Right on Time

You know how sometimes, you think about calling an old friend, and then randomly you run into them at that one store that you never go to? Or you realize that you need an oil change, and then there’s a $20 coupon in your mail that afternoon? Some would call it coincidence, or maybe destiny? But me, I’m not so sure. Let me give you a little recap on the strange happenings of the last few days. A friend suggested, I start a blog, well the day before I had already set up this wordpress blog. A few days before, I had come across that verse in Ephesians (that I still read every day and seem to pick up something new from it every single time) and a friend had thought about sending me a song with almost identical lyrics. Or, how about this one. I NEVER listen to Christian music. My car radio is set to mostly country stations, with an alternative, hip-hop, and a mixed music station dialed in too. So, in my “transition” to a more Godly life, I decided to start listening to Christian radio again (and was shocked at how uplifting it is to worship God on my daily drive to and from work) – anyways, the first song that came on sounded pretty “churchy” (and I know you know what I mean by that) but I decided to give it a chance before I changed the channel. So I listened to the first few words:

My world is closing in
On the inside
But I’m not showing it
When all I am is crying out
I hold it in and fake a smile
Still I’m broken
I’m broken
Only one can understand
And only one can hold the hand
Of the broken
Of the broken

I was almost dumbfounded that the RADIO knew I was broken. I don’t necessarily believe in signs or destiny or fate, but I do believe in God. And if anything, this was the hand of God working in me. I was on my way home from work, it was this past Monday (day two if you’re keeping count) and by the time the song was over, I was in my parking spot at my apartment…in tears. Before I go on, here are the rest of the lyrics:

When no one else knows how I feel
Your love for me is proven real
When no one else cares where I’ve been
You run to me with outstretched hands
And You hold me in your arms

Again.

I need no explanation of why me
I just need confirmation
Only You could understand the emptiness inside my head
I am falling
I am falling
I’m falling down upon my knees
To find the one who gives me peace
I am flying
Lord I am flying

When no one else knows how I feel
Your love for me is proven real
When no one else cares where I’ve been
You run to me with outstretched hands
And You hold me in Your arms
Again

I have come to you in search of faith
Cause I can’t see beyond this place
Oh You are God and I am man
So I’ll leave it in Your hands

“No One Else Knows” – Building 429

Now, you can’t look at those lyrics and not be in some kind of shock. I haven’t really talked much about me and my life and my story. But I can tell you that this song was given to me, at this time for a purpose. I refuse to believe these things are coincidence. If I believe in coincidences, I’d have no need for God.

Ready for some more coincidences? I had a meeting with my pastor a few weeks ago. I basically spilled my whole story, about drinking, friend drama, my ex boyfriend. He got the whole deal. I ended my ramble by apologizing that it all sounded like nothing but a bunch of stupid “girl drama” – which believe me, it did. He just smiled and said “Yeah, it does sound like a bunch of girl drama. But it’s real life. And God’s using it for a reason”. I told him how much I wanted to change things and how I wanted to be a better person and was sick of all this drama and this terrible, empty, unfulfilling life. Then, he kind of smirked (or at least that’s what it sounded like). He told me that I can’t change. I was almost offended. He just paused for a second, got up and left the room, and I was just sitting here like “wait, what just happened? Here I am, pouring my life out and you’re just going to tell me that I can’t change and leave?” But he came back, bible in hand, and had me read a few verses out loud. I don’t remember where they were or what they said exactly. One verse talked about changing my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Then, he finished our meeting by saying “You can’t change. But you can BE CHANGED by God.” I didn’t really get it and i just laughed that off, too. He asked me what was so funny and I just looked at him like “oh really? I don’t have to do anything and I can just ask to be changed and God will change me? Funny joke.” He knew my cynicism and reaffirmed his words. He gave me a few resources to look at until our next meeting three weeks later. Anyways, here’s where the “coincidence” comes in.

I’ve been wrestling with this idea since then. I pray every night for God to change me. Now, you might read this and be like “holy cow it works, she’s changed” but I’m not so convinced. I am working on my faith but just asking God to change me didn’t seem to make much sense…until now. I was reading  “The Good News We Almost Forgot” last night right before I fell asleep. I had already said my nightly prayer (asked for God to change my heart, give me a heart of flesh and remove my heart of stone). I really wasn’t in the mood to read either. I had been up late dealing with roommate drama (because like I said, it’s a part of the cycle and of course it happened last night without fail – but also, like I said, for ONCE I wasn’t involved). My eyes were heavy but I knew I needed to read anyway. The catechism was talking about the nature of corruption and evil and how we’re simply not good enough. Perfect – I need just a little more conviction in my life (that was sarcasm). But then I read, “Our fundamental problem is not bad parents, bad schools, bad friends, or bad circumstances. Our fundamental problem is a bad heart. And every single one of us is born into the world with.” Now that was a little strange to me. I had just prayed for a renewed heart of flesh that can only come from the holy spirit. I don’t have problems because I have bad friends. Sure, they do bad things and make bad decisions, but they’re not bad friends. I was already a little weirded out that what I had just prayed for jumped out at me on the page. Then, I continued. The next page reads: “Yes, Jesus wants us to love, to forgive, to pray, to be humble, to do justice, and to love mercy. But we must not forget the fountainhead command from which the river of obedience flows. Trying to live a Jesus life won’t help us get into heaven and it will only discourage us over the long haul if we are not born again. This is where well-meaning socially minded Christians sometimes get off track. They want to the world to live like Jesus, but they forget that we can’t live like Jesus unless the Spirit of Jesus first changes us.” Ummm. Should I repeat that? Seriously. You’ve got to be kidding me. Not only do I have my pastor telling me that, but now the catechism is telling me that? Is it really just that easy? Just ask to be changed and it will happen?

I had told my pastor in that meeting that I needed to do this on my own time. I repeated that I couldn’t just drop everything since God has decided to start convicting me now. I still have a month of summer left. That means a month left of “epic ragers” to get trashed and make out with some boy who I’ll never see again. Yet again, he just laughed. He knew I was holding onto something that I wasn’t ready to let go of quite yet. I just needed for it to happen in my own time. Funny thing is, God doesn’t care about Your time, Your plans. He doesn’t work that way. He’s gonna do things His way and that’s just how it’s going to be. That’s why I called this God’s Timing. Make sense now?

Long story short: you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

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One comment on “Right on Time

  1. Kris says:

    First thing I did once I got to Starbucks (for the free internet access – didn’t even buy a beverage) was check your blog. Great post. Who knew, eh?

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