Monday, June 27, 2011

The Year of You and Me, Part 4 by Sharon Lurie

© 2011 David's Harp and Pen

Mood: Fearless. Refreshingly So.

DISCLAIMERS: This blog is based, in part, upon actual events and people. Certain actions and characters have been dramatized and fictionalized, but are inspired by true events and real people. Certain other characters, events, and names used herein are entirely fictitious. Any similarity of those fictional characters or events to the name, attributes, or background of any real person, living or dead, or to any actual events is coincidental and unintentional. Yes, I have an active imagination. Is that so bad? It makes for good reading, and it keeps me out of the bars at night.

Dear Sharon,

It is a good thing I didn’t get your letter until after you were already gone, because I am sorry to say I might have tried to talk you out of it. That would have been very wrong, letting my desire to see you override your need to be obedient with the utmost haste. So, I am waiting for you with all the patience I can muster, and God is making up the rest, which is a lot, because I have very little when it comes to waiting to see you.

When I got your letter, my mind began to race. “What is it that she needs to do? Why does she need to go away? Why can’t she include me in it? When I find out the particulars, will I like what I find?” I took it all to prayer, however, and God assured me that all was well, this was indeed something He asked you to do alone, and that it was my responsibility to pray for you and stand in the gap for you.

I know you will be free. I know God will meet you with His strength as you meet Him with your obedience. I know all that, but that does not stop me from worrying. I worry because I want to protect you. I worry because I am not there to be strong for you. I’m not worried about you because I think you will fail the task; as I’ve told you before, you are much stronger than you think you are, mostly because you are so honest with your weaknesses before God, which always allows Him to make His strength perfect in them. Mostly, I am worried simply because I blew it so badly being there for you in the past. God dealt with me very strongly about how hard I was on you, and now that I am ready to make good on that, I can’t even physically be there for you for something for which I know you need a lot of strength. I am still learning to trust that God will protect all who concern me.

I have been re-reading the works of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. Their relationship reminds me so much of ours. They were so different and seemed like such an unlikely couple. However, they had a much rougher go of than we have had in many ways. The not knowing if they were to marry at all, let alone marry each other. Then having to wait five years to be together, and having so many obstacles come in the way during the wait. I came across a letter he wrote to her. She had written to him about a creepy man who hit on her on a public bus while they were separated and how much it scared her. Jim’s letter encapsulates what I feel right now better than I could:

“September 27, 1952—I found myself tearing into small stumps and cutting [the trees and brush] out with one hack, thinking about it on the airstrip a few days ago. And reading it again today, I found the little ball muscles at the jaw bulge and my teeth clench hard as I pictured it. I am afraid there would have been a scene for sure if I had been on hand, Bett—so it is probably better that I wasn’t along, although it probably wouldn’t have happened had I been. But what devils me is that he evidently rides the bus line frequently, and it may happen any old day again. It would be maddening but for the trust that I have in God for you. Time and again I have committed the very matter to Him, knowing better and fearing more male passions than yourself. And I am thankful that you are all that you are for such cases, that I can trust you, even if the man isn’t ugly next time, and that such things find you, though disgusted and a little afraid, firm and resolutely resistant. And I know that He who has so far preserved us for each other will yet do so, Bett, and for the endurance, make the realization so much the sweeter.”

I trust you, Sharon. I trust you because you trust in God for everything. I trust you because of your honesty. I trust you because you trust me the way you do. That is why I can be at peace while I wait a little longer for you than I had hoped, because neither God nor you have given me cause to think otherwise.

There are just a few things I want to say. First of all, I don’t want you to feel ashamed because of how hard you had to struggle to overcome the fears in your life. Do not confuse feeling afraid with being fearful. Satan will stir up our emotions and make us think because we feel afraid, we have already failed the task and disappointed God. Being fearful is letting those feelings keep us from being obedient. Courage is not the absence of fear but perseverance in spite of it. Be mindful, too, that not all fear is ever abolished all at once, at least not for most people. When God told the Israelites to posses the Promised Land, they couldn’t do it all at once. They did it one portion at a time, growing in strength and determination with each successive conquest.

Next, I want you to know that I see the beauty and glory of God in you. From what you’ve told me, and also from what you haven’t, I know it is a struggle for you to see those things in yourself. I can’t say it to you often enough, though. You are lovely. I love the way your face lights up when God has revealed something special to you, particularly if His revelation caught you off guard. The way your eyelids get heavy because you’ve poured yourself out serving someone in need. How you’re not afraid to correct me when I need it, and how you’ve humbly born correction from me in return. The way your love for me, trust in me, submission to me, and forgiveness of my failings have been a constant reminder that the whole of God’s work in and calling on my life are greater than the sum of my shortcomings.

I will be waiting anxiously and prayerfully for your return. When the time comes, and it can’t arrive too soon, I will take you in my arms, bury my face in your neck, and breathe you in until my lungs explode. Do not be afraid as you obey what God has commanded. While apart a little longer, I will be praying on my end, staying on my face before the throne, because you are mine, and you are a joy and a thrill to cover with prayer, and, as you told me, you are so worth it.



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