When will I ever believe I am safe? What will be enough for me to believe I am ok? Can my husband ever love me enough? Can we ever have enough money for me to think I’m fine? Will my friends ever care enough? What will be enough? This house? This car? This person?]
I use to work for Nielsen at Kellogg. Basically, that meant that every day I was surrounded by upper-middle class people who made more than enough money. However, every day I heard people competing for something. One day I was invited to a work event at a country club. At the work event, everything was fully catered and there was an open bar. In addition to all that I could eat or drink, there was a speed boat ride around a private lake. I felt like a princess. Interestingly, as the ten of us drove around the lake all I heard was “I wish my house was like that!” and “Well, we have a membership here” and “We just bought a speed boat.” I felt super crappy. I never wanted to live in a huge house. I never wanted a speed boat. Then, I felt pity for my co-workers. Why would you be dumb enough to believe that your security could be found in material things?A
As with most judgments, reality quickly slapped me in the face. This week, God security checked me as hard as possible. I deserved every security check I got.
Within the last six weeks, my husband and I literally were blessed enough to receive everything we could dream of. Six weeks ago we – on a total whim – we decided to look at one house. At the time, we weren’t even looking at houses. So at 11am on a Saturday morning we looked at a house. By Wednesday we were pre-approved for a mortgage. By Friday we had a signed offer. God took care of us buying a house in the swiftest way imaginable. It was a miracle. Thank you God.
This week my husband was blessed with a different position at work. He was trying to enjoy the role he had, but he was unhappy. Thankfully, he got a new boss who saw he was suffering. In a matter of days my husband’s boss moved him to a new position that my husband is going to love. There was no change in pay. There was no change in benefits. A swift move.
Then, Thursday of this week – I totally blew it.
I went to start my car and the check engine light came on. I should have stayed calm. I should have thought to myself “God has taken care of us our entire lives – this will be ok.” I should have reminded myself “God has given us swift kindness with a house and a job – this will be taken care of.” I didn’t do either of those things. Instead, I totally freak out. I yelled at my husband. I blamed him for the car. I cried and sobbed about how terrible everything was. Then, I reluctantly drove the car to the mechanic and waited for terrible news. After a brief wait the mechanic called me and said “Oh, it was nothing. Your car is totally fine. You won’t even have to pay for us to look at it.”
Then, this morning – I totally blew it AGAIN.
My husband and I were sick of car troubles. So, again, on a whim, we decided to get a different car. We could no longer afford to pay for my car repairs. In one day – my husband did all of the work. He looked up dozens of cars. He got us pre-approved for a car loan. He found the perfect car and set up a test drive. The car drove perfectly. A friend looked it over and said it was great. However – we went to get the check from the bank…. And we couldn’t. I should have stayed calm. I should have been kind. Instead… I DID IT AGAIN. I verbally threw up all over my husband.
I feel so dumb. Why am I dumb enough to believe that I will find my security in all of these material things? We have a house. Our cars are safe. My husband is the most amazing person I know. Still, again and again, in moments where I have every chance to realize that I am secure – I lose all control and freak out.
These experiences just make me ask “What is enough?”
I think one great flaw in our society is the belief that someone or something will make you secure. My old co-workers tried to do it with boats and houses. I think a lot of people in our society believe that once they acquire a certain number of things then everything will be okay. We also try to do that with people. We tell ourselves that if we have the perfect spouse or perfect friends we will suddenly be okay. I think great spouses and good friends are vital to happiness. However, believing you will find security in another person is false. When you lose everything… what happens? When it all shifts… where will your security be?
I use to read the Old Testament and get ticked at the Israelites. I would think to myself “Really? You guys saw a sea get split in half! God lead you out of slavery! You have seen it rain bread! Why are you not trusting God? IDIOTS!” As I get older, I see how many similarities I bear to the Israelites.
This last week God gave me every chance to see that everything will be ok. Then, in times of stress – I blew it. I forgot everything I have learned about trust and staying calm. I freaked out. I lost my temper.
Thankfully, I have an incredibly forgiving husband. When I apologized for my mistakes he promptly said “I forgive you.” That is the glory of God. Our security lies in the fact that we are forgiven. When we have failed, which we all do all the time, we are forgiven. When we lose our tempers, we are forgiven. When we forget that we have been taken care of, we are forgiven.
Now, that doesn’t mean we get to fly off the handle and be jerkfaces and then just play the “Forgive Me!” card (I, obviously, need to work on controlling my tempter and my tongue . What it does mean, is that we have the beautiful opportunity to see that in every moment – there can be redemption. It means that real security lies in trusting God. It means that when we our terrified and scared and angry, we can turn to God. It means that in those moments where we have failed, we can turn back and say “I have failed. Help me heal.” And God will answer like my husband did and He will say “I forgive you.”