His hand after the fact, and does it surprise you?