Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lord of the Storm, by M

Well, another month has passed... how quickly the time goes! I'm now only 16 days out from the wedding, so I can about guarantee that unless W finds some inspiration to post something, it'll be at least another month until I'm back on here. So much to do and so much will change in the next month!

Today I have had the unbelievable pleasure to take a personal "retreat day" and to spend some time reading, writing, praying, listening, and doing various other spiritual development activities. Our team at work holds each other accountable to take these days once a quarter, and it might seriously be my favorite part of my job. It is an incredible gift to be periodically forced to slow down and get reoriented in my faith and walk with God. This gift is even more appreciated in these ever-hectic days leading up to our wedding.

So, today I've read a few chapters of The Five Love Languages, listened to a sermon from Willow Creek's Intimate Encounters marriage conference, read through the whole book of Song of Solomon, and before the day is out I'll read and pray through the scripture options that my fiance and I have narrowed down for our ceremony. All these things will ensure I end up with a healthy and happy marriage, right?!

Just kidding on that. But seriously, I've been desperately trying to wrap my head around everything that has been happening lately. I normally pride myself (for better or worse) on being the kind of person that's always in control, always on top of things, always has the answers, always completes tasks before they're due, etc. Well, I had grand plans for being this way during engagement and let's just say that my reality these past few months has been... not that way. Perhaps if I had hired a wedding planner or was working only part-time or had an engagement longer than 6.5 months I'd be more successful at being the "wonder-bride" that I imagined myself to be?

In any case, the reality is that I've been doing the best I can and mostly just hanging on for dear life these last few months. And honestly, I've hated it... not the engagement itself, but feeling constantly like I'm dropping the ball, failing at everything, and letting people down. It is not the way that I prefer to operate.

Yet, I had a thought the other day that has really changed my perspective on this out-of-control environment that I'm living in. I was listening to one of my new favorite worship songs (called "Cornerstone" by Hillsong) and the first part of the chorus says this:

"Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all." 

And it hit me... this season is a storm. I had never thought of it that way because, in my mind, the word "storm" implies some terrible disaster. I felt like illness or job loss or grief or heartbreak was grounds for a "storm"... not such a fun and exciting time as engagement. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more I recognized that these last couple of months have felt just like I'm caught in a tornado or hurricane. I literally feel like every day there are real, important parts of my past, current, and future circumstances just flying past my head... and I have little time or energy to try to grab at them. My world is spinning and changing at such a rate that I'm helpless to do much but try to stay safely in the eye of the storm and watch it all happen.

Yet, for some reason naming this season as the storm that it is has given me hope. It reminds me that Christ is the Lord of this storm and He is Lord of all these things that I have little power to control right now. Christ is Lord of my wedding day and Lord of my health and Lord of my marriage. He is Lord of my time and Lord of my living situation. He is Lord of all.

Moreover, He will be most glorified not through my futile attempts at being wonder-bride, but at my sitting down and trusting Him with my life right now. The more I'm able to just receive His blessings (without feeling like I need to work to deserve them) the more He shines as the gracious Giver and the One who loved first. You know?

So, I will continue to hold on for dear life for these next 16 days, but my attention is no longer turned towards what semblance of control I can keep in my grasp, but instead to whom it is I am ultimately clinging. I pray that in the process, His power will be made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). What more can I ask for?