Trusting in Advance

This afternoon I drove to Shelbyville to see John at the dealership and go for a little drive out into the country. This is not something we normally do, but John is looking at property everywhere right now because we are trying to figure out where we're going to live next. When we bought the house we currently live in, the plan was to live here two or three years, then sell (make money) and downsize. We bought this house because we got a good deal; it seemed like an unbelievable investment opportunity. (It's more house than two people need and there's a lot to maintain, but it has been fun living here.) Unfortunately, right after we bought it the economy plunged and so did real estate values. So we've stayed three and a half years and we're still not sure exactly when we will try to sell it. But we're thinking about it a lot. And it could be any time.

One of John's favorite things to do is look at property. Many Sunday afternoons we cruise around looking for open houses and new construction that has not been locked up tight. John is always looking for a deal. And the last few days he has been telling me about some property in Bell Buckle he wanted me to see. So I offered to drive down to the dealership today and ride over with him to see it (Bell Buckle is not far from the dealership). I'm not sure how much I would like living such a distance from a real grocery store. It's a very rural area. But it is a tranquil and beautiful setting. John has always wanted land and this house has 4 or 5 acres surrounding it. So that's the draw. I wanted to see the property, but even more than that, I liked the idea of going for a drive with John in the middle of the day.

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I had Oprah on in the background while writing this post and her guests were Laura Bush and her daughters, Jenna and Barbara. Jenna told Oprah that her mom always told her to marry someone she enjoyed spending time with. And she did. She married someone she is very compatible with; they love to do the same things and they enjoy each other's company, which makes their married life "easy." I know exactly how she feels.

I know everyone says it is, but marriage is not always hard work. When two people bring out the best in each other and love spending time together, it can be quite easy. And when you add respect, kindness, laughter and genuine appreciation to compatability, the rewards of marriage are endless.

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I had put several Eagles CDs in my CD player before I left the house for Shelbyville. One of them was "Hell Freezes Over" - the first reunion CD. This is a CD I listened to A LOT when I was driving back and forth to Lipscomb in the fall of 2002. It was one of the most anxious and stressful times of my life. Music is like a time machine. It takes you back.

There is a song entitled "Wasted Time" on that CD. The lyrics did not precisely fit all of my circumstances or feelings at the time, but these words certainly did:

You never thought you’d be alone this far
Down the line
And I know what’s been on your mind
You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time
 
The song took me back to that very rough and uncertain time in my life; a time when I didn't believe my future was exactly bright; a time when everything I had ever thought defined me had blown up in my face. Not just a marriage, but everything I had built my life on. I was starting from scratch in more ways than one. Thankfully, I was beginning to understand forgiveness and grace.
 
In those weeks and months, I could not have imagined any aspect of the transformed life I have today. But God had a plan of redemption for me that was bigger than my imagination.
 
Eight years ago, because of disappointment and despair, I wondered if I had wasted the best years of my life. But the truth is that not a day was wasted time. God has taught me so much through adversity. Most importantly, He has shown me over and over that He is faithful and I can trust Him. He is working all things for my good. I don't struggle to believe that. I know it's true. God has proven it to me over the course of my life. And even when John failed chemo - although it was deeply disappointing and I was afraid - I knew God had a plan. I know He loves us.
 
There is a bigger picture that only God sees. That part I don't struggle with. But I have many times struggled with fear; fear of the unknown and the fear that God's plan won't line up with my plan. And because of that I love this quote:

"I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse." 
~ Philip Yancey
 
No matter how you may be feeling about the failures or disappointments in your life, remember that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. And what is big and scary to us is no challenge for Him.
 
Trust in advance.
One day everything will make sense in reverse.

Comments

Deb Light said…
I love that post Shari.You are an Inspiration and such a positive influence to all those around you.Good luck on finding the perfect home for you and John to spend your "Golden Years"!

God Bless,
Deb Light
www.cllcfriends.com

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