Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Life We Don't Yet Know

I was flipping through an old journal tonight and came across an entry dated March 14, 2000 with this quote from Jeff Lucas: "The life we give Jesus is the life we don't yet know."

At the time of that entry, I had been following Christ for about a year and a half---about the same amount of time that I'd been married. Our first child was only 3 months old. My husband and I were both 20 years old.

I don't remember, of course, what went through my mind at the time that I wrote that down---but I'm sure I had no idea really what it even meant.

I was still another three and a half years away from the day when I would cry out to God and ask him to forgive me for my on and off loyalty to him, my husband and my family---the day that really turned my life around for the better. I was still another seven years away from the most horrible day of my life yet---when I screamed into a bath towel at the top of my lungs for half an hour as I delivered my miscarried child at 8 weeks along. I was still ten years away from the day that I would plead with God, with complete peace and belief in his goodness, for the life of the child I was delivering in an emergency procedure---the child who turns one month old tomorrow and is sleeping peacefully and healthily at the other end of the house now.

So many times we are afraid to give God our lives because they are filled with so many things that we don't want to give up. When God was asking me to give my life to him back in the fall of 1998, I was reluctant for several reasons. I knew that by completely laying down my will, I'd no longer be "allowed" certain pleasures: the seemingly innocent flirtations and attentions of men who weren't my husband. The ability to "settle" any dispute with a string of profanities---a slap across the face---maybe even a shove to the ground for whomever I was arguing with.
I'd have to be responsible to an earthly authority, my husband, and a heavenly authority, God. I'd have to give up my music, my movies, my mind games and my manipulations. I'd have to be honest. I'd have to be vulnerable.

On one hand, I wish that I could have taken my 19-year-old self on a time travel tour of what life would be like just a decade later...although I have a feeling that the former "me" would not be able to recognize the "present" me---so it would be a wasted trip! What peace and comfort and calm that would have brought to the younger "me".

On the other hand, if I'd had known then what I know now, I wonder how much of it I would have screwed up trying to make sure it happened? And...I wouldn't now have the joy and wouldn't feel such overwhelming thankfulness in looking back to see what a beautiful thing God has made of my life.

God is so faithful. He can be trusted---he loves us! I thought I knew what life I was giving God when I gave him my life 11 and a half years ago. I thought I was giving him the life of a lying, disobedient, unfaithful, hate-filled, and very hurt girl who had grown up way too fast and thought she knew it all.

In reality, God destroyed all that in the transfer. What I was really giving him was a clean, white canvas on which to paint the masterpiece that is, and will be, my life. I was giving him at least 11 years, 10 months, and 20 days of the beautiful marriage of two best friends. I was giving him Lynzie, Michael and Elisha. I was giving him the opportunity to step in and consecrate my life and roles as mother and wife. I was giving him Cainan and Selah. I was giving him the open door to change my heart and draw me close through the loss of Baby Hope. I was giving him Avalon and the chance to show us all his miraculous healing power in Liam.

God, what else have I given you? What are you going to do with the next hours, days or even years of my life? I'm still giving you my life---and I'm still trusting you to make it so much better than I could ever have dreamed to ask you for. Thank you for proving yourself faithful over and over.

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