The Perfect Storm (cliché but accurate)
The storm continued to build over breakfast the following morning as we rehashed facts and figures. The interview loomed and now our plans were up in the air. We drove in silence to the elementary school and he parked the rental truck.
The flurry of nerves and anger combusted, “I should go in there and tell them they don’t need to interview me and save their time since this clearly won’t work,” my voice spiteful and sassy. When it comes to me my husband knows how to keep his cool. “Let’s pray,” he calmly said. Shamefully, I’m not certain if I prayed with him.
Already anxious to interview for the first time in over a decade I felt like a depraved liar as I walked in. I don’t know how, but I managed a believable smile and diplomatically shook hands with people. I felt like a foal taking its first steps as I tried to regain my composure. It never happened.
Superficial answers, fumbled sentences and “um” sputtered out my mouth at every pause. The replays in my mind left me infuriated and I placed blame on my husband. “How could he?”
The trouble with loving words so much is you know how to use them to a fault and I did.
I didn’t hold back.
I didn’t relent.
“If only you…” finish that sentence with everything under the sun. I’m sure I blamed him for failed politics and lack of world peace somewhere in my rant.
When I carried on too long he put an end to my cruelty, “You cannot blame me for these things. You need to stop.”
Silent tears of anger burned my cheeks. Consumed with nursing my pride and disappointment we sat like strangers in the airport terminal. As we boarded the plane the flight attendant gave my husband a look of pity. She saw through it all and my heart broke more as I realized my actions denied my faith to the world. How do I put an end to this disaster?
Laying it to Rest
The main tantrum passed but I stewed. Our home was one hot mess that weekend but God works miracles, especially when I’m in the car with my kids. Cleansing tears now flowed and I parked the car and looked back at my incredible kids.
“Do you ever feel disappointed with yourself?” I wondered if they would understand my question. “Yes,” my son said with sincerity that comes only with understanding. He recounted a short story of personal disappointment and I broke with pride and pain that he understood so well.
“I’m really disappointed with myself and I’ve taken it out on everyone. I know I could have done much better at my interview. I feel like I messed up God’s plan because of my rotten attitude. I’m sorry I’ve been unkind and miserable to be around. Please forgive me.”
Kids are generous with forgiveness and they reassured me of their love. They weren’t the only people I trampled on. Filled with embarrassment and shame over my tantrum I stopped and called my husband to apologize for mistreating him. God used those apologies and repentance to mend and humble my heart.
Following God’s plan doesn’t mean guaranteed success at everything we do. Because I’ve sat on both sides of the interview table and talking with people comes naturally I thought my interview would be a slam-dunk. I relied on myself and the abilities God blessed me by again saying, “Cool God, I’ve got this. You go save another soul.”
God let me dangle and I felt the sting of doing things my way. The pain of this important reminder went further when I interviewed with another district days later. The interview was flawless! If I were at the interview olympics I scored a perfect 10 with intelligent, thoughtful, personable and eloquent answers. They even called me back two hours later to take invite me to the finals. Maybe God wanted me here and not there. God revealed a place that felt like a missing puzzle piece in my heart and it seemed mean take it away. Mean isn’t part of God’s character and I again determined in my heart to surrender. Where You go, I’ll go. Where You stay, I’ll stay. I will follow You.
Resided to my failure I grieved the loss of something that was never mine.
Where? How? Why God? What are you doing?