I learned a few things last week/end that made me grit my teeth.
And breathe a sigh of relief.
At the same time.
Sometimes, God says no.
Not later, not how about this instead, not we'll see... Just no.
I'm not used to this. I've worked hard to get where I am in life, and I've been blessed beyond belief. I've enjoyed a supportive family and community, and I've found favor with opportunities regarding school and jobs. Even the house we built and the cars we bought seemed to fall into place at the perfect times. For the most part, I've never been told no.
Until now. I feel it brewing, and it leaves me so unsettled. We've fallen in love with a dream house (less money, more land, same schools. C'mon, Lord!) that will most likely not work out for us, and it makes me sad. I'm not making enough money at my job to keep us stress-free throughout the month, and it makes me stressed. Our vehicles show some serious wear and tear, and it makes me worried. For what feels like the first time in my life, I can feel God preparing me for a few no's. Where does that leave me?
While it doesn't make me doubt His existence, it does leave me feeling frustrated and indignant. I think I'm a reasonable person. My dreams have always been achievable. Why can't I convince God to help my plans come to fruition? I also feel entitled - so entitled. I've got kids to raise. I've got a husband in ministry to support. I've got free time to protect. I've got, I've got, I've got.
What I'm learning is this: When He tells me no, it's because He wants me to know that His grace is sufficient for me. End of story. If I never make enough money at my job to get through the month without struggling, His grace is still sufficient. If we never get into our dream house, His grace is still sufficient. If I never get the opportunity to stay at home full-time, His grace is still sufficient. If we have to sacrifice everything to help Isaiah Jane reach basic milestones, His grace is still sufficient.
But what does that even mean? How will His grace help me pay the bills, or obtain a sense of calm and peace and contentment?
It means that from the moment I was born, I deserved death. It means that every day, I wake up and screw up. It means that I regularly do things that most likely make God scratch His head and pull His lips tight.
And yet He still loves me. He still smiles when I tilt my heart towards Him, and He longs to share the load and take the things that burden my shoulders. He's still proud of me. And most importantly, He's still faithful. He's still willing to complete the work He started in me, if I'm still willing to commit to the ride.