discovering thankful

So, back in November I thought the Lord was teaching me lessons about dependence. When I caused a collision at a busy intersection (after multiple car breakdowns), I was overwhelmed with disaster. I called it a "season" and walked around with humbled, hunched shoulders diligently learning my lessons.

I did learn, too. I learned that the Lord is faithful. I learned that dependence is crucial. I learned that the Lord gives mercy and grace. I learned that the Body of Christ is built to support one another.

I took a deep breath after Thanksgiving in Iowa, with car keys in hand and 17 hours between me and my next attempt at Austin, Texas. The Lord's presence was always brilliantly beside me, even as I stopped in Joplin, Missouri to find that the key would not turn in the ignition. After stopping at the Nissan dealership, the Toyota place next door, and the best key cutter in town, an angel named Gary (who drives around town in his van) was my final attempt to find a solution. He successfully cut a new key for a small fee and I was on the road once again.

When I returned, I was thrilled to have four wheels of freedom once again. I slid so comfortably into my old, independent shoes. It's surprisingly easy to forget painful lessons, even as the stories were still on my tongue. I shared my great gratitude for community and God's providence, while my soul silently resolved to make my experience a story of the past.

God, in all his grace, sadly saw I needed another reminder. When I returned from Christmas, I found that my freedom wheels would once again be indefinitely removed. The mechanics assured me the repairs would exceed the price of the car and I stationed the Nissan firmly in the driveway, where it stood as a glaring reminder of my humanness until this morning.

This morning, I sold the car to someone who responded to my ad on Craigslist. I am back to that lesson-learning "season" of November. Only now, it's January and I am realizing the elementary idea that God blesses us with a life of dependence.

My circumstances will change in the weeks and months to come. Sometimes I'll need rides to church, sometimes I'll bike to the store, sometimes I'll just stay in, sometimes I'll ask students for a lift, and hopefully sometimes I will be able to offer rides again. Regardless, I am confident that the Lord always seeks a dependent heart. Obedience doesn't always bring blessings in the form we hope. I'm convinced that nothing in life - absolutely nothing - can separate me from the eternal, unconditional love of Christ (Romans 8:38).

Joshua reminded the Israelites to be strong, take heart, and wait on the Lord. I praise God that He is patient as I learn and re-learn lessons. I can see His patient hand as He looks down on me, "Now, child let's discover what it means to depend once again. Know that it is the joy of my heart to see my children display and declare my beauty. I will bless you on your road to discovering thankful."

Thank you, Father. Thank you for allowing me to experience this bump in the road. Thank you for sustaining me in my humble state. Thank you for your promise to sustain me forever.

Let me not forget.