Don’t you just love social media? I love it. I love videos of dogs and cats doing funny things and I love getting able to read funny Tumblr highlights on Facebook (there’s a Facebook group… or two) without actually having to go into the black hole, time suck that is Tumblr. Most of all, I love Facebook because it keeps me connected with people I don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like and I love Instagram because it encourages and challenges me on the daily. Yesterday one of the lovely ladies that I follow on Instagramposted this:
Oh, what a challenge. In the moment I screenshot the picture and then moved on with whatever I was doing – probably starting Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race! Have you checked out my Twitter, yet? I’m live tweeting all of the Netflix I watch (or most of it) because I have a lot of feelings. But I digress. And I shamelessly self plug. Later that evening I started thinking about that screenshot again and then again this morning as I was filling in my devo spreadsheet (it’s who I am) I thought about the screenshot again and how even in just thinking about those words for the few seconds I did, I saw God and His faithfulness and goodness.
So now I am sitting in my classroom before any of the students have arrived and the internet isn’t working so I can’t make a little reminder to parents about nutrition and good snacks (on Canva, obviously) and I figured now was as good a time as any to reflect on all of the things I used to want that I currently have. Bless the Lord.
I remember living in an apartment in San Pedro wanting to live in a house so bad. I remember thinking about how nice and easy it would be to just open the door and let the dogs go in and out, rather than having to walk up three flights of stairs to the roof and then wait (while baking the Caribbean sun) for Fred to decide he wanted to pee. Of course, I underestimated the Fred-ness of Fred (and how it would inevitably rub off of George) and although the door to the backyard is open constantly when I am home and the door to the frontyard is open often, Fred still manages to use the kitchen as his toilet way more often than I’d like, but it is still so nice having a house and a yard.
I remember taking a little plastic container and writing “CASA FUND” on it (bilingually, “House Fund”) and stuffing money into it for a whole school year so I could have enough to put a deposit on a house in Jarabacoa and enough money to move all of my stuff out there. I remember how I was making the same amount of money I am making now and still managed to save enough for those things. Jehovah Jireh.
I remember wanting to work at a school where I could boldly have tattoos, thinking that that would never happen. I remember daydreaming about being able to get more tattoos (visible ones, too!) while being a teacher. I didn’t even dare to want to teach with pink hair. Yet, here I am. Tattoos out almost daily – those ankle ones are sneaky – with a pink ponytail, teaching first graders about a God who loves them.
I remember wanting to feel a part of a community.
I remember wanting to work with high schoolers in this country.
I remember wanting to be an Area Director with YouthWorks.
I remember wanting to have a house that is cute and organized and clean and a place people can come to.
I remember wanting to know how to cook!
I remember wanting to have a dog. And now I have two!
I remember wanting to live in a Spanish speaking country.
I remember wanting to learn to speak Spanish.
I remember wanting to be a teacher.
This summer my favorite song was King of My Heart. It has a lot of good words but the words that stuck out to me the first (and second, and third, and fifteenth) time I heard it were, You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.
I remember when my college friend Brittany put Psalm 37:4 in a new light, pointing out that not only does God GIVE us the desires of our heart in that He fulfills them, but He also GIVES us the desires of our heart in that He puts them there. He puts desires in our hearts in order to fulfill them. In order to show us how much He loves us. In order to reveal to us His power and His faithfulness and His plan.
I have never felt so settled. I have so many of the things I have always wanted, which frees me up to dream new dreams and to start making them happen. Now, looking back on all that God has done and allowed me to have, I have no fear and no hesitation looking forward in faith to all that He will do. One day, si Dios quiere, I will look back and remember wanting a house with a ton of land for all the animals to run. I will look back and remembering wanting goats. I will look back and remember wanting to be a wife to a good (and hunky) man. I will look back and remember wanting to be a mother through adoption. I will look back and remember wanting to write and publish a book. I will look back and remember wanting to work from home, doing what I love and loving people doing it.
God is faithful. God is good. Sometimes His timing is not our timing and it takes Him decades to fulfill a promise we wanted fulfilled yesterday. But in looking back and remembering – as He instructed the Israelites to do so many times in so many ways – we can be so sure that His plan is the best plan and that He really is a God who plants and fulfills the desires of our hearts.
Remember what you wanted what you currently have?