A friend of mine recently got married, and she said something very intriguing to me when she described the feelings she had on her wedding day.
She said, “There was this part of me that wasn’t ready to let go of my parents, because I never quite had the relationship with my dad that I wanted. I wasn’t fully ready to “let go”, because I didn’t feel the safety of his love. Does that make sense? It does to me, because I know it is backed by research. Children who are secure in their parents love are more likely to feel the safety to spread their wings and leave the nest, because they know their parents will always be right there, cheering them on. “
I had to stop and ponder what that looks like in our relationship with our heavenly father.
As I’ve come to understand the mistrust I have in people, I’ve wondered if there is a connection between how I see them (as untrustworthy) and how I see God. How do you really know if you trust God? I feel as though my actions (such as moving my live to St. Louis to go to seminary) show some measure of trust in him and his providence. But is that all I use as my measuring stick?
Last Saturday I was offered a job. In this economy, being fresh out of seminary, that’s a pretty big deal.
Not just because it would mean moving halfway across the United States to a place where I don’t know anyone, in a town full of mostly retired people. But it’s a big deal because this is a job where I’d get to use my degree, use my gifts, in a denomination which I largely respect. But these last few days have been pretty close to hell for me.
Saying no to the only job offer you’ve had so far is just as much of a step of faith as saying yes to the same job offer. If I say no to the church in Arizona, it could be looked as one of two ways: 1.) That’s it’s stupid to say no to a job in this economy, that’s almost everything you went to seminary for, and is a great opportunity. or 2.) Saying no could also mean that I trust the Lord has something else in mind for me that’s more of what I need right now. What I’m currently doing is putting enough pressure on myself that I might as well believe the world will fall apart if I don’t make the right choice.
However, I feel like it’s just a stupid to take this lightly. It took a long time for my call to be revealed to me. I graduated college without any sense of direction, not knowing at all what I wanted to do fro a living. I just knew I wanted to serve God. The process from then to now has been a process of hurt and hope, damage and restoration, love and grace. But why is taking the next step such a challenge for me right now?
In thinking of the answer to that question, I cannot help but think of Thorton Wilder’s words: “In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”
My wounded soul doesn’t preclude me from trusting the Lord. At least, I don’t think it does. But what it can do is make cloudy the goodness he has so often extended to me. My wounded soul was born out the hardship and pain, and sometimes that’s so much easier to see than his blessings.