“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” I fell in love with Christ at the ripe old age of 13. My personality was formed around devotion to God and his Church. However, there are some childish habits I took on as a child that come back to me at times.
I looked for God in every sign, in every symbol. Everything was a product of his will because as I mentioned in a previous post, I was spared suffering as a child. So it was easy to see God’s hand in the goodness of my life. Naturally this view came into trouble when suffering entered my life.
I wanted to see a cosmic connection with each moment of every day. I wanted to read into every incident that God was active in my life.
So he was, only, not as I expected.
When I married nearly five years ago, we trusted in God in the same spirit of trust that I had always had with God. What did we do? We married, we left stable jobs and moved across country answering a call in my heart to attend graduate school at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. Did I earn my doctorate in clinical psychology and go on to become a professional in the field? Hardly. We did not find work. We had a baby. We were running out of money (money to live in Washington D.C.). We discerned that I could not give the time needed to commit to continuing the program if I was to be the mother I needed to be to this little rascal.
We returned to our proper coast, still making ends meet. I stayed at home, learned to manage the house in the spirit of A Mother’s Rule of Life and found deep joy in having a dinner prepared for my husband when he returned home from work. Remembering the day I cried over an unattractive meatloaf, this state was the triumph of my vocation. But we were running out of money again.
I returned to work and the joy and peace we experience during that time (albeit, not financial peace) disappeared. We suffered, we struggled, we had to draw new lines in how we communicate and spend time with each other. It was the ugliest time in our marriage. Up nights with rascal #2 for an hour at a time, dragging in the afternoons because the second day of training I found out I was pregnant again, weeping because the stress of work and disappointment of losing the joy and not being the mother I desired to be.
So we’re back to trusting again. That means we’re back to being poor. I’ve gone down to part time in order for us to have harmony in our home and to provide for our children the things that matter most, stability, love, devotion. So what happens now?
A job interview for my husband at his choice location. An offer from my parents to provide a down payment on a home. And a home for sale in our ideal community, with a layout and lot that fits our lifestyle and desired lifestyle perfectly. An offer offered the day we saw the house. A dream of not living next door to pot-smoking neighbors. Why is it so tempting to think that God is lining up the stars for us now?
I try to keep those thoughts at bay. I try to keep the excitement, the hope, the anticipation at bay. Excitement works on me like anxiety. I remind myself that we made an act of trust, we decided what mattered most was the inside of our home, not the inside or reliability of our bank account. So if it works, wonderful, but if not, we already made this choice because now we know what matters most.
Is that what God was waiting for? “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child…”
We’ve been here before, only with fewer ideal possibilities. So many times we thought, this is it, we’re going to have the life we’ve wanted. But it didn’t work out.
Why do we try to predict the movements of the Holy Spirit? “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
So we’ll have to keep waiting. “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”