This morning I woke up and realized how absolutely selfish I was being, and decided that, in the course of the night, I’d become a Jane Austen character.
I woke up, heavy-hearted, and spent time with God. I started the time with a realist’s rant against Him and then a stubborn quietness, until afterwards when I was thinking about His truth and what I should do in reaction to this, this, thing. Do I let myself be consumed by my feelings and what’s important to me and what I think and what I want? Or do I react in trust in God’s plan for those that I love so dearly and instead support them and encourage them and love them despite my frustration and how I want things to go? Do I put God’s desire for them before my own? Sending Jacob to an army base in Korea is part of God’s will for him, and He’s going to grow him immensely and everyone he comes in contact with will be blessed because he loves Christ and is so charged with His love that you can’t help but be attracted to it.
Remembering that, though I felt awful, God is so much greater than my heart, I packed my bag to go to the internship, grabbed my helmet, and went to the cafeteria to grab breakfast before biking off of campus.
Getting to the Brooklyn Bridge was easy. Getting on the bridge, however, was much more complicated. I ended up riding into an area devoid of bicyclists, full of cars, and a ramp heading up into the flow of main traffic. Of course the only appropriate thought to have at that moment was “Wow. I’m gonna die.”
But God had other plans. A very understanding and paternal construction worker stopped all of the traffic on that ramp to help me turn my bike around and go in the right direction. He even escorted me back the way I came and showed me the way to go from there. My face was hot with embarrassment and physical exercise, but I was grateful.
The plan was to bike down to a set of stairs up which I would carry my bike and carry on my merry way across the bridge. Well, I couldn’t find these magical Narnia stairs and went all over the place before realizing I’d passed by the wardrobe at least three times. Once I found the stairs, I picked up my bike, in my head wishing some kind gentleman would carry it up for me, because it really was far too heavy for me to carry and I nearly fell backwards once or twice.
I had been afraid of the Brooklyn Bridge, to bike across it I mean, but I decided I just didn’t have patience for fear today. I guess God knew what I needed to stop me from being so nervous. Biking across the bridge was the only easy part of the ride over. It was a wonderful experience that I struggled to savor, as I saw the difference in the way the bridge looked in the early morning sunlight as opposed to that of the afternoon, the only filter I’d ever seen the masterpiece put through.
On the other side of the bridge, I became lost several times, because walking to a place in The City is very different from biking to the same place. I ended up going in the opposite direction, and even though I was thinking of God’s truth and repeating it to Him, reminding Him of His promises, reminding Him of His truth and knowing He heard me, my heart ached, and my chest hurt, and I struggled not to cry while walking my bike along the sidewalk in the morning sun.
When I finally did arrive at the internship, I was about thirty minutes late, but my boss was very understanding. God knew I would be so emotional ridiculous today, because instead of working on queries, where I’d be interacting with people, He had my boss ask me if I wouldn’t mind alphabetizing his bookshelf and organizing some files. I spent the whole of three hours making sure every book was in its proper place, perfectly lined up, dusted, alphabetized, first by author, then by book, then by publisher.
Around 1:30pm, my boss told me I could go home, because the water of the entire West Village had been shut down due to a broken pipe underneath the roads. That would explain the giant holes crowded around by construction workers and large cement-breaking machines sporadically placed about The Village.
I thanked him and headed home, relieved to come out of the building to find my bike still chained up to the pole I’d left it at, as if someone would steal it. I got home just fine. I did, however, have at least two people walk directly at me while I was in the bike lane. I also had a few people step out into the bike path and look at me while I was riding towards them.
When I got to campus, I was tired, and walked to my dorm, took a shower, and slept for nearly four hours. When I woke up, it was dark and I realized I hadn’t eaten much for most of the day. Bree asked me how I was. Last night had been rough, and I wasn’t in a position where I could control or deny my emotions. So I wept until I fell asleep, praying and trying to figure out what God wanted me to do, how He wanted me to react.
After waking up and telling Bree I was all right, I knew exactly what I needed to do, and did it. My heart is still heavy, and I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know that God is good, and therefore everything He does is good. I know that God is going to protect Jacob, just like He protected Uncle Doug. I know that God will use this to grow Jacob and push him totally out of his comfort zone.
And God is still good.
“But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth will tell of Your righteous acts, of Your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of Your righteousness, Yours alone.” —Psalm 71:14-16, ESV
“Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.” —George MacDonald