Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday School

Do any of  you remember Sunday school from when you were little?  I do.  I remember the felt board stories of those famous Bible characters and how my teachers would bring the lessons to life as they moved them about the board.  Sometimes I miss the innocence of those story boards, of those lessons.  I'd like to say, other than memorizing the story, that I remembered the meaning behind it.  Fast forward a few decades and Sunday school takes on a whole new meaning.  It gets real now people.  It takes those same stories and drives them home.  These are real things that affect real life, today. 

I've been struggling with some things for the past several weeks.  There are lessons that I had heard and didn't find their relevance and now, after many deep talks with a man that I've willing given my heart to, there are many that have a one-two punch where it comes to relevance.  I go to his church on Saturday nights and his Pastor has been preaching a series that quite frankly slams my head into a table every time I hear it.  Yes, it is that painfully powerful.  Don't misunderstand me, it isn't that he is condemning me, it is that the Holy Spirit is.  There is a difference.  It's a good series. 

On top of that in the past couple weeks, since he and I had this heart to heart, there have been many other times where I have read something, heard something on the Christian radio station, or even heard my Pastor talk on that is reiterating some things in my life.  However, none of that hit as hard as today's Sunday School passage and then ironically something the visiting Pastor preached on today.  You see I have a problem.  A major, ginormous, HUGE problem.  I don't really think I realized it until today.  It was like all of these pieces fell together into place.  All of these days that I've spent yelling at God and fighting with him on "why me?  why do I have to go through this?"  Before I let you in on what this is I do need to let you know I will be praying about this.  I will be begging God to show me that my thought process is right, after all we humans can muck things up a bit from time to time.

Today we read (ironically I was the one asked to read) from Matthew 19, verses 16-30.  If you don't know this passage is about the rich young ruler.  Essentially he had asked Jesus what he needed to do to earn eternal life.  At first Jesus questioned him on the 10 commandments, and of course this young man had kept and obeyed them all.  However, Jesus knows the heart of man more than we do, he asked him to sell off all of his possessions and follow him.  At this the rich, young ruler went away sad for he had amassed a lot of wealth.  Where some people get this passage wrong is that they think Jesus doesn't want them to have money, but that is not it at all. In fact, in that same passage, a few verses down, it says this: "And anyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children  or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."  (v29) and that is it.  It has nothing to do with wealth, but it has everything to do with that thing in your life that you have first before God.  For the rich, young ruler it was his money.  For others it is something entirely different.

For me, it is not money.  No.  And today as I read this and the tear drops were forming in my eyes I knew, I knew God was speaking to my heart as clearly as if He was sitting in front of me in that room at church.  Our teacher asked us a rhetorical question, one I think even he knew no one would share openly, what is the one thing that you place before God?  Thankfully I had a mishap with my coffee at the start of class and had a stack of paper towels at my disposal because the water works they started then.  I know what it is for me.  It is that one thing that has haunted my every waking moment since October 20, 2012.  It is my desire to be a wife.  I want to be married.  I want to know that I am someone another not only wants to, but is willing to commit the rest of their life to.   This thing drives me (both in a good way and a bad) to throw all that I am into finding it. 

Then, as if this revelation wasn't as clear as a cloudless sky today the visiting Pastor shared a story on a little boy who was downtrodden because of his back ground and one day in a church revival he heard the Pastor tell him he never had to question who his daddy was because God was his Heavenly Father.  Stay with me hear, I do have a point.  You see, he went on to tell us that people who don't know whose they are, will never know who they are.  And all the while trying to find who they are they will take that one thing that drives them in life and let it cloud out the whose they are.  People. Oh. My. Word.  By this time I was crying tears into my littlest littles hair (I was holding her while my other two littles sat to either side of me). 

A million messages and even more lessons came flooding into my head.   You know, God tested Abraham's faith.  He asked him to sacrifice the one thing, above all others, that he had wanted in life.  In the end it wasn't to see if Abraham would do it, but to show Abraham how strong his faith really was.  Now, I would LOVE to sit here and think that perhaps all that God is asking me to do is sacrifice this one thing that I want more than anything to Him and in so doing He will give me it in the end, but you and I both know that God doesn't work like that.  He works like He works for a reason.  And those reasons do not have to make one lick of sense to us, nor do they have to be something that we like.  In fact, all we are called to do is trust in Him, rely on His timing, and to wait on the Lord.

This is where I am.  I know that God is not asking me, he is telling me that I need to give up this desire of my heart.  That a husband isn't what I will have.  This crushes my heart to no end.  This breaks me in ways that I cannot even begin to explain.  It makes me question so much on why I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, popular enough, worthy enough, and many, many more enoughs to be allowed to be a wife.  However, what I know and He knows even more than me is that I put the men in my life above Him.  Not intentionally, but when I love I love completely and fully and with every ounce of my being.  So much so that it breaks me and causes me to rush and jump and push and then, fall. 

So here I sit, with the tears running down my face knowing that all I get to do is let go.  I get to sit and watch all the other girls get the guy, get married, have anniversaries and I have to be happy for them. I have to smile through the pain and know that because this isn't the thing that God has to teach them that they get to have forever with another person.  Me, well, I will more than likely cry a lot more over the time that the Lord needs to take me through this and during that I suppose that if I fight back he'll tack on more time.  (Much like a parent does with their child when they are in time out. Oh how I wish this would only be 5 more minutes instead of an unknown timeline.)  But God knows best, right?  I just hope that this woman that He is trying to make out of me will someday be good enough to enter into Heaven because right now she is so broken she'd love to go there today so as not to feel the breaking, aching pain in  her heart.

 
Just to let you know, that in my humanness I will fail on this.  I will have days where I feel that I am doing this thing right and then there will be days when I will fall to the ground and bawl like a baby.


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