So, I apologize for not writing until now. The internet in our apartment has been down for the past few days and we're not sure why. :( So, I'm taking advantage of being out at the Nilsens' and catching up with the entire world. Not really, but it feels pretty close to it without the World Wide Web always at my tiny little fingertips.
Today has been a good day except for the fact that James & I had our first really big fight. I'm not going to go into detail of what exactly it was about, but I will say that it ended in me dropping James off at his parents house, him slamming the car door, and me peeling out of the driveway and driving away as fast I could to the nearby marina to get some alone time. 30 minutes later, James came to marina in his brother's truck to meet and to talk things through. The first thing he said is " I want you to know that I love you, and that mom says don't worry about the mailbox." I look at him very concerned and about to burst into tears and say, "What are you talking about? I hit their mailbox?" I really had no idea I did that. Immediately, I busted into tears. I was so embarrassed.
James just looked at me and said, "Hannah, don't worry about it. Its okay." After a little while, I started to calm down and James started to explain to me something in regards to our big fight that wasn't quite settled yet. And what he said to me, I will never forget. Also, I realized today why the Lord gives us husbands, to not just love us like Christ loved the church, but also to give us the truth.
Lovingly and firmly, James said something like this to me...
"Hannah, I've encountered many things in my life that over time became either an identity or an idol or both. I've spent over $1500 on North Face stuff, I've spent countless hours trying to make a "ministry" work for myself, and I've spent lots of time and energy on things that I valued above spending time with the Lord. Finally, the Lord got ahold of my heart and showed me that these "idols" needed to go, so the Lord did just that. I had a conviction in my own heart, so I dropped off all my North Face clothing to the Wheeler Mission Thrift Store. God took away ministry from me more than a few times to show me that he is in control and that my ministry needs to glorify Him first and foremost, not myself. The Lord has also taken away relationships from me as He has seen fit.
You have this idea that when you achieve this or that or attain a certain certificate, license, or degree that you will be fulfilled. Chasing after these ideas and thoughts not brought to you by the Lord and consuming yourself with them is an identity.
Hannah, I want you to know that you have already been bought with a price and you are a precious daughter of the King. You are loved and cared for oh so deeply. You don't need an identity more than that."
James shared this with me and I just wept. I knew deep down that he was right. I was just fearful of all the other little circumstances if I let something this big go again...
As I was crying, feeling broken, humiliated, embarrassed, and now humbled, I realized that Lord calls us to something bigger and better than what the world offers us. This moment I had with the Lord and James, was a moment of "we walk by faith, not by sight." God doesn't promise us an easy life or even a fair life, but he does promise us that all things will work out for the good if you love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Not only that, he promises us an eternal life with Him, the Kings of all Kings, the Creator of all! Now, how cool is that!
The Lord is good and I'm thankful that he examines my heart daily and continues to use others and His Word to keep me in check. So, needless to say, I was very humbled by this experience today. But, I guess that's a good place to be, right?
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." --Philippians 1:21