I met with a friend today about a life group we’re leading together. We had some great conversation and a delicious dinner (she’s such an awesome host), and we worked out lots of details. After that, we just started talking about life.
As I shared with her some of my “pivotal moments” since being saved, I realized 2009 has been the Year of Facing My Crap. I’ve been seeing a counselor for about a year now, and it’s unearthed a lot of bones. Among other things, I’ve had to be honest with myself about my beliefs and attitudes toward men in general and my husband in particular, and about my own role in forming those beliefs. I didn’t like what got dredged up. I’ve shared a lot of these things in my blog this year.
I also recognized a small shift in myself. For one thing, I was able to see very easily that my husband is quite wonderful. When I remember who and what he was before Jesus Christ came into his life, I realize I have so very much for which to be grateful! I didn’t have to dig deep to find that gratitude; it was right there, waiting to be discovered like a jackpot under the thin layer of silver on a scratch ticket.
As I was riding home, I listened to the final message in Andy Stanley’s series about the life of Joseph called, “The Legend of Joe Jacobson.” When Joseph was presented with the perfect opportunity for revenge, he instead acknowledged that God had sent him ahead of his brothers–through separation, slavery, accusation and prison–to finally preserve their lives and millions of others’. Joseph was absolutely confident that God was with him and had been all along.
There have been many dark moments in my life, many good reasons to wield pain as a weapon. But as Andy Stanley put it, I can either look back, and relive the circumstances and emotions that fuel vengeance, or I can look up and follow God’s lead. I can say to those who have hurt me, “Not only do I forgive you, but I’m going to give you what you don’t deserve–because that’s what people do who have received from God the very thing they didn’t deserve: forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life in his care.”
If I’m absolutely confident God is with me, how should I then behave? Because he is with me, and always has been. Even in the darkest moments when I was so overwhelmed by God’s silence that I overlooked his presence, and his promise to never leave. What a lovely and simple faith Joseph had. Could that kind of beautiful, persistent faith conclude my own story?
Come on 2010!