About this time three years ago, I was having quite a disagreement with God.  It seems so obnoxious to me now, but it’s true. 

We were in the midst of making the decision about where my husband would attend seminary, and thus where we would move.  I was wrestling with all sorts of things.  Expectations.  Frustrations.  Hopes that I was afraid would never materialize.  Frankly, I felt entitled to some things.  Things to which I was not entitled.  

And so I made a hesitant decision to go where I knew we should go. My husband had already arrived at the same decision weeks earlier but he had given me the space and time to wrestle with the issues that bubbled to the surface during the process.  And I arrived at the same conclusion, though my fingers were still gripped around what I thought was due me.  It was a decision I thought reserved me the right to call the shots in the future, if things didn’t turn out like I wanted.  Some might call it a soul-bargain, though I would never have admitted to it.  

But I had a lot of things mixed up in my heart and mind, and over the next three years God slowly unwrapped what was bound so tight.  There were hard lessons to learn and white knuckles to pry loose of what I thought life ought to hold for me.  There was quite a lot of complaining.  And then quite a lot of taking my turn at listening to the Truth. 

As our time at seminary draws to a close, we’ve found ourselves back in decision-making mode again.   

One day a few months ago, I was completely fed up with the Boston weather.  It was freezing and raining, and I was tired of walking around in it.  I thought, “Surely we could move somewhere else and not have to deal with this.”  

“Rachel, it rains everywhere.”

It’s true, you know. 

There is no place where you can escape the hard stuff.  There is no easy road we can take as long as we live on this planet.  I will never find my utopia on this broken sod.  That might sound defeatist, but coming to truly believe that has been one of the most freeing experiences of my life.   

My anthem for the past few months has been the hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.”  I just can’t get the second verse out of my head.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Yes.  Yes, I have seen.  And it has changed everything. 

There is no way I could explain everything that the last line of that verse means to me.  I’m going to let that remain between me and God, if that’s alright. 

I don’t yet know what awaits us on the other side of graduation, but I do know that every day of the past few months I’ve told God I trust Him. 

And this time I’ve done it with my trembling hands open wide.

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