I said I’d never do it again. I didn’t want to. Didn’t think I’d need to. But I did.
I never imagined that my countdown to 48 would include studying for a midterm in a course called Theory and Process. Never thought I’d be planning dentist appointments around evening classes. Never thought I’d have another student number to memorize. Never thought I’d have another student loan. But here I am.
And I am thankful.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. It’s scary. I’m out of my comfort zone. Again.
But I am thankful.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity then and now. Last year as I was enrolling at Jacksonville State University, I received an invitation to my 25 year reunion at Samford University. God must have laughed a little when he planned that.
Soon I’ll have another piece of paper to hang on my wall in the play/craft room also known as my office. But it’s just a piece of paper with some fancy writing that I’ll never look at and you’ll probably never see. So what’s my point in even bringing it up?
The point is the fancy writing that’s been inked on my heart through it all. The One True God who authored the story of my life penned life-changing, life-giving words. He repeats them through books, and The Book, through music, and testimonies, and tests. He is cheering for me. He is cheering for us—those who are in hard places and doing the hard and scary and uncomfortable at 18 and 28 and 48. There have been some
naysayers. Those who implied or just flat out said, “You don’t have what it takes to make it.” A few times I’ve almost believed them. I’ve spent many hours (a few this week), with head-in-hands-silent-weeping wondering how I’ll get through or how I’ll get it done. Feeling that this is all bigger than me. Wanting to run away. Knowing I am where I am because of choices I’ve made but wondering if it’s too late (or too soon) to quit.
My mistake has been thinking I can do it by myself.
Can you relate?
The point of this story is not “Hey everybody look at me!” The point of this story is “Hey everybody look at Him.” I am, and you are, at a place once again where we cannot do it without Him. We’re not smart enough, or strong enough, or brave enough, or connected enough, or wealthy enough to do anything in this life His way apart from Him. And His way is the best way. I pride myself on being a really resourceful, hard working, tough girl. I can get a lot done in a day. So can you. But His vision for my life is so much bigger than checking everything off my list as “done” and just “getting through” today. When I live there I inevitably find myself in desperate places having gotten it all done and gotten through—but empty still.
I am focused on making a better life for myself and my family or fixing what’s broken. He is more focused on making a better me in this life. A me that abides in Him.
In my weakness, He is made strong. In my weakness, I see who He really is and how desperately I need Him and how apart from Him I am nothing and can do nothing.
So whether its a university classroom, or a hospital waiting room, a busy nest, or an empty one, a fitness program, or a recovery program, the sunny side of the street, or the darkest of days He is cheering for you. He doesn’t want you to quit or run away. He wants you to run to Him.
Jesus sensed that his disciples were having a hard time with this and said, “Does this throw you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where he came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him.) John 6:61-64