The Begrudging Will Of God
I was just a girl, but I remember now with amusement the thoughts that kept me awake at night. I was never one to ask my parents incessant questions, but I did ask a few that I just couldn't seem to satisfy on my own.
I would spend sunny afternoons dreaming of my future and my wedding. It was the dress that I considered mostly, and then the husband. I would wonder if I already knew him, and if not, what he might look like. Would he have strong hands like my dad? Would we live in a brick house? Would we have kids? Of course we would. At least four, maybe five. Six?
These questions would rotate in my mind, and when I just couldn't hold them close enough I would offer them to my parents. "Do you think someone will marry me? What do you think he looks like? Will he smell good?"
I imagine my parents were thinking the same thing I do when my kids ask questions that just can't be answered. They would generalize something that would satisfy me, and not give it another thought.
"You will get married if God wants you to get married. And you will find that person that God has intended for you."
I hated that answer! Why? Because it scared me.
In my young mind I felt that it had nothing to do with my choice and my desire. It was all about what God wanted and I had to be happy with the plan that he had picked out for me if I wanted to be obedient. When I imagined myself a lonely spinster in the jungles of Africa, I thought perhaps God would forgive me if I ignored his call. I really wanted to be obedient to God, but I really didn't want to marry someone I considered ugly or stinky or touched me with soft, sweaty hands.
It has only been in the last few years that I have been able to slip past the edges of understanding God's will for my life. It is a mystery unfolding before me, and all of the years that have been are in every way connected to all of the years that will be.
I no longer see my life in Christ to be one that falls victim to a God who doesn't see my desires. He is not a God who demands the directions of our lives. He has given us minds to think and choose of our own free will. He invites us into a life with him that we could not find as fulfilling if we went at it alone. It is our privilege to choose what he has laid before us. He is the Creator, and he made us to create things in a way that only we can. He gave us likes and dislikes; personalities and preferences. He is thoughtful and detailed and we are a reflection of his character. In our beginnings he placed inside of us a beauty and uniqueness that he intended for us to use to make the world curiously strange and most certainly lovely.
I have wasted time worrying about what God might ask me to do with my life, never realizing that his desires would line up so perfectly with mine. It has been a time of growing for me. I have had to die to desires that were not meant for me, but this death has opened my eyes to a life that has never left me feeling empty.
This is not an accident. This is purposed and planned, and when I stop to think about the turns my life has taken I fall in humble gratitude. I am not worthy to be a co-creator with God, but I am his child whom he loves and honors with extravagance.
He has invited me to follow him. How can I not say, "Yes!"