Not My Will

I’ve been meaning to write/post this for a few days (as it all mostly stems from Palm Sunday) but a sprained wrist has been slowing me down. (Thanks for jumping on my hand, Eva.)

Before this year, I’d never really thought much about Palm Sunday. Lent has always been about getting to Easter, Christ’s big day, if you will. But this year, Mark, our pastor, gave me a whole new perspective on what Palm Sunday can mean.

It’s easy to look back at Christ’s life and say the high point was the death and resurrection, hindsight being what it is and all, but when you walk with Him without looking ahead to that…being ushered into the city like a king probably felt pretty mountaintop high to Him. Mark really opened my eyes to how much confusion that must have caused Jesus. That during all that begging in the Garden, when he was saying, “God, let this cup pass from my lips,” He was remembering how awesome it was to reach that pinnacle of ministry. The people were finally getting the message, his followers were growing in number and faith…”Hey, Father…this is good stuff! Let me keep going here like this!” And how hard it must have been for Jesus to already know the answer. What trust and love. It overwhelms me.

I think God has given me a couple of those moments in my life. Minus the palm leaves and donkeys and prophecy-fulfillment.

The first time He really knocked me off my high horse was when I tried to join the Peace Corps. Well, I didn’t just try, I actually succeeded in joining the Peace Corps, I just didn’t make it more than a day. I had been accepted into the Peace Corps after I graduated college and invited to serve in Benin as an English Teacher. I had my entire life figured out from there. Peace Corps for 3 years then enter the State Department as a Foreign Officer and commence changing the world. So simple and so absolutely what I wanted. It was in Philadelphia for my training that, 24 hours before my flight to Africa, I found out I was pregnant.

Obviously, they don’t send pregnant women to third world countries.

Clearly, I take full responsibility for the decisions I made. But how many women want to get pregnant with their husbands and can’t? How many months of “trying” does it normally take couples to conceive? As much as I know what I did, I also know what God did.

He said, “No, Abby. You are walking a different path.”

The second incident with divine intervention was when my engagement ended a week before we planned to elope.

For the sake of his privacy, I can’t divulge too much of that story but I will say it was a very narrow escape from what would have been certain divorce. I was in the jewelry store picking up his wedding ring when I found out he was in jail.

They make movies about this kind of stuff, people.

What a foundation-shaker that was. For months, I’d been affirmed and encouraged by EVERYONE in my life.

“We always knew you’d find someone to love you and Eva.”

“What a blessing!”

“God provides”

All of these strong, spiritual words had been spoken over us. Were they wrong? Was God absent from that situation? How could we have all been so confused? How could God have taken that which I had been told countless times He’d given me out of his love?

(If the story of Job isn’t running through your mind, let me know—I’ll fill you in later)

I find myself thinking back to both of those situations a lot lately. What is God’s bigger plan for me here? I have so clearly heard Him say, “No, Abby, not that way” that I am finally desperate to hear Him say, “This way, dearest. Go this way now.”

I hope that like Jesus in the Garden, God finds me on my knees begging for His will, not mine.

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