Jesus met me here.
If you hear shouting from the rooftops, that is still C and I over here after getting the news that he was accepted to UNC Dental School!!! We were able to share officially this weekend (see here). And if you didn’t know us 5 years ago, you wouldn’t know that this is SO MUCH MORE for us than just an acceptance letter. This dream of his has been the prayer that made our knees raw. The prayer that kept our hearts expectant and many times made our hearts weary. Year after year, the doors would close. We kept walking with an imperfect faith, and Christian kept working hard and re-taking the DAT and re-applying for schools... “Is this even what you have for us? Are we chasing the wrong thing? Are we being obedient in this?” All the questions. A few weeks ago, at the edge of our waiting, I emailed my friend the very real struggle toiling through my heart:
I have a map of UNC and a map of ECU taped to our fridge right now. Circles drawn around the dental schools. I think we're gonna know something this month, and I've been so timid in my prayers, just asking for a little hope; a crumb of something.
But I'm reminded (thanks to my prayer warrior friend of a book, Circle Maker) that Jesus asks us what we want. And I’ve been too scared to say it out loud because I don't want to jinx it. Which hello, is its own issue because that’s not even a thing. Ok. But not only that, I find if I do ask the Lord for something and share with him the big dreams of mine, I just ask for the low of the low answer… “Nothing big or over the top, just whatever you think” and “I promise Lord I'll still love you if you don’t." Which is all well and good. But there’s a cheap kind of cover when we put “Your will be done” after everything, right? Cheating ourselves out of really asking anything of Him, so if He does say “No” or “Not yet” we won’t be disappointed.
But I know Him better than that. Deeper than that. And so this morning instead of allowing my lack of faith to lead, I said, “Lord, you know my heart. You know I'll still believe you're good even if this doesn't go how we hope, so I'm not going to preface with that anymore. I'm going to seek you in this, with a wholehearted confidence that this is a promise from you. It's the desire of Christian's heart and it became mine too. So, unless you inform me otherwise Lord… unless you inform me that these feelings of hope and confidence and trust for you to fulfill this promise isn’t what you’ve actually promised… than I'm going to claim it. In JESUS' NAME.”
And so now, being on the other side of our Red Sea, I wanted to trace this prayer. I wanted to trace the Lord’s faithfulness. I grabbed my old journals and took a few screen shots back from 2012 all the way until now. Honest, ineloquent prayers in my most terrible handwriting. Nothing worth framing. But it’s where Jesus met me.
And that's the point you guys: JESUS. Because I'm still holding pages and pages of prayers unanswered. So I know there is more to all of this than just the big momentous parts. In fact it's in the broken and unknown that I know Him nearest. So I'll keep praying, and I'll keep seeking truth because that is where He shows up, every time. Right there in our weakness. Right there in our tear stained Bibles.
Jesus met me here, in my questions and doubts and fears. These scribbles evidence of the praying, the waiting, the sanctification. And so they are everything. JESUS is everything. The answered prayer and dream? It’s just a bonus.