The other day I was driving to my doctor’s appointment, I was alone and it was quiet. One of two things happens when I am alone and it is quiet: 1) I fall asleep (three kiddos and 1 in the oven will do that to you) or 2) I get lost in deep reflective thought. Since I was driving, thankfully, I didn’t fall asleep, but I did get lost in thought.
First, some background:
I am one of those strange people who actually looks forward to getting older and growing old with my husband. I have always found it interesting when people try to be younger than what really are, but perhaps I will understand it more as I continue to grow older. As much as I want to pause time with my children being so young, I also look forward to watching my children grow and seeing what they do with their lives. I am looking forward to watching them get married and have children, and even at 32, I can’t wait to be a grandma someday. I got married when I was 21, and I am so glad my married life started there. I am very thankful for the age I was when I had my first baby (25) because I want to be young enough (Lord willing) to be able to play with my grandchildren on the floor and help serve my girls when they have babies. I actually look forward to that season of life. I honestly think about that season for my girls often, since I’m in that season myself right now, and it often reflects in how I parent my girls today.
There are these ongoing conversations in our house between my girls and I, and they are mostly all about the future… “When you girls find a gentleman who loves Jesus and the Bible and treats you kindly, like Daddy, Mama is going to take you girls out on a special trip and find the most beautiful white princess dress. It will be so special!” (They LOVE looking at my wedding dress. It gets pulled out every couple months just to be oohh’d and ahh’d over by all my little women). Another conversation is… “When you girls have kids, Mama is going to do [this and this and this] with them.”, “I’m going to save [insert their favorite toy] so I can show your kids when they come over and I can tell them, your Mama used to play with this all the time!” or “When you girls have children, I’m going to tell them that you used to always do [insert comical and ridiculous, repetitive behavior]”. Also, conversations happen on a more serious note: “When you girls are Mamas, you will understand how important it is that your children obey their Mommy and Daddy, so that one day they know how to obey God too, just like you and just like your Mommy and Daddy.” As of now, their plan is to move into each house that is touching or sharing our backyard when they get married and have kids. They have these plans to build tunnels through the fences so they won’t even have to come to the front door. I keep telling them I would be the happiest Mommy and Grandma in the world, if that was the case!
Anyway, back to my being deep in thought…
So, I’m driving over the bridge suspended over a giant river and I’m, of course, gazing at the incredible picturesque view of the river, mountains, and lush evergreen trees. I am just in awe and thanking God for all He has blessed us with. Then this completely random thought hits me, in a sort of alarming way, “What if I don’t love God when I’m 80 years old??” I have always had this general assumption that I will just love God more and more the older I get. But the thought hit me in a deeply disturbing way, “What if something in me isn’t able to love God my whole life?” GASP!!! All of a sudden these dreams and plans and prayers I have for my children and the future (which wraps in every single area of my life and determines my perspective in almost every situation); not to mention the incredible hope we have in life that there is no fear in death for all who love Him, EVERYTHING just seemed achor-less for one terrible moment. I suddenly felt suspended in this disillusioned and depressed feeling, a feeling that completely rested on my own ability to love God. I know myself well enough to know that I make mistakes, I make many mistakes. To have all this resting on me felt completely terrifying for a brief moment.
THEN… the reminder of God’s pursuit of me in the beginning poured this warm reassuring feeling of complete RELIEF into my preggo-mind-wandering-head. Here is what hit me: I am not loving God now because I am capable of it, I am loving God now and always, because He pursued me first (John 6:44), He loved me first (1 John 4:19), and HE will finish the good work that HE started in me (Phil 1:6). I am simply resting on His grace, Jesus’ grace. Thank God!!
I am so relieved salvation is not dependent on my completely undependable self to love HIM. What a discouraging, unsure future it would be if that were the case. I am so thankful it is not up to my “good works” or “good thoughts” to sustain me through this journey, since we know we are guaranteed challenges and hard things in this broken world. It is simply my job to acknowledge His sustaining grace in every situation, knowing He will never leave us or forsake us. I am thankful that my gracious Savior interacts with my feeble and fickle self, to shine brightly and graciously through each challenge I face. What a gracious God who pursues us.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
~Frances J. Crosby