Sunday, July 15, 2012

an unexpected challenge

Last night Madelyn screamed out at about 9:30pm. It was a shrill cry and we both knew she wasn't going to get herself back to sleep. She has been getting a couple of molars in and it's definitely been giving her (and us) a run for her money! I decided to grab her and snuggle with her in our bed. For some reason that I am sure is totally unrelated to the fact that she was on top of me most of the night, I didn't sleep much at all.

This morning, I was tired. Really tired. I didn't want to get out of bed kind of tired.

Once I got moving, I remembered that today was going to be my husband's first time to preach at Bethel Bible Downtown. He had not taught a large group since before we moved so it was an exciting day!
I love his passion for sharing God's word. I love that he loves to continue to grow and learn. I love that he loves to lead. I know all of those parts of him are that way simply because that is how God wired him (and I am so thankful he did)!

For some reason this morning, although I prayed that Luke's leading would challenge hearts, I had no idea that one of the hearts I prayed would be challenged would in fact be mine.

I am not sure why, but when I walked through the doors of church this morning, it never crossed my mind that I would leave challenged. That I would leave changed.
Six months ago I went to Wal-Mart one night with my mom. I am so thankful that my mom was with me. As we were leaving and literally feet from our car, three young men drove over to us and one of them shot me with a blow dart gun. A five inch metal dart pierced my arm near my elbow and stuck in about an inch.

It was terrifying.

For weeks I couldn't sleep, was constantly panicked and sick to my stomach. I didn't leave the house after dark by myself and threw up in the parking lot the first time I went out at night with Luke and Madelyn. I let fear reign. Not because I wanted fear to reign, but because I thought I didn't know another way.

For months I've been frustrated, angry and saddened by such a dumb act that has controlled too much of my life. I have numbness in two of my fingers occasionally from the dart hitting a nerve and my first thoughts go straight to that night when the numbness occurs and it's frustrating. I was face to face with all three men and not one ounce of an apology was uttered and that has angered me. I have let this whole situation steal moments of my life that I will never get back and that has saddened me.

Then this morning something happened. My husband opened God's word and shared a message that he  previously briefly told me he was going to share. The text was from Matthew 8: 23-27:
 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

I can't tell you how many times I have heard/read/shared this text myself. But today it challenged me.

"Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?"

Luke likened "little faith" to that of his old iPhone 3g. It syncs to the computer. It allows you to fill it with songs and data and apps via iTunes, but the screen is cracked and won't turn on. It's defective.

In that moment I got a little uncomfortable. My faith is defective? But then I realized it could not be more true. When it came to the point of me trusting God and releasing my fears, I just wasn't doing it. He has proven Himself over and over to me, yet I was holding on to my fears with a death grip completely unbelieving of His ability to carry me through this storm.

Tonight my sister, mom, Madelyn and I went to Wal-Mart. We parked just a couple spots over from where a few young men's choices almost made me forget that my God is worthy of my trust.
I am so blessed by the way He used my husband to remind me of these truths.

Here are some of the lyrics to one of the songs he shared this morning too. They are perfectly fitting!

Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me     By: Edward Hopper
Jesus Savior, pilot me  
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll, 
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal. 
Chart and compass come from Thee; 
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

On a much less serious note, I am not sure I missed Wal-Mart that much. The lines are still ridiculously long and the produce looked undesirable, but I sure am glad to know that I can go and not be afraid!

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