Hey ya’ll! It’s been a while! Whatcha been up to?
Me? Well, I’m still here! Yay! I know, I figured I should write a post just to let you know that last Saturday when the liar in my head told me it’d be interesting to slice my wrists with the knife I was putting away so I could watch the blood pour out I told him “Nope! I think that’d hurt too much. And then my mom would have to clean up the blood off the floor, so no thanks.” Which honestly was a bit of a break through for me. I didn’t freak out over a suicidal thought! I didn’t go down, thinking “oh, WHY do I keep having these thoughts! I’m so messed up!” I just dismissed it.
Guys, I’m getting better!
But, that’s not why I wanted to write you tonight, dear reader.
I’m writing you tonight because God is working. Again. I know, I know, He’s always working, but now the lies have quieted to a point where I can hear Him again and see what He’s doing.
Have I told you how incredible He is?
He and I still have our morning conversations, which are mostly amazing. I think I figured out why He likes 4:30 so much though – that’s when my essential oil diffuser automatically turns off. Before that it’s white noise, so when it ends I think the silence can sometimes wake me up – but I’m alright with attributing it to God because I don’t wake up every morning at 4:30. So on the mornings He wants to talk, He times it so that my sleep cycle is the lightest just when my diffuser quits and then I wake up and we talk. When He knows I need more sleep, He lets me sleep. After all:
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.” (Psalm 127:2)
Anyway, that’s all a very detailed introduction to telling you that a few Saturdays ago, we had a conversation early in the morning about a surprise. Yes, the surprise relates to Trent (I know, but honestly, are you surprised? Didn’t think so). No, I’m not going to tell you what it is because it’s a surprise (not a secret – we don’t have secrets on this blog. Obvi. I mean, you can read all about my porn addiction and my hormonal cycle if you want). I run almost everything past God these days, especially anything Trent-related. God seemed cautious. He said “Alright Anessa, you can do this, IF you don’t put your hope in it. Your hope has to be in Me and Me alone.” Since it was Saturday and I could, I fell back asleep after that conversation and slept in later than usual and I had bad dreams. For me, bad dreams = spiritual warfare. So I woke up and talked to God some more about it, because it was pretty much all I could think about. I said “ok God, I need some confirmation. How about I go read my Bible for today and if [this specific word relating to the surprise] is in my assigned reading for today – I won’t go searching my Bible for it – I’ll know that You approve of this idea.” Then I thought that maybe that was a dumb idea, so I told God, “You know what? Never mind. This is a dumb idea. Forget I said that, God.”
God didn’t forget.
I went and read my Bible. I couldn’t have even told you what book I was in before I opened my Bible (I really don’t pay attention to things like that). I read the first chapter, nothing. Second chapter, zilch. I turned the page for the third chapter and BOOM. The whole chapter was about this word. It was in there like, five times. Fine, I exaggerate. It was in there once. But it’s not a common word AND the whole chapter’s topic was directly related to this word, so…
Alright, so, that was kind of cool and freaky. So next step: I emailed my mentor. I laid out the whole situation to her, my conversation with God, the bad dreams, the Bible reading, my strong desire to enact this surprise and my slight hesitation about the whole idea. She graciously took time (while she was on vacation! She’s the best! You should get a mentor!) to reply, giving me her opinion about how to go about it (which was a much better way than I had originally thought to do it) and saying that since I still felt a hesitation I should be Gideon, from the book of Judges in the Bible, and ask God for two more fleeces.
Ok, fleeces… hmm… Well, since this relates to Trent, one fleece should be Trent-related. “Alright God, I need something from Trent. Anything. A message, an object, anything from Trent.”
I knew this was coming, because when I asked Trent permission to post our wedding song on here he told me he was sending back my Christmas decorations with a trucker friend of ours who goes through Indiana twice a week. I got the boxes the day after I asked God for that fleece. I was anxious to open them, to see what he had sent back, so as soon as I could I opened them. Most of my Christmas decorations were there and when he moved he just threw stuff in boxes and he didn’t look in them before he sent them back to me. So, I got some of his ornaments and other assorted flotsam. That initiated more conversation – did he want that stuff back? That all went nice and good, but that wasn’t the fleece I was looking for – I knew about it in advance, it wasn’t unexpected and it just didn’t feel like enough of an answer to count as a confirmed fleece.
