|I should have picked digital. No idea what time this is.|
I get really frustrated with people who are notoriously late. My boss might say that's ironic, because I arrive between three and eight minutes late to work most days. But when it's an event I should be at, or if it's anything not at the crack of dawn, I'm always early (or right on time, so as not to be the dork that arrives early). However, my in-laws (love you guys!) can run up to an hour or two late. Drives. Me. Nuts.
Punctuality is courtesy, to me. I understand emergencies, and I understand the difficulty of getting dawdling kids out the door. But if I'm throwing a party that starts at 7, and everyone arrives at 8, I'm going to feel a little slighted, like no one bothered to spend that first hour with me. Lesson for you all: be on time.
But I think the Lord has a different sense of timing than I have. No, I know He does. For instance, it did not make any sense to me that my miscarriage last week would happen: 1. on a Saturday, when the main hospital desk is closed and I would have to go through ER; 2. when I was at my first shift of work; 3. when many of my Greenville friends were out of town at a conference; and 4. at the start of Deedra's two-week vacation, when she had no signal to even call me (for people who aren't as familiar with me, she has been with me each step of this process).
But over a week later, I can see how God's hand was at work in all of this, including the timing. Maybe especially in the timing.
Last Monday, after I'd been up all night, practically in labor with a child I'll never meet this side of heaven, I wasn't sure that I could do this alone. I texted as much to Deedra, and she sent me a text that impacted me greatly. It said: "You know that part of the old lies you believe is that you're not old enough to do it. Combat it with the truth. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. He is your strength where you are weak. You are able." And it was a revelation. I could do it. More than that, I had to.
My husband is great, but let's face it. He'll never understand the attachment that can form quickly to a baby in the womb, nor could he understand the hormones and emotions that were swarming through me. Plus, he works every afternoon and evening, so Monday through Thursday stretched ahead of me, lonely and difficult. The times when he left for work were my hardest part of the day. And yet, like I said in my last blog, I made it through, each day stronger than the day before.
I know why I'm okay. I explained that earlier. It's because I have a faith and hope in Jesus Christ and the promises that God has a redemptive plan in every situation. But now I understand that much of this was in the timing. Because I couldn't rely on people around me, which was my standard MO, I had to rely solely on God. (Disclaimer: I had dozens of texts, Facebook messages, and a wonderful talk with a couple close friends during this, so I recognize I had support. I just was cut off from the normal dependence on others that I could have fallen back into.)
For my birthday, a colleague gave me a Bill Johnson book called Strengthen Yourself in Lord. As I started reading it yesterday (yes, I'm slow), I found a passage that spoke directly to me. It said:
"For the sake of becoming mature and growing in favor so that we can bless those around us, God brings moments into our lives when we have to stand alone in difficulty and testing. God will even blind the eyes and deafen the ears of our closest friends in those moments so we can learn to minister to ourselves."
Whoa. While I didn't feel like friends were ignoring me (the ones I could talk to have been great), I did feel let down that the one person who's been by my side on several difficult journeys this year was literally out of my reach. And though several people in my life had pretty much already told me that maybe God wanted to show me something out of that, it didn't sink in until I read those words by Johnson. The timing of this was exactly how it needed to be.
I finally got to talk to Deedra today. And I see how much more beneficial this conversation was than it might have been if it had happened a week ago. I'm on the other side of a process that I've had to cling to God for, and as I told her all of this, she confirmed that the timing was right. She even mentioned that maybe this was less of a "test" of how I could survive, and more a way for me to see how much I've grown lately. Either way, I know all of this has only strengthened my trust in God.
His ways are ALWAYS better than mine.