this is part 21
start from the beginning here
The Enemy, I am convinced is not out to just distract us, although there is much of that, but to take us out altogether, no matter what the means of doing so. So many times in my darkest days of depression I remember having thoughts like "just run the car off the road" and although I thankfully never listened to those voices, it seems clear that destruction has always been in the mind of those wanting to stop the followers of Christ. But what happened next in my journey I would have never seen coming.
I began to go to physical therapy for my knee which I could barely bend. It was fine at first, going once, maybe twice a week, but every time I would have the same young guy working it out. Of course everything in me would push away thoughts of attraction or inappropriateness with this man simply doing his job. But I suppose in my state of mind, in Daniel's state of mind, we were simply trying to survive one day to the next, and here was this guy, paying me attention. Never mind the fact that my insurance was paying him to do so, and never mind the fact that he never did anything or said anything that would make me actually believe that he was doing anything out of line. But slowly something was creeping into my heart, I started looking forward to these appointments a little more than I should.
Certainly by no coincidence at that time I was doing a book review of "Aha" by Kyle Idelman, I wrote this in review of the book
".... Right away he gets into how God sends alarm bells in our lives to get our attention. It reminds me of that part on Bruce Almighty where he asks for a sign and all the signs on the road say, "wrong way", "dead end", flashing red and he keeps on driving. He refers to the story in Genesis of the brothers, Cain and Able and how God tried to warn Cain and give him the opportunity to do what was right. In Genesis 4:7 God says to him "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it".
It felt loud and clear to me that this had the potential to turn into something that would destroy me and many lives if I didn't bring it into the light immediately. To listen to those alarm bells and not dismiss them because nothing had happened, all was innocent up until that point. I told my mom, that nothing had happened but I didn't want anything to happen. By exposing it to the light so that it couldn't fester and grow in the darkness where no one knew about it. She encouraged me to tell Daniel, and so I did.
The truth was that not one inappropriate thing had happened between us, not a comment, not a look, not a touch, it was just this feeling I felt and this knowing. But I figured that after telling Daniel it would be no big deal, then certainly nothing would happen. Besides my knee was just starting to get better and finding another physical therapist this far in seemed silly. Daniel knew me and trusted me, even though there was some reservation as I left for my appointment two days later. But as I drove there and had nearly arrived I heard God more loudly in my spirit than maybe I had ever before or since saying "do not go there, run!" and so even though I felt a little silly, I turned and drove home and never returned.
I remember walking up those many stairs back to my apartment, still in my knee brace, and I just had this discussion with God. "OK Lord, I obeyed you, I will trust you. Now you work out my knee". He would, and prove it in extravagant ways.
I wrote this in conclusion to my book review
"As I grow closer to the Lord and more confident in my identity in Him I have also felt attacks rising against me. I saw this situation clearly as a trap, it didn't look like much from the outside, and perhaps if I hadn't have been reading this book I wouldn't have bothered seeing it as such. The author is so right, and God gave me an up close and personal example of these warnings God gives us to save us from what could hurt us and others. I felt the Lord telling me, 'listen now before it becomes something altogether different than you think it could'. I've never felt a need to radically obey the Lord as I have in that circumstance as I read concurrently the proverbs that warns, "can you hold fire close to your chest and not get burned?" and so I ran."
This was just another hit along the way, another bump in this crazy bump journey we were right smack in the middle of. Learning to trust and hang onto God, no matter what came, and things came and came, and would continue to come.
As my birthday approached I wrote about our year and what God was doing and continuing to teach me as I hung onto Him for dear life.
May 1st, 20014
"....our car broke down, they started making Daniel work till 8 and everyone got sick. I think because he had been fasting one Saturday night Daniel passed out in the kitchen, thankfully not very hurt. We had no car and were having to rent a car for far too long for our finances. But just when I thought we wouldn't be able to afford our groceries, the tax return that took us FOREVER to file because we didn't have Eisy's SS# came in, and a man who I had prayed with at one of our prayer meetings offered for us to use his suburban as long as we needed to. Humbling.
So as this year of my life has come to a close I am overwhelmed both by the difficulty, the pain, the confusion and the mistrust I experienced, and then the provision, the love, the faithfulness, the change, the depth that I have also experienced. I have been listening to Steven Furticks sermons and one phrase that really has stuck with me through this experience has been that we pray for the Greater thing from God, and that doesn't always mean MORE, BETTER, HIGHER, or MORE MONEY, like we would want, like we would expect, especially here in America, that sometimes the GREATER thing is actually DEEPER. And this has been what this season has been for me.
That He showed me, even just this last Sunday that my trust has been more in the circumstances working out the way that I think they should, the way I see them playing out to my best interest, and not in HIM as a person, the one I choose to trust because He is good. He has proven it again and again, and I can stomp my feet that He provided in a humiliating way, but I can't say He didn't provide. That when you look at the Bible, how often does He choose to do things the most explainable, logical, easiest way...hmmm, rarely.
And so, I am grateful, grateful for having learned new things. I want to know Him more, and He has shown me more about Himself and in turn, myself because of all these difficulties. I am learning to trust Him, not just asking Him to remedy my discomfort so I can go on without Him on my own way and then again get irritated with Him when He isn't jumping though my hoops. His story, not mine. He must become greater, I must become less."
to be continued...
, by Ashley Jackson