Well, if you read my last post, you probably think I am happily ensconced in Massachusetts continuing to thrive in my obedience to the LORD. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened…
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”
Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?
Matthew 14:30:31 (MSG)
In June 2009, I helped my husband move out to Massachusetts. The plan was that the kids and I would join him at the end of the summer, after our house sold. I had my eyes on Jesus. I was walking on water.
The house didn’t sell.
It was the summer the housing market turned sour. Prices plummeted. Houses for sale were a dime a dozen, and it was a buyer’s market. Our house had been on the market since February. People who viewed our home loved it, but there was always one little thing they didn’t like… the neighbor could see into the kitchen, the blinds didn’t keep out enough light, the yard was too small…
By the time school started and our house still hadn’t sold, I was in a different place emotionally. There were many outside factors contributing to this, but suffice it to say that I no longer had my eyes on Jesus. I was looking at the waves crashing around me, and I was beginning to sink. I knew in my heart that I could not move. Massachusetts represented so many negative things to me. It wasn’t that Massachusetts itself was bad (I actually have some lovely memories associated with Massachusetts); it’s that the life I had there as a young mother with three small special-needs children, no family nearby, and a husband who worked all the time was anything but rewarding. I was so overwhelmed, and I felt so alone. The idea of going back there was traumatic.
I spiraled into depression.
My depression turned out to be a blessing. It forced me to seek outpatient treatment at a Meier Clinic. Those three weeks of treatment were life changing. The first thing I learned was that EVERYONE struggles with SOMETHING. I was not alone. I was able to acknowledge a pattern of victim thinking which, in turn, opened my eyes to how the Enemy likes to play with our minds by feeding us lies. It reinforced in my mind that we do indeed have choices in life. We can choose to let our circumstances control us (passively sitting back and thinking there is absolutely nothing we can do about them), or we can choose to control our circumstances by changing our perspective on them. I kind of liken it to a person who is severely myopic putting on their glasses and getting a fresh view. Without their glasses, everything is very distorted; nothing makes sense. When they put their glasses on, objects become clearer; and it is easier to focus on reality.
I’m still not excited about moving back to a place that holds so many difficult memories; but when I came back from the Meier Clinic (with my glasses on), I started to view things differently. I no longer felt like I had to let life happen TO me. I told my husband on one of his visits home that I did not want to put our house on the market that next spring. I simply was not yet at a place (emotionally) where I could move, and I wanted my son to finish out his 8th-grade year at the parochial school he attended. I then applied to graduate school in Boston. I figured if I had to move out there, I needed something to give me a sense of purpose. I was blessed enough to get accepted into the program, and I was doubly blessed that the college granted me a deferral until next fall allowing me time to get our house back on the market and, hopefully, sold.
I wonder, at times, if my acceptance into grad school isn’t part of the reason God is moving us back to Massachusetts. I had just been accepted into the program the year before my husband and I got married but had to quit after we got married due to lack of finances. I see it as God giving me a second chance to finish something I should have finished a long time ago. I also see it as an opportunity to learn a new skill that will allow me to make a difference on God’s Kingdom Calendar. He gave me a voice so I could speak, not shrivel up into a corner like a wilted flower and die. Through His watering of grace and mercy, I am slowly coming back to life. With His tender loving care, I am hoping to bloom wherever I am planted.
Can you relate? Have you started out in obedience to the LORD only to find you’ve been blindsided in some way? Did you fall into victim thinking or fall into the arms of Jesus?
Help me keep my eyes on You, Jesus. When life gets too rough, reach out Your hand and grab me until I regain my strength in You. Water me daily with Your Word, tend my wounded soul, and replant me where I can glorify You. Amen.