A Letter to Myself (or, Stripping My Wallpaper)

It seems like everything is under control.

You are right with the world and the world is right with you.

You moved to a random city, and your response to the quizzical faces? “Jesus moved me here.”

You bought a house. Not just any house, a honkin’ glorious house, with bedrooms for people who need them and gorgeous hardwood floors and plaster walls that win medals.

You haven’t been too bothered by the fact you’re not pregnant because it seems like you’re over that covetous sin.

You and your husband are on a roll. Same page, all the way. No fights, and your realistic optimism levels out his doomsday pessimism ever so well.

You’re active in your church and in local church services. You’re joining God’s work and man, it feels good to be a part of something.

The renovations on your house are great, your bank account is surviving, and you have a job lined up.

Good to go.

And then…

You’re sitting in a hotel during your job’s pre-service orientation, talking to your husband, when he drops the “so we need to talk about the bank account” bomb.

That roof job? Yeah, the check’s gonna bounce.

That job you’re training for? Turns out it’s a volunteer opportunity. Sure, you get an allowance, but then you get taxed on that allowance.

You swallow emotions and move on. You’ll just apply to part-time retail jobs. Easy peasy.

So easy peasy, you get a job interview at Target. Good job, you!

Everyone is confident you’ll get the job. Heck, you’re confident you’ll get the job. The lady even liked you.

And then they don’t hire you. “We decided to go with someone else.”

Oh, okay.

And the house is fine, but then your husband’s car kind of breaks. And he uses your car, but you need to get your new Ohio license and plates.

And the dog keeps rolling in some dead animal carcass, and if you have to bathe her one more time today…

And you burn the burgers because you decide turning on all the burners in grill is a great idea, and the entire bottom of the grill is engulfed in flame and all you can do is stand there like a dummy waiting for it to die down.

And your husband comes home upset from work and upset from his car and upset because the nice grill the nice lady left behind when she moved is now brown from being set on fire. And he’s upset with you and doubts your word (because you’re impeccably honest) and stormily hammers at something or other under his car until he breaks it more and tells you he has to take it into the shop.

And instead of remembering God’s promises, you focus on your failures.

On you.

Not God.


About how you chose the wrong house or you timed it all wrong or you can’t get a job or you burned the burgers (well, you did…) or you suck at being a godly wife or you are an unhelpful, unproductive, ungodly mess.

You forget that God orchestrated all of this. That it’s not all about you.

He let you build your castles of sand in order to rumble in a roaring, foamy wave to knock it flat and into the sea.

On purpose.

That’s right.

He’s tearing your flimsy dreams down to make room for His own glorious mansions. You might not see it now, you may not see it in this lifetime, but He is.

And yes, it feels crappy. Like He’s tearing down your wallpaper. And you’re standing there awkwardly with bits of wallpaper glue stuck to you. And you wish He’d hurry up and just sandpaper it off. And paint over it. And make it pretty.

But He’s waiting. He has you in the in-between.

So it’s the good kind of crappy.

Work In Progress
Work In Progress

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