When I was nineteen, I started compiling a stack of notecards. On each notecard were verses I'd written that I really wanted to memorize. I like to go through them when I'm praying for people. I've found that if I just sit and pray for even more than a couple minutes without something else to break it up, my mind wanders and I'm suddenly thinking about kittens when I had been praying for my friend's marriage. Silly me.
So the notecards...I love them. Different verses really meant a lot to me during different times in my life, and sometimes the same verse will be applied in a whole new way depending on what I'm going through. Sort of like how you just think a song about breaking up has a nice melody until you break up with your boyfriend; then the lyrics immediately mean so much and you listen to it over and over and over.
This morning I was praying when I was very much not in a mood to pray. These times, I've learned, are when I need to pray the most. I was irritated because I didn't even get an interview for a job that I am completely qualified for (other than the fact that I speak our country's national language and nothing else - fail) and feeling discouraged, as though God doesn't see or has forgotten how ready I am to move on. I had my notecards face down, sort of like a deck of cards when you're playing blackjack and you don't know what's coming but you hope it's something good. So I was praying for myself (because yes, I'm selfish and pray for myself first) and feeling defeated in the whole job realm. And what's the first card I turn over? "He will not let you be defeated. He who guards you never sleeps." (Psalm 121:3). Oh. Right. Thanks for that. Moving on...
I kept praying, wondering how long Sam and I would have to go through this stupid time of growing (yes, if you've read my previous posts you'd know that I had a good attitude about it before and today I'm just feeling lousy). And what verse do I turn over? "Wait for God, wait with hope! Hope now, hope always." (Psalm 131:3) Dang it! Okay fine, I'll keep waiting, even with hope! I had told JulieAnn yesterday I was tired of getting my hopes up about new possibilities. And now I'm told to wait? With hope?
So then I start praying for my husband, my wonderful husband who I snapped at last night and who I am particularly stubborn with. And guess what card I get? Psalm141:3, which reads, "Lord, help me control my tongue; help me be careful about what I say." Very funny, God. We've already established I am the last person who can control her tongue. That was affirmed when I got the "Most Mouthy" award from my coach freshman year of water polo. And I'm supposed to be controlling my tongue in my marriage? Even speaking somewhat respectfully to this man I'm now sharing life with? Come on! I learned all these lessons years ago when I first copied down these verses. Surely I don't have to learn them again.
Ahh, but sadly yes, I do have to learn them again. I seem to always be learning old lessons; lessons I've already had great epiphanies over, that I've already written in my journal about, saying things like, "Oh, I finally get it! Now I know how to handle this!" I wonder when any of them will finally stick. I'm thinking when I finally am refined and changed and it's real and I apply it to my life, maybe that's when I'll get a new job. So okay people, time to really focus and learn! And laugh when God gently (or not so gently) reminds me of things He's been patiently trying to teach me.