Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life Lessons

Life doesn't always go how we plan does it? I certainly didn't plan to be a newlywed bride with a badly broken leg. I broke it August 21st, after we'd been married only 3 weeks. After waiting almost two weeks for surgery, I'm now at home, laid up for many more weeks, and unable to do much of anything. So much for keeping my house spotless or any of the painting projects I had planned! I won't be able to put any weight on this leg until around the first of November. After that I will have weeks of therapy, stretching it out and re-learning how to use it. And I can't even think about working until at least mid-December.

So I have had to re-evaluate my plans, laying it all in the Lord's hands instead of mine. I am a newly-graduated Registered Nurse, who can't work. And I'm a new wife, who can't take care of her husband or her house. What does this mean for me? Only a few days after I broke my leg, I remember crying on Will’s shoulder, asking him, "How I can I possibly be a good wife now? I can’t even do anything around the house or for you." He seemed shocked that I would even wonder that. But for so much of my life, I've measured my devotion and service for God by how hard I work. I've always thought that the best way to show God (and others) my love is by hard work. After all there are a lot of verses about not being lazy!! I guess I carried some of that thought over to marriage, too. I always thought that the Proverbs 31 woman was an excellent wife because of how hard she worked for her family. But now that I can't clean house or cook meals or wash the laundry, I’m finally beginning to see just how skewed my view of things really has been.

So I have been re-looking at Proverbs 31 and learning how to apply it in light of my current circumstances. The Proverbs 31 woman is called “virtuous.” According to Matthew Henry, this “…is a woman of spirit, who has the command of her own spirit and knows how to manage other people’s, one that is pious and industrious, and a help meet for a man…. [and] is a woman of resolution, who, having espoused good principles, is firm and steady to them, and will not be frightened with winds and clouds from any part of her duty.” So in other words, a virtuous woman is much more than just hard working. She is a woman of wisdom and discernment, who stands with strength. One of the biggest things I see when I read this passage is that this woman has a heart open to the Lord’s leading. She follows His commands and guidance, allowing Him to lead her in all things. That is where her strength and wisdom comes from! Her excellence comes from her fear of the Lord; and all of her virtuous characteristics flow from this.

While I'm laying here with my leg propped up, I've had a lot of time to think. I know that the Lord is using this time to draw me closer to Him. Right now, there is nothing for me to do but to be still and listen to the Lord. I don’t know why it is, but it seems that all the hard circumstances I have gone through, my first reaction is to pull away from the Lord, rather than draw near to Him. I hide away inside myself or in the comfort of friends, rather than go to the Comforter and Healer of all. Quickly I begin to see what a mistake that is, though. No one can bring joy or peace or comfort like the Lord. “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him” (Psalm 37:39-40). What a wonderful refuge He is!!

So what am I doing with my days now? I am knitting blankets for a crisis pregnancy center, managing our finances, trying to keep the house in order, finally writing wedding thank-you notes, knitting blankets (planning to give them to a friend who's church knits blankets for a crisis pregnancy center) and learning more about different ministries I am interested in. But mostly, I am sitting at the feet of Jesus, and learning from Him.

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