…today did not go the way I thought it would at all.
I didn’t have class until two today, so I let myself sleep in for TWO WHOLE HOURS and it was amazing. I woke up and pulled open the windows to see how beautiful the weather was. I couldn’t help but smile 🙂
I went and grabbed my laundry, which I’d left in the dryer over night. Then upon returning to my dorm I grabbed my Bible Study and such and headed to the lounge.
The study ended with my talking to God about pride. Pride and worry are two areas of my life that I haven’t mastered and may never master, but they’re a constant source of growth for me. I prayed that God would vanquish my pride. Little did I know the way He’d complete such a task.
When I finished, I went back to my dorm, thinking about how nice a hot shower would feel and how I couldn’t wait to get outside. But when I went to open my door, I found the handle to be locked.
I waited for about five minutes before heading back to the lounge, figuring that Bree had just gone out for a moment (to the bathroom or maybe to do laundry) and would be back soon. Half an hour later I went back to check and the handle was still locked, with my keys and phone still on the other side. I had no way to contact her, no ID to even get breakfast, and I was immodest in my pajamas so I couldn’t even leave the dormitory. I was completely and utterly helpless.
At first I didn’t really worry; I still had two hours until class, which gave God plenty of time to bring Bree back so she could open the door. I went back into the lounge and pulled out my journal and began to talk to God, using the time to pray for people, to be transparent, to just hang out.
Two hours passed, Bree still hadn’t returned, and I missed my class. By this point I was getting really discouraged. Granted, it’s not like I miss my classes all the time and it’s not as if I slack in my work, but I was still unhappy about missing class. So I continued to wait.
Everyone who passed kept telling me to walk to Residential Life in the building across campus, as if walking around in immodest pajamas was totally normal. I knew I was helpless, but I wasn’t going to sacrifice my testimony. God had me covered.
The thing is, while He did have me covered, He didn’t do what I’d expected Him to do. I honestly expected Him to have Bree magically come back just before Studio started and everything would be perfect again. But this obviously wasn’t the case.
I ended up sitting outside the door, waiting. Many of my friends passed by, and when one group of my writing people walked by, they asked me what I was doing and I began to cry. I was hungry and frustrated and uncomfortable and now, as the hours went on, I was going to miss Bible Study. I was humiliated and embarrassed about not bringing my keys with me to the lounge, with not letting Bree know where I was going. I just felt so imperfect and so incapable and so knocked off my pedestal.
My pride was all but destroyed.
God: 1 Hunter: 0
Fly, one of Lin’s friends, saw me crying and she brought her laptop to me so I could message Bree. I didn’t know how to thank her, and I tried not to do the whole pity party thing, which would’ve been really easy.
Bree eventually came and unlocked the door and it was all I could do to keep myself from breaking down and totally balling. She felt terrible, but I felt worse.
I brushed my teeth, washed my face, changed my clothes, and then headed to the train. I tried to lift my spirit up by listening to “happy music” on the subway, but the Holy Spirit prodded me with, “why don’t you just be real with Sam and Maria?”
So when I got to Maria’s house, I cried and cried, at first trying to be like an unemotional rock but then, after Maria hugged me a few times, I just let everything go. I know today really wasn’t a big deal: silly things happen, I trip over myself, it’s nothing new. But the problem was that I’d gotten so used to things being “perfect” and going smoothly, that when something like this happened I was caught off guard. A few other things happened today also, which contributed to my falling from my makeshift pedestal created from toothpicks and bandaids, above which God should be sitting.
And who says God doesn’t answer prayer?
Anyway, Maria let me cook spaghetti, which I really needed. I baked dessert as well. Sam had sprained his ankle, their children were both sick, and Jenny and I were the only ones who showed up. So we popped in a DVD of Sight and Sound. Sight and Sound, I learned, is a theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that puts on productions of Bible stories. The one we watched was Joseph.
Part way through the beginning of the movie Edward came and joined the party. All of us had a great time and I really enjoyed watching the film. Afterwards, Maria sent me home with leftover spaghetti.
I left and began walking through the rain, eager to get home and just go to sleep, when someone yelled “hey!” from behind. I turned around to see Edward trying to catch up with me. He very kindly walked me to the train and even swiped me through the turnstile, which I really appreciated.
While I was standing, waiting for the subway to come, I was trying to figure out some perfect moment where I leaned on God and I suddenly felt a billion times better. But that’s when I realized I was trying to recreate what only God can create in me. That’s also when I realized that today was not a lesson in being strong, but a lesson in being vulnerable.
My writing friends saw me cry, and they were able to hug me and encourage me. I gave one of my Christian friends, Fly, the opportunity to help someone, specifically me. I gave Maria the chance to love me and be a mother to me. I gave Edward the opportunity to be a gentleman and didn’t rebuke him for it. I was able to just be vulnerable.
Without God taking the time to put me through this day, without Him putting in the effort to bring me down a few levels, I never would’ve experienced His love and comfort through Maria, Sam, Jenny, and Edward. What would’ve happened if I didn’t have a church family to support me? I would’ve cried to my mother, but she would be too far away to comfort me. God took care of me, even when I’d been careless and forgotten my keys.
When I returned to my dorm, I smiled when I saw that Bree had bought me a slice of chocolate mousse cake and put it on my desk. We had a good talk and some laughs, and everything worked out.
It’s amazing how, even when a day is so bad as this, God can use people around you to remind you that He cares. It’s amazing how, even when we put ourselves in difficult situations, plant ourselves in troublesome circumstances, flirt with undeniable temptations, God still delivers us with grace and mercy.
I think it’s safe to say I remembered why I need God, why Jesus needed to come to earth and save me. I still feel helpless, still feel distressed, but I understand now that, despite my feelings, God is in control, and I know that’s a cop out answer, but it’s true. While I may not be able to do anything about certain things in my life, God is completely able to do everything. He’s not going to leave me hanging, because I’m His girl, and He’s promised to comfort me and strengthen me and deliver me and stay with me until the ends of time, and I fully expect Him to keep His promises.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18 ESV)”