Pula Means Rain // A Story of Blessing
I woke on Thursday with an expectant feeling in my heart.
After coming to the conclusion that my deepest desires were not a danger to my intimacy with God but actually a vulnerable path into it, I finally and fully embraced them. I allowed myself to feel them deeply and be broken under the weight of them.
As an Enneagram Four (I hope to write about this one day), emotions are a powerful force in my life. I am spiritually wired in such a way that I am intensely sensitive to and aware of my own feelings, the shape and aesthetic of every emotion, and I have a hard time feeling anything "lightly". I am drawn to the height and depth of every feeling like a magnet.
I knew very well that letting those hopes run wild through my prayers would be a fury, a whirlwind, and I would be left exhausted. But I also knew I would burst trying to contain them and that I had to trust God with my heart, so I begged and cried and then said Amen and washed my face.
All day Thursday passed, and I carried that vague expectant feeling into the late evening when we received some solid potential news about our house sale. Friday passed and an offer came in, but it was so low that we couldn't accept. That expectant feeling lingered, but I was careful not to try and interpret it in terms of any specific outcome.
I was beginning to see the dream slipping through my fingers but was surprised to find that it didn't devastate me like before. Josh and I went to sleep on Friday night in agreement: we were at peace with whatever outcome came our way. Maybe that expectant feeling is just what it feels like to trust. It was the first night in a while that I drifted off to sleep in total freedom, without even remembering that there were things I might be anxious about.
Saturday morning, I awoke to thunder.
It was early and quiet in our apartment. I laid in bed for a moment listening to the stillness, wondering if I had imagined it, until it was followed by the heavy rush of rain. Immediately my hope was alive again. The morning was warm and already rich with the scent of damp earth and pine needles. I watched and wondered if this could be the sign I wanted it to be.
The rain carries meaning for me. It reminds me of God's faithfulness to his promises, the way he provides, and the harvest that comes from his blessings.
Standing there watching the earth get soaked, I felt almost certain that things were going to work out with both the Seattle and the Charleston house in exactly the time frame that we needed. But I also felt a lightness in my heart, a carefree joy bubbling up, and I suddenly didn't need it to play out in any particular way. It was almost as if I was rejoicing in a gift, but I didn't know what the gift would be. I just knew it was going to be good. Maybe that carefree feeling is just what it feels like to have faith.
That morning was surreal. I continued to be overwhelmed with the thought of God's faithfulness to us. It was like a veil had lifted and now all I could see was this truth: there is God's plan for our lives and then there is everything else. I didn't just not need the house to be happy, I didn't want it anymore. At least, not more than I wanted what God was already doing, even though I had no idea what that might be. My happiness was alive and well, tucked away inside his sovereign will, and not even death could steal that away.
My entire future is in his hands, every step I take happens under his good and watchful eyes, and even death would just deliver me into eternal life.
What kind of life is this that we get to live, with that kind of hope?
I also realized that I was rejoicing without my answered prayer, without my desired outcome, and this too felt like an unexpected gift. As someone who questions and analyzes every emotion, I was struck with the purity of it.
All this time I had been hoping for the gift of a house, and what he gave first was the gift of faith. Because I was a flood of bitterness, doubt, and fear, trying so fervently to be righteous but unable to keep it up. I just couldn't seem to tell myself what to feel and feel it. I couldn't control my emotions for more than ten minutes without falling back into my questions. But I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to him. (If it sounds lovely, you can thank David for Psalm 40.)
The rain continued to wet the ground all day and by the evening, when the clouds finally revealed a fresh new sky, we got word that contracts were signed. I would have been appropriate to celebrate if I hadn't already been doing that all day. The euphoric happiness I had been waiting for was just a sigh of relief and rest.
Our Seattle house is pending, and it should close in time for the contingency we have on our contract here in Charleston. I'm hesitant to shout out guarantees that all will go as planned, but as far as we know, it will. We will get our things out of storage one day before the deadline and, God willing, move them into the old house that we've been trying to buy for two months.
So if you need me, I'll just be over hear singing this song about trusting God even when he doesn't part the waters. Except for this time, he still did.