Then, the next day (a Monday), out of the blue Trent commented on a post I had shared on Facebook about toxic masculinity. We had been tentatively acknowledging each other’s existence on Facebook again – a like here or there – but a comment? That was different. We had a good lengthy discussion about gender roles and he shared a video on his wall about gender roles that really opened my eyes. What’s the big deal about gender roles, you ask?
Our last fight, the big one the day before we broke up, was about gender roles. We never resolved it. I didn’t understand why he was reacting the way he was or why I was acting the way I was, to be honest. I know now why I acted the way I did (curse you, hormones!). But our Facebook discussion made me understand why he reacted the way he did. I was finally able to privately apologize for what I didn’t understand, he graciously forgave me, and we resolved that fight.
Guys, for me, that was HUGE. I didn’t expect that to happen at all. I hadn’t planned that. Throughout our whole relationship we had resolved every fight, except that one. And now we had. Wow.
Can anyone say God?
So, second fleece: confirmed.
Now: third fleece.
This one gets tricky. It’s been a few weeks. It has not been confirmed. Since the first two were answered so immediately and positively, I guess I kind of expected it to go the same way. But it hasn’t. I told God that I wouldn’t initiate the surprise until I had positive and definite confirmation of all three fleeces.
Yesterday some very good things happened. I was on a spiritual high because I had done some things I knew God wanted me to do (different blog post, but we’ll see when I get around to it). I was excited and feeling good. So I thought, “you know what? God will come through with the third fleece. After all, the first two were so amazingly answered, I’m sure God will answer this third one. I’ll just go ahead and get this surprise rolling.” So I did.
This morning I woke up slightly earlier than normal (not 4:30, but early enough I had time to pray) and I tried to pray. Something was wrong. Something felt off. I still prayed. I still knew that God heard me. But it wasn’t wonderful and amazing like I know it can be.
I thought about it for a while and then it hit me: I didn’t wait for God.
Immediately I thought of Saul, the first king of Israel from 1 Samuel. On one occasion Samuel, God’s prophet, told Saul to wait to go into battle against his enemies until Samuel came to offer a sacrifice. Saul waited for seven days, and then fearful of his troop’s sagging morale, went ahead and offered the sacrifice without waiting for Samuel. That impatience and distrust cost Saul his kingdom.
I was crushed. I told God over and over again that I was sorry. I beat myself up one side and down the other: “Anessa! Has the past six months not taught you anything about waiting on God? Hasn’t your impatience cost you enough already? Did you really not think God was going to come through, so you just had to go ahead and do it without Him? You deserve to not have your fleece answered and to have your hope for this surprise crushed. And your hope for Trent in general. Do you really think God is going to reward this disobedience?” And so on and so forth.
But then I went to read my Bible. As I read my daily chapter in Psalms, God whispered, “There were two kings who sinned, you know.”
Then my mind flashed to David, Saul’s successor as king of Israel. David sinned too – he committed adultery with Bathsheba, then murdered Bathsheba’s husband. Those are pretty bad sins, seemingly worse than offering a sacrifice sooner than you were supposed to. He took something that didn’t belong to him and did a horrible thing to cover it up. Yet, God forgave David. There were consequences, yes, but God blessed David in spite of his sin: David and Bathsheba had Solomon, and eventually through that line the world was blessed beyond measure through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
God took the kingdom away from Saul because of his sin. God promised David a descendant to rule over an eternal kingdom even though he sinned.
God told me this morning: “It’s the heart that matters, not the sin.” Saul never repented for his sin. David repented in sackcloth and ashes, fasting for a week. Saul’s heart was not turned to God. David was called a man after God’s own heart.
I repented. I asked God to forgive me and He did. I confessed what I had done to my mentor. She made a suggestion as to how I could make amends, and I followed her advice. I was able to undo what I had done.
Will God answer the third fleece? I don’t know.
Is asking for a fleece the right thing? I don’t know.
Do I want more than anything to know God’s will and plan and to do it? Yes.
Is God still good and can I trust Him to have just the right timing? Yes.
Am I going to wait, even if that means waiting until I think it is too late? Yes. God, please give me patience and endurance.
Will I be alright if God doesn’t answer the third fleece at all? I think I’ll be disappointed, because I really want to do this, but as God enables me, yes. I’ll be alright.
I’d appreciate your prayers in this matter. I’m not telling what the third fleece is because I don’t want to skew anything. I’ll let you know one way or another. I promise.