We talked about faith in Bible Study yesterday, and I realized something.
I am not afraid.
We talked about "through" faith that takes you through things rather than around them, about how God promises to be with us but doesn't promise the easy way. Somebody said to me the other day that they're afraid to pray about something because they're afraid that God will give them something awful and miserable to do. They're afraid they'll have to go "through" something. Somehow we seem to understand God as overly fond of difficulty.
I am not afraid, but I have been in the past. I know the feeling. I used to worry about praying for who God wanted me to marry, convinced that God would send me someone good but ugly. Or sweet but boring. I don't quite know why I thought that. I just remember thinking it. I was sure that what I wanted was too much to ask and that looks or excitement didn't concern God much. But God gave me every desire of my heart in my sweet Mango.
And I've learned something. I've been married to Mango for almost 9 years. And we have been through much. We have been through school together, through the losses of our grandparents, through struggles with neighborhood crime, through the sleep-deprived years of early parenting, job changes, job challenges, and a whirlwind adoption. I realize that God gave me a partner who matches my passion and intensity, my desire to follow God wherever God leads. And God has given us some tough assignments. We laugh about how nothing good comes easy, about how everything worthwhile requires blood, sweat & tears. We groan when we realize in the middle of a challenge that this just isn't going to come together easily. God is taking us through, not around.
But there's a certain excitement because we know that there will be some shining gem when we're through. We have seen it enough times now to know that we will get through.
And I am not afraid.