There are lots of ways to hurt me. Physically, my bones are breakable, my muscles tear, and my arms over extend. While I’ve always considered my spirit stronger than my flesh, it’s not impregnable. Harsh words, haughty laughter, and disapproving stares scar my heart. But for me, there is one weapon that wounds with fire and burns a hole through my core. That weapon is betrayal.
Several months ago, when my husband told me that his job would be ending with the semester, I choked on the air that had just entered my lungs. My heart ached. I felt that our family had been betrayed. I hurt deeply for my husband.
How could this happen? This position was supposed to be tenure track. This was supposed to be the real deal. We were supposed to be in the same place for at least five years.
I was not worried about my husband finding a new job, I immediately felt peace that the Lord would provide. He always has in the past and His word assures us of that truth. Yet still, I grieved. My heart ached. Even The Professor was able to let go of the hurt, but mine stayed.
Earlier this week, as I was searching through scripture to find a particular verse that would fit with this post (well, the post I originally wrote, of which only a few sentences remain), I came across two verses about “Boasting in Tomorrow.” Immediately the verses grabbed my heart. But almost as quickly I shrugged them off. I kept looking and nothing seemed to fit and then, I “stumbled” upon these same two verses again.
I sighed. I wanted to write about betrayal and how God made it good. Instead, God wanted me to understand why I felt so betrayed. Yes, our feelings are an essential component to our humanness. A more intimate relationship with Christ does not fashion us into robotic creatures. Pain accompanies injury. However, the amount of distress I felt was disproportional to the size of the emotional laceration.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1
I read that verse aloud. And then I recited it as I pursued sleep. I woke up the next morning with it etched on my heart. Finally, I understood. I bore some responsibility for my own heartache. Yes, poor decisions were made by others, decisions that I could not change. But had my hope been where it belonged, the blow wouldn’t have been so staggering.
My hope was in the supposed to be. I told people that our days of moving were behind us. South Carolina was home and we were staying put. And I believed it so. Although I didn’t stick out my tongue and say na na na na naaahhh, I boasted in my tomorrow. The tomorrow that I had planned. So when that news came, my plans were disregarded. And it hurt.
This week, God reminded me that my tomorrow’s, if I even have a tomorrow on this planet, are His. Sure, I can make plans, I can even dream, but placing my hope in those plans…not a good idea.
Now for some more good news, The Professor, did get a new job with a well known and respected university. We will be moving to Georgia in less than a month and the blessings are many.
How long will we be in Georgia? I have no clue. But that’s just fine. My Jesus does. And while my immediate future is a mystery, I do know the ending of my story…it has no end…it’s a true happily-ever-after.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13 (NIV)