In 2008, Chris and I were in a weird transitional phase. We both felt like we were constantly in transition, although we had just bought a condo, but we didn’t know where we were headed. A series of events and conversations led us to explore an opportunity for Chris to go to flight school to learn to fly helicopters. He took a demo flight and loved it, and we applied for a student loan to attend the school.
A Quick Note About Finances.
We recently finished an element of the ABWE exam where we answer yes or no to a bunch of questions on different life subjects, including marriage. “If yes, please explain.” In other words, yes indicates a problem. I was so pleased and blessed to quickly and confidently answer ‘no’ to each question regarding finances. Fight we do, but not usually about money.
Back to it.
When applying for the flight school loan, Chris and I had a rule. We both felt that God had led us to this opportunity, but we didn’t necessarily sense a calling. We both agreed that God would affirm a call by providing all the needed money, even if via a loan. All being the key word; we wanted 100% of the loan. Our thinking was that if we accepted only a portion of the loan, and therefore finished only a portion of the schooling, we’d be out both thousand of dollars AND a useful education. Needless to say, we only got half. So back to square one. Except to me, it felt like back to square negative 543. I. Was. Crushed.
I wrote an email to our Pastor explaining my missionary dreams and how Chris didn’t seem to be on board. He wrote back an encouraging note with his own opinion that we were destined to be in ministry and the detail that his wife heard the call to ministry three full years before he did.
I shared The Email with Chris and he reiterated that he wasn’t on board for mission work. He wasn’t unwilling, he just didn’t hear the call.
My journaled response:
I wrote that I know God will reconcile my desire to be a missionary with however Chris interprets God’s call, even if it is just staying here and living my life for Jesus to the best of my ability. I wrote that. And sometimes I feel it, or I would not have written it.
But now that Chris and I talked about The Email, I feel defeated. Chris said he is afraid to disappoint me. He hasn’t disappointed… I feel utterly defeated. Crushed. Regretful. Lost. Disconnected from him in the worst possible way. At the very bottom of this pit is, “I wish I had not rushed into loving my man. I wish I had rushed into loving my God.” Instead, they happened at the same time; they were intertwined. And now, the consequences appear to be that I am growing in Christ alone now, rather than Chris and Christ, the way it used to be. This is a praise, in itself, but it makes me sad that I am learning this lesson almost 6 years after I decided to marry Chris. And I do not feel, most of the time, that we are growing in Christ as a unit. I feel that I am growing, and Chris is growing, but we aren’t on the same page and we don’t know how to get on a same page. To totally beat this analogy to the ground, our stories are written in different fonts. You read one, and then you read the other. So you know what’s going on in each story, and they’re related, because the two people live together and serve God together and sleep in the same bed together (although lately that is all that’s been happening in that bed…), but they aren’t sharing their stories.
The email says that Pastor fought it for 3 years. That’s a long time from now, a long time from the dawn of the 2012 vision. So I should not lose hope. I must confess these feelings to God; give them to Him. They aren’t right, they’re not true. He is writing our story, and He is writing it in the same font. It is meant to be read at the same time. God has perspective on the whole book, and I am living in a paragraph. I am really hammering this metaphor.
Now that I know that Chris does not feel the same way I do, nor that he anticipates that he will ever feel the same way, I just have to continue to pray more and more fervently that God would show us the way to fulfill His will and therefore the desires of our hearts. God can change Chris and God can change Rose.
Your will be done, God. I am just so tired of feeling let down, of feeling like a letdown.
Two weeks later, Rich and Cindy Brown, missionaries to Spain, came and spoke at our church, and Christ heard something. In my mind, he heard the answers to my prayers. That’s what I heard, anyway!