Monday, July 20, 2009

Boxes

There they sat on a shady curb in our neighborhood. They came in small, medium and large, and were pristine. If not for scribbled sharpie words such as "kitchen" and "boys room," they looked completely unused.

I regarded them with excitement, one of those rare moments when God's answer to prayer comes immediately. In my mind, they were manna from heaven. Just that morning I had whispered a quick prayer: "Lord, if it is Your will for us to move, I pray You will open the doors." My first request? Boxes.

I needed to do a little packing up.

The idea of moving had overtaken my mind like rushing water, and I was a momma on a mission. After 2 years of praying about moving, the time had finally come. God had directly and swiftly answered my prayers, and I felt sure that the answers would keep falling down like a line of carefully placed dominos.

Load by load, I took the boxes from the curb, not bothering to ask...it was early in the morning and besides, it was trash day. These boxes were bound for the dump.

Well, the momentum quickly ended. It wasn't long before Tom and I together realized that this was not the time. After God opened the gate real wide, it seemed like it hit me in the bottom when he closed it.

The boxes sat in my garage, and in the meantime, I thought I spied the family whose boxes I had stolen. Well, taken really, but I was aware enough to notice them walking out of their cul-desac and towards our neighborhood church on Sunday morning. I noted what they were wearing and thought that I would speak to them on the off chance I saw them at church. After all, I had taken their boxes.

I did see them during our church's coffee, so I introduced myself and found out they were transplanted here from a faraway state. Knew not a soul.

And I did confess to her I had taken her boxes!

As that week passed, I forgot that family and thought a lot about myself and my empty boxes. Besides the desire to move to get a nicer place, I had several other very good reasons to move. And I was letting God know about it. I spent the week crying, praying, angry and confused. I wasn't just disappointed. I was hurt. Truly, I could barely eat. Sounds shallow to you probably, but when a momma bear gets her mind on something, there is an extreme amount of emotional energy purcolating.

During one of my pleas to God, I brought His Holy attention to my boxes. "what was that about anyway, God?" Towards week's end, I began laying my heart out..... Telling God that He was the high and mighty God of heaven and earth and that I would accept His plan for my life. Use me for your glory....but show me what to do with these darn boxes!!!!

While the boxes originally symbolized exciting possibilities unknown, my heart felt pangs everytime I opened my garage door.

I saw my new friend at church again and asked her to come over and bring her kids. When the day came, I fixed a little lunch and enjoyed getting to know "Michelle" and her cute kiddos.

At the end of our conversation, she opened up to me like noone had before. It took a ton of courage. What she basically told me with tears and deep breaths was that she didn't know Christ, but wanted to know Him.

Her stories could fill blog posts, but I won't share them without permission. What I will share is what I learned.

What I learned is that those boxes were not about me.

All this time, I had thought they were about me.

He showed me a higher purpose for my boxes.

Pray I am worthy of the call.

10 Wonderful Responses:

Whitney said...

Wow Annie. Awesome story. I'll be praying for you.

Shannon said...

Well, we never quite know what He's up to do we? Sometimes He give us a glimpse though. Glad your new friend found a friend like you.

Lazy Mom Amanda said...

that's an awesome story. Thanks for sharing. And, I have a special place in my heart for transplants that don't know a soul...I was one a few months ago!!

Kathleen said...

Oh, Annie, I'm so with you on the pleading with God and asking "Why? Why are we still here?" I'm glad to hear that you found your reason that you are still there--what a blessing you were to "Michelle"!

And about those boxes? Yours are empty. We got so ahead of God, we packed a lot of the boxes. Now after over a year has passed, we are slowly UNpacking them because...well, we need our stuff! :-)

Rena said...

Wow! What an amazing reminder of the bigger picture.

I needed this story. Boy did I ever.

Penelope said...

What a wonderful story! And what great insight you have...Will be praying for her!

Valerie said...

Great reminder for all of us to remember that when we are looking for answers or direction, it may not always be about us. Thanks for sharing this!

ellen said...

You never cease to amaze me. Big hugs and prayers as God works through you.

Kim said...

I love to hear what you have to say...very MOVING.

paperdoll said...

WOW...that's all I've got. Wow...