If you “stay tuned” from last Tuesday’s post, here we go…. Otherwise, you can check out Tuesday’s post here.
“I’ll never move to Oklahoma!” had been my response and position for years. There was fervor in that answer as the strong-willed child, me, would answer with absolute assurance. Great emotion continually boiled to the surface every time the thought of moving to Oklahoma arose.
I simply did not want to go there and wasn’t trusting anyone else with that decision.
We had lived in several marvelous locations during our tenure in the military: Hawai`i, Florida, and Virginia Beach to mention a few. Living in the land of tornadoes was far removed from and fell quite short of the “marvelous locations” category, in my strong-willed opinion.
I was certain of it.
Years before children came along, my husband, then boyfriend, and I were venturing on a motorcycle, on Oklahoma’s Route 66. It was my first visit to the Sooner State.
As we rumbled down the road, the rain fell hard, nearly covering the motorcycle’s foot pegs. We thought it was “just” a thunderstorm.
Communication, by mouth at least, was impossible. The deafening roar of the rain, hail, and thunder made certain.
Hail, the size of marbles, was being flung down from the darkened clouds above, cracking my helmet’s face shield. Cars pulled over under the overpass, but not us. Our destination awaited “just ahead”, so we continued.
Albeit at a snail’s pace, we eventually made it to safety at my husband’s sister’s house. Our arrival was timely to say the least. Seconds after pulling onto her porch, a tsunami of tennis ball-sized hail began to pound the ground and any unfortunate objects in its way.
“There’s a tornado just ahead,” was our welcome as the door opened. We were riding toward a violent, F4 tornado.
And THAT was a major reason why I didn’t want to move to Oklahoma. I hated tornadoes with a passion, a knees knocking, nightmares-about-them-often passion. It was fear fueling my thoughts.
Passion is a good when mixed with faith. However, a fervent passion that doesn’t trust can birth ungodly decisions.
Oklahoma was “home” for my husband, and he was now asking me to pray about moving there. He had been selected to be flown there for a job interview, and the hiring situation looked promising. It was time to face a possible move, head-on.
I stood, disillusioned. Military retirement in Oklahoma was not my dream.
“What?! We recently settled here again in North Carolina. Now you’re asking me to consider moving to Oklahoma?” I retorted. My emotions began churning a storm, tornado-style. I wasn’t sure whether to cry, shout, quietly stand, or spit tennis ball-sized hail. I simply stood and let out a large, nervous sigh.
I wasn’t certain I wanted to trust God with my life in Oklahoma. Emotions touted that my hand would go into that prayer bag, held high above eye-level, and there would be only one piece of paper in there.
It would declare:
Go to Oklahoma.
Do not pass Go.
Do not collect $200.
Get ready for the tornado.
But those were emotions rising to the occasion, and emotions are often erroneous.
The battle was raging. It happens in many of us. We want to give a quick no way answer, determining life with our own understanding. Maturity, however, prompts us totrust the Lord.
When we acknowledge Him, submitting to the Lord, in our everyday lives, our parenting, our job decisions, our marriages, our relationships…
When we trust in all our ways, even in those I-don’t-want-to-go-there situations…
When we say, “Daddy, what do You want?”…
He will make straight paths.
Like Jesus on Gethsemane, we can offer ourselves and our futures. When it doesn’t make sense to our understanding, when it’s tough, we can trust. When its scary and we’re not certain we want to walk through what that little “piece of paper” will say…
We can trust in the Lord.
As we head into this Pray series, this month of prayer, know that it is for you, my friend, and me. It’s for us to be reminded that our Father desires that we draw close to Him through prayer. He wants even the little parts that seem foolish, the parts where we raise our hands, immediately answering with fear versus trust.
God wants us to trust Him in all our ways.
I eventually gave Him “my way” in North Carolina. Fear was set aside and trust was put in focus. I prayed, “Lord, I want Your will concerning Oklahoma. Show me Your truth.”
The end result has included a few speed bumps, but it has been beautiful and full of straight paths. I wouldn’t change a thing. I now happily write to you from God’s beauty of Oklahoma.
And, Daddy and me? We’re closer than ever.
Do you have an area where you hesitate to put your hand in the prayer bag, where fear or your own understanding is making life decisions?
Can I encourage you to simply trust all your ways to the Father that loves you?
Pray on, my friend. Straight paths are just ahead. Below is a printable prayer card for you. Click here to print. Enjoy!