Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Lots and Lots of Feet

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 1:6

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:10

Before God started this healing process in my life, I wasn’t always a very pleasant person. Oh, most people didn’t see it. For one, I have a lot of experience with stage acting, and two, I was pretty selective about who would endure the darts I would shoot out of my eyes of criticism. They say you treat those closest to you the worst.

Now, let me assure you that my husband never deserved it (okay, almost never.) I told him many times after all of this that he was/is a saint - not many people would have tolerated my behavior. (Boy – I am not making myself out to sound very good, am I?) He gives all the credit to God for his hanging in there and loving me through the valleys, but still I am amazed at the man’s grace and faithfulness. I wouldn’t have wanted to stay with me.

Anyway, I remember asking him while we were still living in Washington (he was planning to get out of the military and wanted to go to seminary) what he wanted to do with his life. He’d decided that he wanted to study Counseling, but given my emotional condition at the time, I had a difficult time swallowing that. In a way I felt like, how could he counsel other people when we were (read, “I was”) such a mess? It really irritated me (unfairly, yes) that he would set his sights on helping others heal when here I was being swallowed up by despondent self-deprecation.

“OK, you want to study counseling, but do you really want to be a counselor?”

“I don’t know …” (You can imagine what warm, tingly feelings that answer gave me. I struggled (albeit ineffectively) to keep my eyes from involuntarily rolling up into my head.)

“You don’t know??

“No, I don’t know … I, um … I just want to …. help people.”

You just want to help people. You just want to help people. Sure, fine. But just helping people doesn’t pay the bills, sir. You gotta have a goal, a plan. We’re going to move all the way to Texas just so you can get a degree you don’t even know if you will use, to do a job that doesn’t even exist, and all because you think you just want to help people??!? I don’t know that I ever voiced those words to him, but every time the conversation would take place, and it did several times, that’s what I would think.

So, fast forward to last year. Remember when I said he came home excited because he had heard about Member Care?

… it’s just kind of helping people …

You know, I’m fairly slow. It took probably several weeks for the full weight of those words to sink in. Just kind of helping people ...

Oh, God, I thought. I am such a twerp! I sooooo owe him, and You, an apology. He knew all along, didn’t he? I mean, he couldn’t put it into words, or give it a title, but he knew what you were crafting him to do. And you knew, too - all along. I know it was years ago, but I am so sorry for allowing my critical spirit to get the best of me, for not trusting him to follow you, and for not trusting you to speak to and through him. I see it now. I see your hand. Please forgive my unbelief.

So, here we are today… on the cusp of a great adventure. And more than likely, my husband’s going to be just helping people.

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