is probably not so different than what many girls want. A white picket fence and all that it symbolizes. A husband. Children. A 2-story home with a welcoming front porch. Flower boxes on the windows. Happiness. Stability. Security. Love. The white picket fence.
I tried every way I knew how to make my dream come true. Man, did I ever try. If wanting it was enough, I would have surely obtained it.
But trying on my own (although it is the 'American' way and the way I was taught by my 'self-made' dad) is not God's way. And as I came to know more and more of the Lord's ways, my dream(s) did not change, but my acknowledgment of their Source crystallized.
And God is good. He gave me a second chance at the white picket fence. And I was grateful and confident that *finally* my dreams would come true.
And I was um.... incredibly misguided. I knew, knew, knew and believed like crazy that God was not interested primarily in my happiness. I knew He wanted *holiness* for me most of all.
Those two ideals (happiness and holiness) are not always in the same ballpark. And may, in fact, be at odds with one another. I was invested, though, in wanting God's way for my life. I just did not know what exactly that might mean. What the cost might be.
And I am ashamed to say, once the cost became apparent, there was a period of time that I was unwilling to offer myself, my life's course to the Lord anymore.
I was spent. I was confused. I was done. For the first time, I was suspicious of God and His motives. I was having a faith crisis; my very first one in 14 years. I felt betrayed. I felt that God had pulled some deceitful bait and switch on me.
And out of hurt and pain, I decided I didn't want it anymore anyway. Out of desperation, I re-wrote and revised my dream(s) to include new things, that didn't feature a husband and more children and a two-story house with a porch. My white picket fence seemed absolutely out of reach and so, in an attempt at self-preservation, I called it undesirable.
And in letting go, it was given back to me. Not the same old messy reality I had once lived, struggling daily in frustration and anguish, but the effortless, miraculous fulfillment of nearly every one of my dream(s).
And was I happy then? Oh heck no! I even remember God asking me, "What happens to the girl who finally gets everything she ever wanted?". I'll tell you. I was not. happy.
I was upset that God felt it necessary to rip my heart in pieces, in order to give me that which I had already wanted in the first place. What was the deal with that? What kind of Papa would do that to his daughter (other than my earthly father)?
Who was this God? Who was Jesus? Did I really hear the voice of the Lord through His Holy Spirit? Why did I ever think I did? What kind of character did God possess anyway?
Unknowable? Unsearchable? OK. Fine. I did not expect to know His mind.
But His *heart*? That, I thought I knew...
And now? Two years later, I am just beginning to trust Him again with the same reckless confidence I used to exude.
Wow. I am so not very proud of that fact, but hey, it is what it is. Why pretend with y'all? God certainly knows my heart. Whether I am honest with others or not, there is no hiding from the Lord.
So here I am, Lord. Slightly more than lukewarm, more like a sullen teenager than a joyful child and still, You are God. You are loving and perfect. You are with me always.
And just as I was never particularly moved or offended by the tantrums of my (then) two year olds, neither are you moved or offended by mine. You love me simply because I am Yours.
And that, is the ultimate. That is safety. Happiness. Stability. Security. Love. A spiritual white picket fence. All I ever wanted.