Well, it’s been touch-and-go the last few years, huh? I’m sorry, but you’re pretty tricky. I know you say that you give and take away, but I didn’t realize you were serious until I started seeing it right in front of my eyes.
It’s just been so up and down – blessings of new friends and opportunities, counteracted by periods of extreme loneliness and sadness. After leaving us on the edge of our seats for a year you gave me the best job I could possibly have. I do thank you for that. But in our pre-marital counseling, you apparently moved our pastor to tell us that you’d never give one of us an opportunity without thinking of the other. Well, when we were going on 12 months without a job for the hubster, we disagreed. And, as you know, we weren’t taking the ‘agree to disagree’ approach with you. We fought and cried and fought you some more, asking why you were breaking us down. Widdling us down, really, little by little. Pride piece by pride piece until there was nothing left but the shells of two people who wanted so badly to believe you hadn’t left their lives.
And it wasn’t only our situation we grew angry with you for. Our heartaches were nothing, absolutely nothing, when compared to the families/pregnancies you’ve withheld/taken away from couples who love you so much. Or to watching a woman who spent much of her adolescence and young adulthood serving you lose her sister. We felt helpless as we watched relationships degrade to a degree of extreme destruction, national tragedies that involved way too many children and mass devastation, all of which left a huge wake of hurt and sadness that continues to be waded through. And every time something new would happen we’d look up and ask, “Seriously?!” And I know it’s a reality that as we get older our burden for others’ hurts grows, and even just practically, as our circle grows so does the chance we’ll know someone experiencing extreme heartache. But this makes it no easier to understand your allowances. We all got to the point where we thought, “Well, either we lean on His promises or give it up all together.” (By the way, God, in the context of this letter, ‘we’ refers to me and Greg, as well our family and friends on our prayer list. You know who they are; you see and hear it every morning).
So we put your words all around our houses, just in case you were still listening. We started saying things out loud. Things like, ‘God is faithful’. And ‘Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the 5 loaves for the 5,000?’ Things like, ‘I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until danger passes.’ We all asked you for some relief. We relied on your goodness you’ve promised and talked about over and over in the Old and New testaments.
We asked for companionship. You more than came through with a growing group of genuine friends.
We asked for healed hearts. You have done amazing work through tragic situations, as evidenced by sincere smiles and laughter. Healing proven by the lives that have been saved through simple conversations that never could have happened had the initial heartache not taken place.
We asked for direction. For us, you laid out a clearly defined path to flight school. For others, you allowed entry to school, allowed home closings to be just on time (when the bank, aka the perceived boss, said they wouldn’t happen), and you gave answers in the form of cranky commanders.
We asked for financial relief. You moved people to help us without them knowing what we needed. You provided gift cards and give-aways in the form of food, washers and dryers, and cash.
Greg and I then asked for a specific number. You doubled it.
We all asked for health relief. You’ve healed multiple cases of bronchitis, food allergies, flus and pregnancy-related illnesses.
Greg and I asked for a month-long road trip as a marriage investment. You cleared Greg for the 1st time in four years to have a month without National Guard drill so we could have that road trip.
We asked for rest. You withheld jobs but not financial provision, giving us that peaceful rest.
Greg and I asked for our car to be okay when AutoZone suggested what might need to be fixed. You turned off the Check Engine Light.
We asked for a way to get appliances from VA to here, the cheapest way possible. Instead you provided those appliances for free, right here in town.
There is no logical reasoning for many of those answered prayers. You knew we would never ask our loved ones for help. You know we came to you because we had too much pride to go to anyone else. But how thankful we are that we did. You squeezed out that pride, leaving none behind. You taught us we’re supposed to help each other, and that means sometimes receiving – not just giving. You taught us that sometimes we feel abandoned because we’re incredibly short-sighted. Sometimes it’s just not the right time, or something isn’t ready for us, meaning we can’t yet move forward, or we haven’t yet learned the proper lesson you’re trying to teach. If we promise to learn quicker next time, how about we skip over all the yucky stuff and, right away, just put your learning objectives immediately into our hearts and minds?
My current request of you is a convertible for our road trip. I told you I felt silly asking you for it at first but, what the heck? You’ve granted so many other specifics, so why not? We’re taking the road trip as a marriage investment, so I don’t even feel like it’s a selfish request. So far I’m unsuccessful in my search, but you can do it! Because you can do anything. You’re God. You’re all-knowing, always good, ever-faithful, and you’re as real and true as the storms raging outside my window and sometimes, within my very own heart. You calm both sets of storms, of that I am certain.
I love you, and thank you for loving me (enough to send me a short-term convertible(?)).
Your Favorite Daughter