2008 was a very "growing" year for me. I've had a LOT of firsts; some were good firsts-others were ones I wouldn't have chosen for myself. Here are a few of the major ones:
My first car died in January leaving me without transportation to get to work.
I bought my first car a few months later.
I accomplished nearly five semesters worth of school--in eight months (I had to take off a few months whilst saving for my car).
I quit a job for the first time.
I've dealt with significantly more stress than ever before, for reasons I won't go into.
It's really been a crazy year. I was thinking some of that over this week, and it seemed as though despite all that's happened this year there wasn't really an overriding lesson that God was teaching me. I was kind of disappointed about that, because the last few years God has always given me a "theme" for the year. He never revealed the theme to me until late December, the very end of the year, so I could see just a peek of what He had been doing in my life that year. But to be very honest, when I looked back on 2008 I just saw six big black letters written across it--
S T R E S S.
I was thinking that over this Sunday in church, and God began to show me that He actually did have an overriding lesson for me this year. In January my car broke down. It was a tough situation for me because I had a job a half hour away, and we had three vehicles to juggle between four work schedules. On top of that, a new car costs a fairly significant chunk of change--not only did I not have enough, but I also had upcoming school expenses that had to be saved for. One blessing, though, was that my dad worked near where I worked, so he could drop me off early and pick me up. So I still had a job, but I was naturally stressed by the situation. No matter how things were cut I couldn't make the ends meet. I realized at some point that there was nothing I could do, and that I'd just have to wait on God and let Him provide. Then, just in the nick of time, God provided a vehicle for me. It was worth way more than I could afford and was much newer than anything I expected to own, but He provided it for just the amount I had saved up. Ever since I've been driving around a wonderful 2005 Ford Focus Station Wagon--plenty of space, great mileage, and (best of all) very reliable. I haven't had a vehicle break down since I drove my Crown Victoria into the parking-lot of the car dealership where I bought my MousieMobile seven months ago. I guess what that taught me was that I really could trust God to provide for my needs. There were things I could have jumped at, opportunities I maybe could have made work--but in the end God provided me with a perfect "Mousie sized" vehicle, at a dealership less than a half mile away (any farther away and my Crown Vic wouldn't have made it!).
Now I find myself in the same situation. In some ways it is a little harder. This time I have chosen to trust God on some issues--big ones, like whether I'll be able to graduate in June or not--where this spring I was made to trust Him. It is a little harder to choose to wait, because there is the feeling when things don't happen on the timetable I want that I could have gone out and made it work somehow on my own. But I know that God has this in his hands, and that He will come through. Maybe not in the way I am expecting, but whatever He provides will be for my best.