Hello, beautiful people,
I thought that I was finished posting for the week. Honestly I did. I was already thinking forward to possible ideas for next week, thinking about future entries, having fellow Christian writer friends guest post…and then I did it:
Baby, I beat a dead horse.
I think that it is universal to the human experience to have friendships that don’t work out. I remember studying the plot pyramid in school– exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement–and thinking of relationships that have followed this pattern. Everything was sweet, and then there was a defining moment, and then…it just wasn’t. But then those friendships come along and they end without following that script and those are often the hardest of all. There were no fights, there were no misunderstandings, at least no perceptible ones. There was just silence and limbo.
I had a friend that honestly was closer than a sister, I felt. We spent large amounts of time together and we existed in this really cool space where we were able to learn from each other: I learned more about a new culture and about her life’s work in the sciences and I was able to teach her about my culture and the lessons I’d learned working with my students in the communities I’ve been blessed to be apart of. She is a Christian, so we connected on that level: we went to concerts and prayed together often, sat with each other in worship nights and called each other after they were over to exclaim just how much we felt God move. It was excellent. There were no issues that I knew of.
Suddenly I couldn’t reach her. Calls went unanswered, texts did too. I don’t see her anymore, and it felt like there was this gaping hole where she used to be. Life is better than awesome, and it didn’t happen often, but occasionally I would count the weeks since we’d spoken and get a little…wistful. And, like clockwork, those frustratingly familiar feelings of inadequacy that I war against all the time try to gain footing:
“Did I do something to make her leave?”
“Was it something I said?”
“Let’s go back and pick apart every moment of your last interaction…”
“Maybe we’ll find something.”
“Maybe then, I’ll understand!”
I came across a card from her in my keepsake box this morning, and before that litany could start up again, I reached out to a trusted covenant friend. One thing that I know about myself is that when difficult circumstances or decisions arise, the answer has already been made clear…I just like to talk it out with someone else. Since I don’t have siblings and don’t want to make a habit of carrying on conversations with myself (at least not in public haha), I often reach out to very patient girlfriends of mine and off we go.
So I am talking to a stalwart member of the tribe, and she says “that’s tough…but I think it’s one of those things where you pray and give it to God and ask for His will. He knows what both of you need.”
Just like that, I was taken back to a text message that I’d gotten about a week ago from SHINE-FM. It was a quote from Elisabeth Elliot, an awesome author and all around wise Christian lady who passed last year:
I thought that this quote was so simple, yet so powerful…I actually made it the wallpaper on my iPhone. This quote of course led me to Philippians 4:19, which says “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
And I started thinking of car insurance. (You should already know by now that my mind works in some odd ways)
I don’t know the ins and outs of auto insurance, but I do know that when you go to buy some, you can purchase two main categories:
At very minimum, you have to have limited liability coverage. This basically means that if you inflict damage on someone else’s car, your insurance will pay for their repairs and not much else.
You can go on and get collision coverage, or property coverage, or you can go with the whole shebang and get comprehensive and collision coverage. This basically protects your car from fire, flood, people, accidents, leprechauns, and anything short of an act of God (in which case, why would you need the car to be fixed? Forget this Honda…I’m going to Heaven!) It costs more, but it carries with it the confidence that you are totally protected.
When things like this happen, when people disappear, when I don’t understand exactly why things are happening, I reflect on Philippians and it becomes clear that we serve a comprehensive God, not a limited one.
“and my God will supply all your needs…”
Our God is NOT a God of limits.
We serve a thorough God. A complete God, and like I stated in my last post, a God who is not the author of confusion. He is our comprehensive plan, not just taking care of the things around us and leaving us broken and in pieces to sort it out ourselves. He is taking care of us too–sweetly, perfectly, and miraculously.
Do you remember those “if-then” logic statements from when we were in school?
“If fish live in water
and if trout are fish
then trout must ______”….the answer being live in water, right?
I am learning that these kind of statements apply to God…ergo, Ms. Elliot’s profound statement:
“If God promises to supply all of our needs
and if you don’t have something (even if you may want it or THINK you need it)
YOU. DON’T. NEED. IT.”
It’s not the easiest pill to swallow: I don’t need her. She doesn’t need me either. This reminds me of one of my mother’s tidbits: “everything that is good to you isn’t always good for you.” Darling, the same goes for every friend, every man (or woman, if there are any guys reading this haha), every job, and every so-called missed opportunity that you thought passed you by and that threatened to drag you into the quicksand of “why me?”
You didn’t need it. It wasn’t (or isn’t) what God has for you right now. But trust that comprehensive God that loves you madly when He says that He will supply. What is coming is greater then what was lost, and He delights in blowing your mind.
Preaching to the choir loft on this one here.