Lessons learned in the Bathroom

Our California BathroomA few weeks ago I had the amazing privilidge to share part of my story with Pastor’s wives at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church. Here is a portion of what I shared:

Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen. If we’re alive and breathing on this planet than we know we will experience change in some shape and fashion. Why does God bring change into our lives? I believe he brings about change to grow us, to draw us closer to Him, to bring Him glory. However, while change is unavoidable, spiritual growth through change is a choice.

When we moved from our home in Arkansas to Southern California, my sweet family experienced a heavy dose of change. I struggled. I frequently found myself in tears, or angry and frustrated. When these feelings would come-I had to retreat. One of the problems in living in a small condo with no yard (with a newborn baby) is there isn’t anywhere to go. So I found myself getting as far away as possible in my little home – on the bathroom floor. Just me… sitting there, facing our 1970′s model toilet with it’s mahogany seat.  Just me and the Father and all of my feelings of fear, sadness, and entitlement.

While I was struggling with the questions of “why are we here?” and “what’s my role?”, God very clearly began to teach me three big lessons. It was critical that I began to move through this change, to grow through this change and eventually get up off the bathroom floor. Here’s what I learned:

Trust Me

God wanted me to trust Him. I had put all of my “trust” in my husband. I would say to myself, “he’s God’s man” and “I trust Him to know God’s will for our lives.” But I was really not trusting anyone. When things got tough or didn’t work out the way I had planned, I had someone to blame. I could point the finger at my husband and say “I trusted you,” which wasn’t God’s plan. He desired for me to trust Him. He could handle my questions and fears.  He could reassure me the way only a loving Father could with His peace. Psalm 9:10 say’s, “Those who know your name will trust in you. For you Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Watch Me

In change, we worry about “what’s next?” We worry about finances, relationships, and health. I would often say to my husband, “How is this going to work?” I couldn’t see the answers, and he had no answers. And the whole time I’m looking for answers, God is saying “Watch me.” Ephesians 3:20 says, “God can do anything you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His spirit deeply and gently within us.”

Know Me

During the initial stages of this transition, much of my old identity was stripped away: the friends that occupied my time; the responsibilities I had in our previous church; and a full-time job in a professional career. God was removing all the “noise” from my life so that I would see him and know him. He was pursuing me with His love. “Be still and know that I am God”. (Psalms 46:10)

So…what is God teaching you through change? I’d really love to know!

  • Terryborders

    Awesome, Angie! I sure do wish we were close enough to grab a cup of coffee or a diet coke and talk! I am so blessed by both you and Brandon and so thankful God chose to make Scottsville Road Baptist a “hub” in my journey on this earth. You and I are processing thru so such similar issues – love hearing how God is working in and through you!

    The major lesson God has taught me during our almost four years in Lexington is to concentrate on Him and Him alone – not on all the clutter. I think in BG – especially in the years post SBRC, I was so busy “serving” Him thru serving others, I sometimes forgot I still needed to be paying attention to what He wanted to do IN me as well as THRU me.

    lots more and still processing . . .

    miss you & love you, sweet friend!

  • Terryborders

    Awesome, Angie! I sure do wish we were close enough to grab a cup of coffee or a diet coke and talk! I am so blessed by both you and Brandon and so thankful God chose to make Scottsville Road Baptist a “hub” in my journey on this earth. You and I are processing thru so such similar issues – love hearing how God is working in and through you!

    The major lesson God has taught me during our almost four years in Lexington is to concentrate on Him and Him alone – not on all the clutter. I think in BG – especially in the years post SBRC, I was so busy “serving” Him thru serving others, I sometimes forgot I still needed to be paying attention to what He wanted to do IN me as well as THRU me.

    lots more and still processing . . .

    miss you & love you, sweet friend!

  • Heather Moore

    I HEART this post! Change is so difficult especially when we think we are getting the short end of the stick so to speak. A lot of times, I feel like God is shortchanging me when it comes to change. I know cognitively this is not true, but it just feels like it is true. To combat my feelings and keep them in check, I have to constantly recite Scripture. I find one or two short verses that speak to my circumstances and just recite them over and over. It helps to correct my perspective on the situation and at the same time meditate on the truth of God’s word.

  • http://pouredouthislove.com G2short4life

    Great post! love your writing style, and your genuine and sincere heart for the Lord.