So we're finally here.....settled.......unpacked......met the neighbors......purchased school supplies.....started classes......got a job.......found a nanny for the kids.....found assistance for Chris......so is that it?? Is life just life?? Is there anything new for ME here in Dallas, or is just a time for God to pour into Chris and enlighten Chris??
I'm finding myself having interesting thoughts. Chris is going to class, going to chapels, reading 10 different books about God and everything that has to do with Him, getting into deep discussions about God......and then there's me. I was busy the first week with unpacking and settling in, but now that it's all finished I find myself wondering what Dallas looks like for me?? Does God have a plan for me?? Do I get to learn from the incredible men and women that we've met who truly love God and have such deep, gentle, kind spirits?? Will I only learn through giving all of myself to my family, or will God carve out some time for me to do something crazy like read a book?? Will I be able to attend a bible study for more than 2 times before realizing I can't keep up with family life AND an extra commitment outside of the home??
You see, here's the thing about me....I LOVE to learn. I LOVE to watch people and listen to them and learn from their life experiences. I LOVE to learn what God has shown other people and allow it to soak into my soul and change me. I LOVE to sit and reflect and write out all my thoughts in my journal until God brings me to a conclusion. So for me, it's not good enough to come to an environment like Dallas Theological Seminary and not be able to learn. But God, how?? How will He do it?? How will I make it happen when I find myself having less and less of an attention span, being so easily distracted, having a hard time holding onto one thought?? Well I got the answer today......
GOD will make it happen, I won't. And God will do it through the people here. How do I know this?? Well, this morning was the first event of the year for SWIM (Seminary Wives in Ministry). This is a program at DTS that includes small groups, mentors, a reading program, etc. It's something I longed to be able to participate in, but really didn't know if my schedule would allow it. I learned about the event last week and ever since then Chris and I have been trying to line up a babysitter to help him with the kids so that I could go. We both asked so many people but weren't able to find help. Last night I received a phone call at about 9:00 from a girl who said that the woman in charge of small groups heard about our situation earlier in the week and arranged to have a babysitter at our apartment at 8:15 AM. She didn't have our contact information to let us know she'd taken care of it, which is why we hadn't heard about it earlier. When I got to the event this morning and someone pointed out the woman who had taken care of this for me I felt so much joy and thankfulness well up in my heart. Here was someone who hadn't even met me or Chris or our children, yet she went out of her way to make sure that I could come. And you know why that touched me so deeply? I think it's because I always assume that people will be willing to help Chris with what he needs (I mean let's face it, he's the one who's paralyzed), but I don't realize that a person may look at me and want to help me with what I need as well. I don't say that to imply that no one ever thinks of me.....I've had incredible love and support from friends and church families over the years. But what was a new insight today was my view of myself.....that I am a person who needs help....if I'm going to have time to experience things outside of my home, then I need help to do it. As we sang "Amazing Grace" this morning and sang the words:
"My chains are gone, I've been set free, My God my Savior has ransomed me......"
I felt God saying that during my time here at DTS I WILL be free to learn, free to experience all of the teachings, the bible studies, develop relationships.......and that the way it will happen is not going to be because Chris takes care of it or because I take care of it by working harder......it will happen because GOD will take care of it Himself. He will be the One to meet our needs through the women and men who are in leadership positions to line up help. My only role is to state my needs and they will be met. I can't tell you how thankful and excited that makes me. For the first time in so many years I will be able to really be a part of a group of women who are studying and seeking God......and I KNOW that God will teach me and change me and enlighten me with more of who He is.
I know that many, many people have prayed and continue to pray for me daily - I really know that this is true. And I am thankful because I know that God is hearing their prayers and answering them. One passage of scripture that many people have prayed for me over the years is in Ephesians......and I want this prayer answered for myself, and for all of us. It just melts my heart and allows me to feel God's tremendous love for me, that He would think to put this in His bible, that He would want to, that He would want this for me.....and for you......
"For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that HE would grant you according to the riches of HIS glory, to be strengthened with power through HIS Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to HIM who is able to do far more abundantly beyond ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21
Thank you for loving me God.