This week I called my dad twenty-one times. Twenty-one. And all but three times began and/or ended with me in tears. Why?
I went back to school this week.
After a difficult weekend with the speech team, and the couple of days returning to actual classes, it’s safe to say I have been emotionally drained and extremely stressed. Which probably explains the four migraines I’ve had this week. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could do it. I told my parents that it was all too much, that I wasn’t going to be able to stay here the rest of the semester, and I begged them to let me come home. I asked if they would let me come live at home while I worked some sort of retail job and took online classes.
They said yes.
But they also told me–repeatedly and with conviction–they believe I am exactly where God wants me to be. And I told them it didn’t feel like it. Now I’ve been reading my Bible daily for the last few months. I’ve been journaling, praying, and working my hardest to live God’s Word daily. But the last week I didn’t feel like God was anywhere near me. I felt isolated, alone, and completely broken.
And then something wonderful happened.
Yesterday I was reading in 2 Samuel, and in chapter 18, King David’s son, Absalom, is killed. Joab was leading the troops of Israel when this occurs, and knowing David will be distraught and the deliverer of this news will not receive a warm welcome, he sends a random soldier to David to tell him of his son’s death. But Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, says to Joab that Ahimaaz must also go to David to tell him of his son’s being killed. Joab says to Ahimaaz, “‘Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?'” And Ahimaaz says, “‘Come what may, I will run.'”
Come what may, I will run.
This verse hit me like nothing else I had read in days. Ahimaaz knew that the task before him was not going to be pleasant. He knew he would experience a father’s great pain at losing his son. But Ahimaaz knew he needed to go and tell David that his son had been delivered from his enemies by the Lord (verse 19), and trusting God’s mercy and guidance, Ahimaaz ran, and he reached King David before the original messenger.
This verse and chapter is profoundly impactful. It helped me understand two lessons God is teaching me.
1. Trusting God is a choice. I’ve always thought trust is a feeling. But it’s not. It’s making the choice to put our fears, insecurities, worries, doubts, and all of the unknowns we experience aside and know God is bigger than all of them combined. It’s reminding ourself every second that we start to get consumed with fear that God is above it all. It’s praying that God fills us with His peace and comfort when we’re the broken and frail humans that we are. It’s finding our strength in Him, not in ourselves. Or our feelings. I’ve always feared the unknown, and this week was full of firsts and unknowns. I did not have the “Come what may, I will run” mentality. I didn’t have it, because I wasn’t choosing to trust God. I tried to feel God’s presence, instead of knowing and trusting He would never abandon me in my time of need. So now I choose to trust God. And it is a choice I make daily.
2. Our feelings are deceitful. When I was questioning why I felt alone, logically I knew God had not abandoned me. I knew He was there, and I knew am where God wants me to be. And if He wants me somewhere else, He will close and open doors accordingly. But I was focused on the feelings that I am sure the sinful part of me was influencing. Because the more I was falling to fear and doubt, the farther I was moving myself from God. We are not slaves to our feelings. We have a will that is influenced by God’s will–when we allow it to be. And I have recently experienced that when the two wills are aligned, and we do what God wants, regardless of feelings, that the will and the actions then influence our feelings. Once I decided to trust God, and my will was aligned with Him and I was doing what I know He wanted me to be doing, I felt satisfied, content, and accomplished. Crazy, huh?
So this coming week I will still call my parents daily. But seven times is a vast improvement from twenty-one.