Joy to the World, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King.
I have had a phenomenal revelation this weekend in the unlikely form of a Surprise Birthday Party. My ever clever husband conspired with my children (what restraint!) to have me, completely clueless, walk in to a room full of loving friends saying, “Surprise!” My first response was shock. I stood there open-mouthed, dumbfounded and speechless. Which is a RARE condition for me. But my next responses were of embarrassment and the desire to run away. So I just sat down at the table and cried. Overwhelmed and undone.
It was a great, great night, with home-made cards and words of love and blessing. As I looked around the table, I kept shaking my head thinking, “I can’t believe all this is for me.” My cup was indeed running over with thankfulness.
But at 3:30 in the morning, I had to get back up and process with the Lord. Why did I want to run away? Why was I so embarrassed? Why did I feel so guilty over being the recipient of such love and affection?
His answers were astounding. As usual. Over the next 24 hours, He began whispering truths into my heart. Truths about desires, design and receiving His goodness.
So in this first of several blogs, let me give you some background. During the day on Saturday, I had been whining. I was really in a wad about my birthday plans or lack thereof (so I thought). Not one to be overly sentimental about my own birthday, I surprised myself and Chuck with shooting down his plans for our night out:
“No I don’t want to drive the kids out to my mom’s, then drive back west for dinner.”
“No, I don’t want to dress up.”
“We’re only going to Macaroni Grill because you like it.”
“This is stupid, it doesn’t matter, let’s just stay home with the kids and I’ll make dinner.”
Fortunately, Chuck had enough self control to NOT blurt out, “You need to get dressed because I am going to have a surprise party for you, and the kids have to go to your mom’s because all the other people to babysit will be at YOUR party at Macaroni Grill!” So glad he resisted that temptation.
But I was still whining. I went outside and told the Lord, “I am just really under attack. I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. Help me to just calm down and be thankful for whatever comes.” But the Lord very quietly asked me, “What do you want?” I said, “Nothing.”
And as soon as I said “nothing,” I wanted to laugh out loud. Because if I wanted “nothing” then what was the whining about? So I ‘fessed up that I wanted to have a heartfelt card from Chuck; that I wanted to feel special but didn’t want to have to ask for it. That I just wanted to be loved on…. But instead of softening my heart, those thoughts hardened my heart. I recalled past times of dashed hopes and disappointments. There was no cheese down that hole.
So I concluded my time with the Lord with a grown-up white knuckling version of “that stuff doesn’t matter, and I need to be thankful and not complain.”
How funny that the Lord already knew the desires of my heart, even the unspoken ones, and already had a plan that I knew Nothing about. And how funny that I was tormenting Chuck and all the while he was trying to bless me… How crazy that just hours later, I had the first surprise party of my life and handmade cards telling me how well loved I was. How funny, how crazy, how God….
So for today, I want to end with revelation number one: I can trust God with the desires of my heart. He has plans for me that I know Nothing about. And, He loves surprises as much as I do….