Those who have spent any time with me over the past few weeks may have noticed a word written on the inside of my left wrist. The word changes between three: “valuable,” “patient,” and “trust.” Today, it’s trust. Tomorrow, it may be different. I started this new ritual as a reminder to myself, and the words are indicative of what I am struggling with that day or week.
There have been many days recently when Satan has tried to whisper lies into my heart, and sometimes he succeeds. The most prominent of these lies has been that I am not valuable to anyone. Now, I know in my mind that I am valuable, but to believe that in my heart is another thing entirely. Particularly in my relationships with the other Fellows, I find that Satan has a foothold in my heart when it comes to my value. I am learning to combat these lies with truth; when I hear the lies creep in, I often recite in my head instances where I have been shown how I am valuable to someone. But this struggle with value points to a bigger problem, which is another reason why I write the word on my wrist: I should seek my value in God, not in others…should being the crucial word in that statement. I should, but often I do not. I see that when I seek my value in the other Fellows, or in people in general, I am often disappointed. But when I seek my value in God, I am never disappointed. So why do I continue to do the former? I suppose because I am human and sinful. Because I am still a little Christian, immature in so many ways. I really am trying, but it is not easy. Walking with God is not easy.
The other two words, “patient” and “trust,” go hand in hand as struggles for me. I like control, I like plans, I like certainty. I desire immediate results, and I don’t like playing the waiting game. I have been this way my whole life, but in the spirit of growth that surrounds the Fellows program, God is pushing me and forcing me out of my comfort zone. “Trust me,” I hear Him say. “I am preparing something wonderful for you. Be patient.” Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that I am being patient and trusting, but I know my grip on my life is still as tight as ever. I was, for example, supposed to hear about a job for after the Fellows program ends, but instead of being told yes or no, I was told a noncommittal, “We’re not sure yet.”
I almost had to laugh at this. In God’s teaching me patience and trust, did I really think it was going to be that easy? To be that in line with my own plan? I don’t know when I’ll hear about this job, but I have a feeling God is going to teach me a lot about trust and releasing control between now and then. And as the weeks pass and my struggles change, new words may appear on my wrist. I like this ritual, though, if only for the image that I cannot avoid God in my life any more than I can avoid the black letters written on my skin.