Purple Flowers

May 8, 2012

I’ve made a decision.  It may not seem that dramatic, but it’s been coming for a while and I think it has the potential to change my life.  Here it is:

If I say I trust God to take care of me, I need to trust God to take care of me.

I know that sounds obvious and simplistic, but I’ve been so worried about so many things lately (work, money, future… I’ve even found myself not able to sleep at night because I don’t know who’s going to take care of my in my old age.  I’m 36.) and worry is contrary to what I say I believe: that God loves me and cares what happens to me.

I don’t understand, but I remember one time when it was as if I actually heard the voice of God.  About 8 years ago, during a time when I was not doing very well emotionally or spiritually, I found out that my landlord was selling the house I was living in and I had to move.  That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal now, but I was having some issues with insecurity and upheaval and it just felt like one more thing I couldn’t do. Even though this news wasn’t exactly earth-shaking, it felt like it was.

I talked to a number of people and shared how scared I was about the future and how much this one thing triggered me.  The one thing I heard over and over – from people who were Christians and those who weren’t – told me to ask God (or “the universe”) for exactly what I wanted.  For some reason, what came into my mind was that I really wanted a house with stairs, a yellow bedroom, and purple flowers out front.  I don’t know why those things were what came up, but I kept asking for them.

I felt pretty silly but then I found a house to rent.  It had stairs in the front and a few inside, beautiful purple Mexican sage out front, and the room that my roommates didn’t want was a lovely pale yellow.  It was so exactly what I was looking for that I still have a couple of friends who say “remember the purple flowers?” whenever I doubt.  I felt like God was looking me directly in the eyes, saying he loved me and would always take care of me.I know it could be a coincidence but it wasn’t.  I can’t explain how I know, but I do.

Again, I don’t understand.  Why would God provide what I was asking for in silly details of housing when he wasn’t healing my depression (and didn’t for over 6 more years)?  Why was God providing this and not other things that I was asking for: a husband, healing for someone I knew with cancer, the ability to sleep through the night (still don’t have any of those)?  Less importantly, why did I get to have this house for only 9 months before that landlord sold it? And, of course, why would God pay attention to these details when there are people without basic needs?

I don’t know.  I have no idea.  But I’m making a decision to trust.   It doesn’t come naturally to me (it would be an understatement to say I’m a worrier) but that seems to make it more important somehow.  A few years ago, I got a tattoo to remind me that God was always with me.  It’s a beautiful thing, to know that the presence of God is with me.  It’s time to live like it.

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The Plans God Has for Me

May 1, 2012

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I don’t know how this can be true.  I really don’t.  I know that our definitions of “prospering” are probably not the same as God’s.  Often, we have tiny little picket fence dreams of what “prospering” means – I know I do.  And I get sad and frustrated and lonely  because I still have financial issues or I’m not married yet.  My plans for me haven’t worked out in a lot of ways.

And honestly, I have it really easy compared to a lot of people.  I’m not living in poverty, I’m not homeless, and I’m safe most of the time.  In addition, I have good friends and a lot of luxuries.

So, I’ve been thinking about why I still believe this verse and others like it.  Because I do – I question it, but I always come back to believing it and I just do not understand why.  I can’t shake it.

I’ve been feeling some strength from that lately.  Also, this section:

“I will go before you and will level the mountains.  I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you too may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45).

I’m waiting for those mountains to be leveled.  I’m waiting for the plans he has for me.  I don’t know what they are or if I’ll see them but I’m guessing it doesn’t necessarily fit into my little list of what I want to happen in my life.