Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bus Stop

Last week my son graduated college and I met his girlfriend for the first time. As a parent, I was both excited and overjoyed. Strangely, I think I feel almost guilty for not being anxious and worried. But years ago I found a source of peace regarding my children’s future. The Lord has kept me safely under His wing and now I’m trusting that same Wing to guard over my children. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some Super Saint that never worries, but this week I’ve had a calm over me that I can only attribute to the Lord’s peace. Here is an old essay of mine, written about 10 years ago, telling how I've learned to be so trusting. . . .

Sometimes the passage of many years are required to show us how God has been faithfully guiding our steps and keeping us under His wing. My children are both in their teens now and parenting is difficult. The possibility arises daily that one of my children will make a bad choice. And while I want them to learn from their mistakes, I also want to help them prevent costly mistakes. But then I am reminded of my own marriage and how difficult it can be to discern mistakes from blessings.

I met my husband while waiting at a bus stop in a city about 2,000 miles from my parents. He tried making small talk, but I didn’t want anything to do with him, I had other things on my mind. So, four hours later, God put us together again on another bus. At the time, I thought this was only a coincidence. Today, the miracle of that second encounter completely overwhelms my heart. I gave this stranger my telephone number and that evening we went out on our first date. As a parent now, I can’t help but think how foolish this all was. Nonetheless, God had me under His wing.

A year passed and he asked me to marry him. Just 10 days later, in a small ceremony, we tied the knot. The day after our wedding we boarded a Greyhound bus. Five more days and we were at the opposite end of the country. He was in the Navy and this is where his orders took us. We were totally alone; both our families were thousands of miles away. But God had me under His wing.

I think back on that “foolish” act and I know my parents would have loved to make it different. They surely didn’t want me talking to strangers at bus stops and giving them my phone number. And they definitely wouldn’t want me married after just a 10-day engagement or living so far away from home. This is the stuff that gives parents nightmares.

At the time of our marriage, neither of us knew the Lord. But just three years later, my husband would introduce me to a group of friends who then led me to the church where I found Christ. These were people who had been praying for and witnessing to my husband for years before I even met him. Having just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, I can see countless ways the Lord has used my husband to mold me into a godlier woman.

In spite of spending the past 17 years unequally yoked, I see my marriage as God’s will for my life. We have been through some really tough times. Together we have suffered through the deaths of his brother and my mother, a failed business, and financial ruin after years of unemployment. We’ve teetered on the edge of divorce and yet the Lord was able to soften our hearts and bring us safely back together. God was faithful through it all to keep me under His wing.

I look back now and I see how these shared experiences only serve to unite our hearts more completely. This man has earned the honored place of “best friend” in my life. And I know with all my heart that God worked a mighty miracle on my behalf when He placed me at the bus stop of His choosing, not once, but twice! And I believe there is a similar miracle to be cherished and remembered in the life of any person who has walked at length with God.

Yet here I am, a parent of teenagers, worrying about so many things. Who will they marry, what kind of adults will they become, what careers will they have . . . . But why do I worry? I have been faithful for years now to pray for my children that God would be Lord in their lives and that He would be preparing even now the persons they will marry. I seem to doubt these prayers will be answered. Where is my faith?

Like the Israelites, I am commanded to remember the Lord’s miracles, the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, etc. And each time I remember my own bus stop miracle, some earthly worry fades, anxious thoughts disappear, and I find myself resting in the assurance that He will be faithful to answer this mother’s prayers.

Matthew 7:11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!"

Journal Suggestions:

What worries are you failing to completely trust God with?

Recount a time when God’s hand reached down from heaven and changed the course of your life.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience. With God there are no coincidences, so we know He had a plan for you. Aren't we glad He is the one that controls our future, we just need to rest and let Him work.