Bret had a meeting scheduled this morning. It was a big and important one, with a church that is interested in potentially supporting us in several ways -- including financially. We've been really excited about this. A lot of things have been falling into place and just seem "right" about it. It had felt like God's divine plan is coming together, and this might be the church we've been looking for.
We've been a little nervous about this, and Bret has done a lot of preparation. We've been so hopeful, yet letting the past get the best of us, a little afraid of being hopeful.
I had fallen asleep on the couch last night before I got yesterday's "40 Days" reading in. So this morning, I got up early and read all of Micah. I also read all of Lamentations, as Bret had suggested. I prayed about Luke 10:2 and some potential harvesters. I started the morning off right, as right as I possibly could.
Today was Thursday, so I would be taking Conner to school, then taking Micah to school, and then dropping Joey off at Jodi and Robert's for the morning. I had planned to spend a good part of my morning alone in prayer regarding this meeting.
But...Joey woke up a little too early, Conner wouldn't get out of bed, and Micah wouldn't eat his breakfast. No one was obeying or following any directions until about the 17th time they were repeated. I walked out the door to load the kids up more than grumpy -- I was frustrated and downright mad. But not at the boys so much. I was mostly mad with myself. I had wanted the morning to go smoothly. Starting your day off the way we started off today is often a recipe for the rest of the day to proceed in the same manner. That was not at all what I was wanting for Bret!
So I apologized to him before I left, and then called and apologized again. He was very cool and sweet about it all, and had even left me a very sweet note when I got home: "This is our verse for today. Don’t think of this promise from Jesus in terms of heaven. It’s a marriage metaphor; Jesus has gone ahead of us and is preparing the way for us. We need to hear and believe these words. I love you. -me
1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Your best friend is supposed to make you feel better, right? Your husband is supposed to make you feel better, right? Sweet notes are supposed to make you feel better, right? Bible verses are supposed to make you feel better, right? Right. Except I didn't feel better. I felt like curling up in a little ball and spending the rest of the morning in tears.
And then Bret walked in. My heart immediately jumped into my throat. Why was he home? He would be late to the meeting! Did they cancel? Well, not quite...they postponed. And believe it or not, because of the circumstances, Bret was actually encouraged by this. And he wasn't upset about it. And he hadn't let it ruin his day. He was at peace, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with that. Because I still felt cruddy.
He shared another Bible verse with me (Mark 5:36 - "Don't be afraid, just believe."), and then pretty quickly got his things together and got on with his day. I struggled to get going though. I prayed, I read his note over and over again, desperately trying to believe, desperately trying to trust, desperately trying to find some peace. I posted as my status update on facebook: "I am SO anxious today, feel like crying about pretty much everything. I hate it when I feel like this! Trying my best to find comfort -- "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Luke 14:1-2
Then I set to work, sadly behind now on the to-do list I had set for myself, desperately trying to get some of the things that were beginning to weigh so heavily on my shoulders done.
By the time I left to pick up Joey and Micah, the anxiety had begun to fade. I was feeling a little bit better...and then I ran into a friend. She was just standing there with a sweet smile on her face, five dollars in her outstretched hand. I looked at her questioningly, and she said, "It's for Starbucks. Go treat yourself." She had obviously seen my post on facebook. Tears threatening to get the best of me, I thanked her and hugged her...and then went to get my White Chocolate Mocha.
It was as I was drinking my Starbucks -- a wonderful new flavor that I was trying for the first time, by the way -- that I realized what was going on.
I don't typically think of things in this manner, but it seemed obvious that God was giving me this clarity. I had started my morning off well and had great intentions. But then the anxiety began to set in -- Satan's attempt to thwart my intentions of spending the morning in prayer about Bret's meeting. I had turned to the Word, I had prayed, and God had taken away my anxiety. And I truly feel that the Starbucks from my friend was God's patting me on the back, "'Well done, good and faithful servant.' We made it through this one."
Then just a little while ago I read the "40 Days" reading for today. Mark 4:18-19 (The Message) pretty much reached out and punched me in the face: "The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it."
And with that, another scripture popped into my head, with which I will leave you tonight:
"Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall." --Psalm 55:22