Clink, clink, shhhhhh, clink, shhhhhh, clink, I hear the ice maker in the hallway. Murrrrmur, mumble, mumble, murrrrmur. Nondescript, muffled words join the clatter and the smell of stale cigarettes emanating from the air conditioner as it hums in the corner. The hotel room returns to near silence in Schaumburg, IL.
Have you ever started a day and had it turn so fast you forget yourself? I have confessed in the past that is when I become the worst version of me. I spend the rest of the day mentally beating up and loathing myself. Bingo, it was one of those days. A simple car breakdown and I loose my witness. Oh, I’m feeling so inadequate. Thankfully, those days don’t seem to come often, but when they do, I wish I could crawl into a hole, away from people. I feel undeserving of Heavenly Dad’s love and the last thing I want is for anyone to see my “underwear” and think that Heavenly Dad is even remotely as pathetic as I am.
Now the end of the day, I cram in my earbuds for King and Country to preach to me that beauty, joy and peace may not be found when I am trying to hold on…but when I relax, open my hands and let go. Their song, Control, expresses, with words I could not find, my desire for His eyes and ears to be my eyes and ears. They beg that their tears be His tears, His hands be their hands and His feet be their feet. Finally admitting they can’t do it on their own, they tell Heavenly Dad they give up control. I fall asleep challenged to loosen my grip.
I awake and today receive my devotionals via email and they reiterate the challenge to do better:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
and reminds me every word I speak matters and has a purpose:
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
Off to teach with purpose: speak life, bless, reflect the Love I undeservedly receive every moment of every day from my Heavenly Dad, and not get in His way. Let’s just say it was a very good day. It usually is when I stop focusing on how I feel and focus on what really matters.
That’s for today, but what about our story?
We left off as Eric and I decided to keep seeing each other but were going to focus on Heavenly Dad and how He worked in our relationship. We began to share Eric’s passion for prophesy (he let me in!!!), listening to his favorite online program and/or program he supported, a couple of times a week. We also agreed on a church to attend together. This makes it sound like we smiled, agreed wholeheartedly, nodding in excitement and bliss, then saddled up the horses to ride off into the sunset together. That is not nearly what happened. Not one horse was in sight.
Again, except by the love of God working on both of us for extending grace when our words were sharp, loud, and not always respectful, we would not be together. Our beliefs of salvation are the same but our doctrinal differences were a journey like no other(still are!). The one thing that we could not deny was each other’s love of Heavenly Dad and the drive to put Him first in every aspect of our individual lives. As to how to do that together…that is what plotted the course of mountaintop highs and dark, shadowy valley lows of silence.
The heart checks rang true: the sincere love of Heavenly Dad. If we could just learn to love like Him and allow judgment, conviction, and change to be for Heavenly Dad and in His timing, honestly, we are still working on that, our love would be boundless. For that season, however, that was just one element of difficult dating.
Though the doctrine differences were rearing their ugly heads, the main issue was the distance. Living two hours apart, especially when Eric is not a fan of talking on the phone or texting, made Monday-Friday communication a challenge.
Do you remember that Eric was offered the job he wanted in Elkhart? With a start date of January 1st, this could potentially alleviate the stress of distance. Since we were moving forward with dating, he accepted the position which included an apprenticeship, travelling to Indianapolis biweekly for training for two months and then being entrusted to be on his own.
One other interesting aspect was that Eric’s house was for sale and closing was scheduled for the first part of January. On paper, this probably looked ideal, but reality has a way of adding twists and turns.
All of this was taking place approximately 2-3 weeks after Thanksgiving. For me it felt like uncertain change and pressure while also trying to deal with holiday emotions. Since we decided the future was in the hands of the One who knew better than us, we trusted and agreed to walk through doors He opened. It happened that two weekends fell into place for us to get to know each other’s families: Eric’s family Christmas in Michigan, the second Saturday in December, and the following week I gave Eric the best Christmas gift I had to offer. That, however, is for another day.
Until next time: Blessings!