When I ask God to show me his path for me, and it is filled with sand pits, thorn bushes, and monster mosquitoes, I realize what I MEANT to say was “Lead me on the path that’s all roses and lollipops,” as though somehow I deserve a better life than countless prophets, martyred saints, and Jesus himself. Shame. On. Me.
That could be my post today, too. I haven’t learned a lot in the past year. I am STILL looking for the lollipops and roses. And people don’t help. Countless people have said to me during the past couple years, “I hope God shows you his plan for you soon.” For a long time I agreed. Yes, we need a plan. Clearly this isn’t right; something needs to change and God needs to put us back where we belong.
But, I suspect when my husband lost his job, we didn’t fall off the track of God’s plan. Suddenly we’re alone, in freefall through some virtual realm, waiting for reality to catch up with us and for us once again to find the plan. I don’t think so. I think, as much as I don’t want it to be true, today, unemployment and all, we are solidly standing on the track. THIS is the plan.
I don’t want this to be the plan. I want the roses and sunshine and lollipops. I think everyone does. And in this culture, where the TV and internet and magazines promise that the good life is possible with the right purchases or the right choices, sometimes I think I deserve it, that anything less than the lollipops is very unfair.
My husband is back in the game. He’s got a couple resumes out there heading for hiring managers. A couple interviews. It’s time to dust off patience and start waiting again, and it’s miserable. I have discovered I am the impatience queen. It’s almost easier for him to be in classes only and not looking for awhile.
Yesterday I was angry. It was the most senseless anger I can imagine. My husband’s resume is on the way to a hiring manager for a good job. A real job that would end our search, possibly for a very, very long time. But I know we won’t hear anything for days. And I was angry. I was already angry with God for not giving us this job, for getting our hopes up and then letting us down, for making the path so filled with disappointments. I was angry with my husband for not getting the interview or the job. But nothing bad has even happened yet!! Technically, there is hope for this particular job. A good deal of it. But certainly not much faith for it.
Nothing like a little preemptive anger to show just how faulty my thinking can be. I must have told God a hundred times since yesterday how sorry I am and how stupid I feel and how I want to be faithful but can’t seem to get there. I’ve enlisted help of others to pray over this job because I don’t feel capable of praying with confidence, with faith. Not simply faith for this particular job, but faith that God is guiding us, faith in his care in general. (And I know our care has been scrupulous and utterly miraculous, which just makes my attitude more sinful and ridiculous.) It’s so embarrassing I’ve debated deleting this section for ten minutes, but it’s so true it needs to be said.
Clearly God is working on us. I very much hope sanctification is occurring, because I feel a new awareness of the depth of my selfishness and silliness and sinfulness. This is the plan. The plan is from God, and the plan is good. Painful, sometimes, and scary. Not without tears and hard moments. But also filled with joyful moments. It’s big and complex and goes way beyond me and my little universe. There are lollipop moments, but not many, not yet. Once again, shame on me for my way of thinking. And I can only hope that by rehashing these things over and over, repenting and admitting and turning toward better ways of thinking, maybe by next year I’ll laugh at last year’s post and think “Oh, yeah, I remember being like that. I’m so glad God and I have dealt with that. Now onto other areas to sanctify.”