"So I will restore to you the years that
the swarming locust has eaten ... You
shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you.
Life was bittersweet. The Lord was revealing Himself to me in awesome ways, and yet I felt isolated. There were parking issues in my development that made it difficult to invite people over. Neighbors were very transient and pretty much kept to themselves. On top of that, I was in a cold, cold church where I never felt I belonged. I stayed for eight years because the teaching was sound and it was close to home.
I felt as though the Lord had put me on the shelf, and would wonder if He was ever going to take me down, but after a while those thoughts grew less and less, and I settled in to a resigned sort of contentment--well, most of the time. Other times I would think of the friends I went to school with who had lived successful lives and were now enjoying retirement or semiretirement, whereas due to the poor choices I had made, there was no retirement in my future.
I didn't really mind the fact that I would have to keep on working, because I enjoy what I do, but I did have regrets about wasting my talents and opportunities, and not having been a better parent. I would get this overwhelming feeling of remorse at having squandered my life and not having anything to show for it. Even worse, there was no turning back the clock (something I wrote about here, on my other blog).
But God wasn't done with me yet. He still had a "suddenly" up His sleeve, and just as I was getting ready to sign my 12th lease, a chain of unexpected events took place (literally from one day to the next) that led to my moving to an even smaller town. It all happened so suddenly and out of the blue, there was no time for planning. And of course Satan did his best to steal my joy by creating obstacles that made the process of getting from there to here stressful and suspenseful, but the Lord came through in His usual awesome way, only confirming that it was He who had set the whole thing in motion.
It's been almost a year-and-a-half now since I was transported to yet another unfamiliar neck of the woods, but what a blessing it has been. It is a quiet complex, surrounded by beautiful trees, and parking is no issue. The neighbors are really friendly, and my new church home is so, so warm. It's like I've been placed in the middle of a huge, caring family. People actually want to include me and hear what I have to say. And the Lord has given me a new ministry, one I would never have chosen on my own since it is way below my level of comfortability, but one that I know is a privileged responsibility. He has finally taken me off the shelf and is training me to be an intercessor.
My professional friends may be retired now, but I am just getting started. And as for the tragedy of a wasted life, has it really been so? Had I pursued my talents and education to their fullest, would I ever have felt a need for the Lord or for His saving grace? Would I have spent my life chasing after the things the world has to offer, instead of the things that have eternal value? Would I have missed God's gift of salvation instead of my vocation, a greater tragedy by far?
Life has become exciting. I can't wait to see what the Lord is about to do next!
Read all about it in Part V.
PART V Sincerely Wrong