Want to hear about them? I’m sure you’re just dying to do so… I mean… who wants to hear about one woman’s emotional breakdowns when you could click somewhere else and get an easy dinner recipe??? Tell ya what~ If you stick with this (or even scroll past it), they’ll be a good recipe at the bottom of this post too. A “two for one” kind of deal. 🙂
My first bout of tears came over the Unit 4 day 2 lesson about worshipping God. Just the day before, we had to read through a list of names, titles, and descriptions of God and check those that describe God in ways we have personally experienced Him. Out of a list of 42 particular names, I marked 38 of them. As I was marking them, I realized that the only reason I knew God in these intimate ways was because I had been in quite a few difficult places of need.
As I had been desperate for Him, He revealed Himself uniquely faithful in the details of every difficulty, and I grew to know Him by experience – and not only by theory. Oh, how I love Him for that!
The next day as I was worshipping Him for who I have graciously experienced God to be, I broke down in tears – knowing that before this present difficulty was over, I would know Him in even deeper ways. That’s the blessing that comes from the pain – the beauty from the ashes.
I cried, though, because I didn’t WANT to go through the pain to get to the blessing. I’d rather not! I’d rather stay right here, where I’m comfortable, and have a nice life while knowing and enjoying Him in 38 ways. Make sense?
But as I sat before the Lord on that day, calling out those names I KNOW Him to be, He helped me come back to the place of trusting Him through the pain of uncertainty. And He gave me joy and a great expectancy about what is to come. I wiped my eyes, and moved on with a renewed sense of hope in Him for our future.
The most recent meltdown, however, was much more selfish. The “Experiencing God” lesson was about God’s purposes and plans, and I found myself throwing an all-out-spoiled-brat-tantrum! “I want… I don’t want… I… I… I… boo hoo… boo hoo… waaaaaaaaaah!” (At this point, you have my permission to just skip to the recipe!)
He so lovingly convicted me of how I have said I’m willing to accept His plans for our family, but in the back of my mind, I’ve had my own lovely scenario worked out, and have been hoping things will turn out all nice and rosy like the way I’ve planned.
He reminded me of the story of the dime store pearl necklace a little girl loved. She had worked to earn the money to buy it, and wore it all the time. One night before bed, her father asked her, “Do you love me?” She replied, “You know I do, Daddy!” Then he said, “Give me your pearl necklace.”
The little girl couldn’t do it. Instead, she offered to give her dad a favorite toy. Her sweet daddy gently told her, “No, honey. That’s OK. I sure do love you.” This scene went on for many nights
Weeks later, when the father went upstairs to put his daughter to bed, he found her crying. When he asked her about it, she put something in his hand and simply said, “I love you, Daddy.” It was her beloved pearl necklace.
Her father scooped her up into one of those soft, yet strong, bear hugs that daddies do best. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a real pearl necklace, and placed it around her neck. She couldn’t believe it! She had loved her daddy enough to give him the necklace with peeling plastic pearls. He loved her more – and replaced what she considered to be her “best” with a necklace whose beauty would last forever.
In tears, I drew a pearl necklace on a piece of paper and labeled each pearl with what I think is “best”. Then I gave it to my Daddy.
He drew me up into one of those soft, yet strong, bear hugs that daddies do best. And one of these days, when His purposes and plans for this time of trusting & waiting in our lives has been fulfilled, He’ll place around my neck a garland of praise, whose beauty will last forever.
Thank you, Daddy, for loving me enough to patiently wait for me to hand over my” necklace” to you. I love you.
And thank YOU for listening. 🙂 The Doctor is OUT. Now for that recipe I promised:
Stromboli Sandwich Rolls (or as in my house: Aunt Melissa’s Sandwich Rolls – a favorite for an EASY dinner or lunch)
1 tube french bread dough
Unroll dough on a greased baking sheet. Place meat over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle evenly with onions, bacon, and cheese. Roll into a “log”. Pinch seams and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cut several 1/4 inch slits in the log. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
These days, our son could eat a whole one of these, so I make two, and serve it with lots of salad or pasta salad.
Thanks, Aunt Melissa! 🙂