Disclaimer: I’m slightly down. Not like “I’m in the pit of lies and despair and hopelessness” more like I feel like I’m on the edge right now and I’m trying to look on the bright side, but I’m half in shadows. Just to let you know. Also, I’m writing this late Thursday night and I want to have my mentor proof it before it goes out, so just be aware of that time frame whenever I actually publish it.
Today was not good. I do like my job, but today was horrible and very stressful. I discovered at 9:00 am that I have been doing something wrong for the entire two weeks I’ve been working on P2. So I have to go back over all the sheets I’ve done in the past two weeks and fix. Great. Then, at 9:30, they said “stop what you’re doing! This exchange is more urgent than that, get these new super-complicated maps done as quickly as possible!” (They may have used other words to convey that message.) We spent the next two hours trying to figure out all the changes because every exchange seems to be slightly different. Every time we asked our supervisors a question, we got new and more information that meant going back and fixing what we had just done.
I almost finished my map. When I go in tomorrow I’m going to have to figure out why a very important cable is missing from two poles. And did I mention I was training someone today? Someone who is very good at math (I’m not. I use a calculator constantly and unabashedly) so she usually had the numbers figured up before I had a chance to even touch the calculator, who is very self-assured, and caught on very quickly. It was intimidating, to say the least.
And that was just work today.
Guys, I misplaced my hope. No, I didn’t lose it, I shifted the foundation of it. When that happens, bad stuff happens. Especially when I base my hope on me and my actions instead of on God. I wrote a blog the other day and talked about Trent in it. I don’t know if you’re able to read between the lines of this blog, but I write most of the posts with Trent in mind (I know, I’m so discreet about that…). The last few days I began to hope that what I had written would influence him enough to change our current circumstances. News flash: it didn’t. But when that shift happened, I began to have damaging fantasies: imagining Trent showing up at work, walking into church, being at my house when I get home from work. None of that is going to happen and those are the kinds of dreams that have the power to bring me down, because they’re based on the hope of what I have done.
When my hope is in it’s rightful place, with God and what He can do in His power, I don’t have those kinds of damaging fantasies. I go to a women’s Bible study at work and two weeks ago we watched a presentation by a woman who very clearly did not want to give that speech at the conference she was at, but she was doing it because she knew God wanted her to. She cried and she was shaking during the whole speech; which was so authentic and real – we all connected with her. Her message was about Abraham sacrificing Isaac at Mount Moriah, a topic I wrote a blog post about, so I really connected with it. Her point was that Abraham had no idea that God was going to provide a ram, but he trusted the Lamb (the Lamb being a reference to Jesus; Jesus=God). Her challenge was “what are you hoping in? The ram (the answer to your prayer) or the Lamb (the God who answers prayer)? When I put my hope in what I can do to put Trent and I back together, I fall apart. When I put my hope in God, and I hope that no matter what happens, He is glorified, I have peace and confidence.
Here’s the thing though: I don’t think Trent really broke up with me because of me. I and my depression didn’t help, sure, but I think the real reason was because we were on the verge of getting re-engaged (for realsies this time) and his fear of a close, committed, intimate relationship (marriage) won out over his desire to be with me. I can’t help him conquer that fear if he’s not ready to face it. And he won’t be ready until God works in his heart.
So in all of this I feel somewhat like an innocent bystander. I’ve had a few conversations with God about it. The infamous “why me?” question may have crossed my lips a few times. “God, why did You put him and me together? Why didn’t You pick a different woman to love him through his fear?” Today He told me why, through my mentor.
Speaking of which, have you found a mentor yet? I know you’ve heard this a time or two before but seriously, GET ONE!!! I’ll ask God to give you one. I cried a few times at work this morning; just too much of everything: work, Trent discouragement, etc. So I called my mentor at noon and asked if I could come over for lunch, even though it wasn’t our normal day for lunch. She said yes, so I went over and cried pretty much all of lunch break. I told her how dumb I felt for shifting my hope, and how that gave the fantasies power to bring me down. I told her again that I don’t want my lingering obsession with Trent to be just from me, but that I’m afraid it is, because I do really want to be with him. She said, “Anessa, look back. What has God done? What do you know to be true because you received undeniable confirmation from God that it is true and He is working in this situation?”
We talked a bit about spiritual warfare. When I brought it up she kind of snorted and said “duh!” She said “Anessa, you have a powerful and dynamic prayer life – I mean, I don’t talk to God about my earrings! And you have a powerful voice when you write. When you’re down, you don’t write and you don’t pray. Of course Satan wants you to be down, and discouraged, and doubting.” I mentioned the fact that I just emailed my Quest List Prayer Partners an update and a few specific prayer requests the day before yesterday and she said “yeah, Satan doesn’t like you getting more people to pray either.” Honestly, it was a battle getting that email out; had to fight quite a few lies just to be able to hit send.
Toward the end of our conversation she looked straight at me and asked, “Anessa, do you love Trent?” I nodded, because I was crying too much to verbally answer. “Then go to 1 Corinthians 13. What does it say? Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love never gives up.” And then God said “I picked you because you love like this.” (Note: I don’t always love perfectly. I mess up. But once I love, really love, I don’t give up.)
I cried then because I felt so honored and blessed. Honored by God for giving me this insight into this challenge, knowing that it is way too much for me, so I have to lean on Him and hope in Him. Blessed by my mentor, who reminds me of the truth so often when I forget.
I pray it is always my song that “my hope is built on nothing less/than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame/but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.”