God has prepared me for this situation through two Sunday school books read in the past year. Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller has helped me identify idols in my life while Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado helped me realize the importance of focusing on God instead of my giants. He is also sustaining me through it for He keeps pointing me back to Beth Moore's James, Mercy Triumphs, a Bible study we just finished.
Until Friday, I did not apply head knowledge to real life.
God is encouraging me. Two Sundays ago, our pastor, unaware of the issue, addressed the situation perfectly in his preaching. I found myself texting Steve during the sermon. A few days later, John Piper posted a conference message on the very same verses! As I listened to that message, God orchestrated the sun to peek out of the clouds and fill me with delight just as He did five years ago when I was sitting on my back porch reading the book Desiring God. Friends on Facebook have posted my favorite Bible verses. In one case, I had been meditating on a passage falling asleep the night before and the next morning it was in my message feed. God is there when we seek Him instead of trying to fix a problem.
Even on the way to Kansas, when traffic bogged down due to road construction, He let my eyes rest on these words and on this brilliant sunset.
My local friends have built me up instead of tearing me down: one stopped by bearing the gift of a fragrant basil plant and a card that quoted Plutarch! A friend who can find the perfect card is truly constant! I dislike contradicting the wisdom of Plutarch but constant friends really are not all that rare when you have friends in Christ. God is reminding me of His love through my spiritual family at church, homeschool friends, and long-term friends.
On Friday, I chose "I will" (keep my eyes on God) instead of "I want" (having my way in a situation beyond my control). Each time my thoughts drifted off, I studied a Bible verse I hope to memorize. I turned to the book of James. Since then, I have slept better than I have in weeks. I feel more peace.
God is encouraging me to choose instead. He put that word on Pamela's heart—imagine Him giving such a word to a person who has struggled with words most of her life. Yesterday, whenever she did not like a choice we were offering, she deliberately used it in a sentence. "I want to go to the park instead." "I'm doing instead: Wednesday, not Sunday." Whenever she says, "Instead," I am reminded to be more mindful about my choices. By choosing to dwell on God instead, I am dwelling with Him. When I let Him handle my burdens instead of me, He gives me rest.
Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart. Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul, for by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.
O, how great Thy loving kindness, vaster, broader than the sea! O, how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me! Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine, know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art, and Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart; satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need, compasseth me round with blessings: Thine is love indeed!
Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee; resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, Earth’s dark shadows flee. Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face, keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace. ~ Jean Pigott