I often find myself saying “That sounds like a conversation for you and God.” I say it to my children, my husband, friends, family members and even people that I have only just met. I have a really good reason but often I do not feel like the people I am speaking to understand my reasoning.
To start with God hasn’t given me all the answers. In fact he hasn’t given me most of the answers. When I have an answer at all I feel extremely blessed that God allowed me to have it. Usually it is days, weeks, months or even years before God allows me the insight that I need to understand why He did or didn’t do or allow something.
Secondly God is our best counselor, our best listener, and He does have all the answers. We might be on our knees crying God why, I don’t understand, but He does. I have often felt blessed when speaking to others about their troubles to have insight that they do not, but more often the matter at hand is really a God issue, that only He can truly help them to understand.
Then there is the fact that I have at times sought the counsel of others in dealing with my own issues and even for our marriage. There have certainly been times that this was useful for getting me back on track, and other times that it was helpful at giving me new ideas of things that I could try. Overall however, I didn’t gain insight or clarity or even a sense of peace from seeking this counsel. More times than not I felt as if I gained very little other than having had the ability to work through my own emotions, which sometimes in itself can lead to insight. Theres also the factor that it makes my husband feel incredibly bad if I seek advice from someone else. He has a tendency to believe no matter what I went for that I am going to bash him for something. While this may not be true, making my husband uncomfortable certainly doesn’t help provide the clarity or insight I was seeking.
If we turn to God and ask him why, he doesn’t always just give us the answer. In fact I would venture to say most times he does not. My reasoning on this goes back to Gods three answers – yes no and wait. Sometimes God will very surely allow you to see things clearly and understand what he is doing in your life. Other times God may say no not now. No you can’t handle this yet. Trust me to do my work and wait while I do it, however is the most common thing I think I receive as an answer.
When God is ready though, often after the fact, God will give us clarity, a revelation that can make the situation and happenings so much clearer and understandable in our minds. A few weeks ago I had a really bad argument with my husband. He had spent the day removing the carpet in our home in order to put down new flooring that would hopefully help my asthma. The exposure to the dust beneath the carpet was horrid for me. Being that I am really really really allergic to dust mites, and that our carpet was around 30 years old it just was a bad situation. I felt my throat swell shut, worse than any other allergic reaction or asthma attack I had ever had.
My instinct was to get the Benadryl after attempting to use my nebulizer and failing to make any progress. My husbands instinct however was to call off work and rush me to the hospital. The trouble with that was I knew, or felt confident that in a short time if I was removed from the allergen I should start feeling better. I was scared to death to go to the hospital, because if I hadn’t gotten better by the time we got there, there was a good chance they would (at least I thought) put a tube in my throat as there was no way I could be intubated, and the general consensus is that asthma patients are very hard to intubate anyways due to the swelling that occurs during a major attack.
When I was all of about 2 years old, I had an extremely bad allergic reaction to a medication that paralyzed me. I had to relearn how to walk, talk and basically live. Now I can honestly say I do not remember any part of that except the stuffed animal my Daddy purchased for me while I was a the hospital. The horror stories my parents told about this time though, leave me absolutely frightened.
In the end I argued with my husband, the doctors and the nurses and was released before they actually treated me for anything, which I was fine with simply because the nurse said it was going to be at least two hours before I was seen by anyone, and I had already been at the hospital at least that long. I didn’t want to waste my husbands time sitting there, or the money, just to end up that by the time I was seen my reaction would be completely over.
On the way home I asked my husband to stop and get something to eat or at least let me get my keys, purse and clothes for the night as he had made it clear that I would staying with his parents overnight. Naturally my husband took my directly to his parents and told me to help myself to their pantry.
I for one am not comfortable doing this. This probably has at least a little to do with, even if I tell someone to make themselves at home I feel uncomfortable when they do, so how could I possibly make my in-laws feel like that? Not to mention it didn’t seem fair to request they make something when they had already eaten. My mother in law did go to the store and purchase Pepsi and my favorite cookies for me, but that is hardly a meal when you haven’t eaten all day. Mostly though, I am, at least at times tired of being limited by my medical condition. I am tired of hearing “haven’t you had enough attention yet?”. While this is said mostly in joking it still hurts. It isn’t like I’m enjoying the fact that I can do absolutely nothing without needing to use a nebulizer afterwards.
I had this argument with my husband, well rather I tried to say it to him through tears with which he walked out the door on me for. Then I tried to say it to my mother in law. Both times went pretty well the same way, they didn’t understand me. I ended up storming out and walking home. Luckily through the field it is a downhill walk or I would not have made it. It was a struggle as it was. My husband tried to stop me when I was almost there, and I was rather disrespectful in ignoring him and making my own way home, to my keys purse and clothes. I was frustrated, and drove to town half an hour away to get myself dinner, and I brought him dinner also before retiring at his parents house.
Unfortunately I failed here rather badly in a few ways. I disrespected my husbands wishes. I failed to submit to my husbands will. I failed to take the time to try to see my husbands point of view even, I just reacted on my own tired, hungry emotional state. What I wanted at the least was my husband to hold me, allow me to feed myself and be as close to normal as possible. None of these things happened and it hurt. Mostly it hurt my pride.
It was three days and many prayers later when God granted me clarity. I was finally able to see my husband acted the way he did because he was most likely actually very afraid for me. Probably at least as afraid as was- an allergic reaction of this magnitude is a scary thing, and people die everyday from untreated, or mistreated allergic reactions and asthma attacks. I know my biggest complaint while being in the emergency room happens shortly after I am told that I am fine because my oxygen saturation is good. Let me fill all the know it all emergency room doctors in now, so your prepared next time you see me. Oxygen saturation has very little to do with how much oxygen my lungs are receiving. It tells you that my lungs are using the oxygen in the right way, but not how much I am actually taking in, or how much inflammation is in my lungs, or even how tight my throat has shut. Now that we know this we can see why over 200,000 Americans die every year while under medical supervision due to asthma. My husband knows this, and I am sure it merely fueled his need to have me seen, rather than allow me to self treat in this instance. If I had known this to start with, I might have calmed myself down enough to react like a big girl. Might have.
Clarity doesn’t always come when we want, or think we need it. However are God is a good faithful God, and he provides it when we are ready for it, in His timing not ours. The next time you find yourself frustrated, perhaps not understanding, simply trust. Let God know how you feel and ask him to give you the clarity you need as you need it to see you through.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7:7-12 NIV