I have mastered the art of avoiding a storm. I love my intuition, and my intuition loves me. When I sense a storm coming, I head the other direct post haste. I actually shut down when I find myself in the middle of a full fledged storm.
I feel like there are other methods that life can use to teach me the same lesson. I feel like the storm is completely unnecessary. I glare in disgust; I sit; I mope; I scream; I cry…
When I was 19, I met a boy. We dated for 5 years. The last 2-3 were disastrous, but I hung on for dear life. I attribute my aversion to storms to those last 2-3 years. I vowed I would never put myself through that much chaos again. I told God that He could have saved me a lot of trouble and heartache by just telling me it was not going to work from the beginning. Then, I gave Him my 20-something shallow, self-centered list for my husband to be.
He had to be handsome. He had to be athletic. He had to have a bunch of girls that would want him, but only have eyes for me. He had to be willing to deal with my crazy. He had to think to world of me. Oh yes, and he had to think the world of God too.
When I was 21, I met a boy. (Yes, I realize the overlap in dates here.) He was everything on my list, and I asked God if I could have him. God politely shook His head no and insisted I stay with my then boyfriend. I sighed, and rode out my storm of a relationship until all I had left was the shell of the person I used to be. As I walked around picking up the pieces of myself to rebuild a bigger, better Brittany, in walks the same boy.
“He’s perfect,” I tell God. “Can I have him now?” God adamantly shakes His head no. And I cannot understand…
…So I block and delete. I live my life, and years later, in walks exhibit A. God says, “Brittany, it’s time.”
I giddily respond, “I thought you told me it was not him. ”
God answers, “It’s not.”
Me: *rolling eyes* “So what’s the point?”
God says nothing.
For the first time in years, I fearfully walk head-first into a storm. God gives me all the time and space I need to figure out what is going on with this guy. All the while, I make sure He is sitting in the boat. I refuse to ride out the storm alone…
“And He said…“Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23
I wake up one morning, and it is over. The storm is over. I am over it. I am over him. He is everything I never wanted, and I throw my list in the trash.
Cue my husband.
It is God’s turn to speak first, “Brittany, there he is. Isn’t he beautiful? I made him just for you.”
“What in the world is this, God?” I ask…not at all convinced.
“Go get your list,” He responds.
I dig my list out of the garbage:
Handsome – Check
Athletic – Check
A bunch of girls that want him with only eyes for me – Check
Deals with my crazy – Check
Thinks the world of me – Check
Thinks the world of God – Check
“Oh yes,” God continued, “I threw in some more for decoration.”
Kind – Check
Loving – Check
A good father – Check
Comes from an amazing family – Check
Has the motto “happy wife, happy life” – Check
Accepts your hair in all of its styles – Check
Takes in your sister’s African-American son – Check
Willing to take in your sister’s African-American daughter – Check
Gets the kids ready in the morning – Check
Washes dishes – Check
Cooks – Check
Makes sure we attend church weekly no matter what – Check
Makes sure you have me time – Check
Makes sure you have girl time – Check
Your friends love him – Check
Your family loves him – Check
Passionate about his career – Check
Passionate about his family – Check
“I could go on, but you get the picture. I was unconcerned with your list at 20-something. I knew what your list would look like at 30-something. I know what your list will look like at 40-something…and 50-something…and 60-something…”
Then God goes silent.
I embarrassingly ask, “Then why the storm God?”
“Simple. Through was the only way to the other side.
“In your mind, you thought that My word was enough for you, but, in reality, you had to see it for yourself. You thought you could appreciate the other side without the storm, but without the storm, THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE. Without going through the storm, you cannot even see the other side. You could only see…and avoid…the storm.
“You were stuck in your old ways. You were stuck in your mindset. You were stuck in your superficiality, but you made ONE good request. You requested I pick someone who would think the world of Me so I had to get you out of stuck. But, THE ONLY WAY OUT WAS THROUGH.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” ~ Isaiah 43:2
“The storm was the only way I could meet all of your shallow demands and all of My much more demanding ones.”
Then He stops. He lets me marinate on His extraordinary answer to my less than ordinary request.
And here we are, 10 years later.
Happy Anniversary babe. You were my twenties. You are my thirties. You will be my forties, and 50s, and 60s…You are my forever.
You are my answered prayer.
What are some ways that you have learned to ride out the storm? What was waiting for you on the other side?
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