Friday, February 4, 2011

It's my RIGHT... or is it?

Over the past several weeks, we have come up against some resistance in our apartment experience. It all started with a phone call made from our new apartment to Steven saying that our old apartment complex wouldn't release our information because we hadn't give our notice to vacate. When Steven called me to relay this information, I took it graciously. Oh wait, that was the "loving patient Jamie" that doesn't come out in situations like this. Instead, I flipped out and started telling Steven all the ways that this was NOT possible. He, of course understood my point, but it didn't change the manager's mind.
It took me the 40 minute drive home to cool down to the place that I wouldn't completely let the manager of our complex have it. I wish I could say that this was a moment where I trusted the Lord and said, "Its in your hands." But instead I told Him all the reasons that this couldn't be happening and how UNFAIR it was and how it was my RIGHT for it to turn out the way I wanted.
As we walked into the office, I tried to compose myself as I told the manager that I had informed one of the other ladies that worked there in DECEMBER. What I had never heard before was this: every apartment in the state of Texas requires a 60 day WRITTEN notice. An anger and resentment flooded my mind: What are we going to do now??
Over the next week, the manager graciously came up with some solutions, but it was all dependent on someone renting out our old apartment. After the anger subsided, I realized that I was not in control and that I really had no choice but to either trust the Lord or lose my mind worrying. I decided trust was the better answer. About half way through the week, the Lord changed my heart from being irritated at the management to love. Steven challenged me to pray, not only for the situation but for the manager. So we began to pray that God would bless them and make them prosper. And you know what? It didn't change our situation one bit. We are still currently paying for 2 apartments praying that someone will rent out our old apartment. Do you know what it did change? Me.
Steven is taking a class on Jonah this semester, so I thought that, being a good seminary wife, I too would read Jonah. As I got to chapter 4, I was stuck by God's response to Jonah's anger: "Have you any right?" Later God "provides" a vine to grow to ease Jonah's discomfort and then "provides" a worm to eat the plant and make it die. And guess what? Jonah's mad again. So again God says to him: "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" And Jonah's response? Angry enough to DIE.
God taught me a few things through this passage... he PROVIDES to bring me comfort but also to open my eyes to MY SIN. I deserve NOTHING. I have no rights. Anything he gives me that's good, is only out of his grace. Anything he provides for me that hurts is for my growth. Was Jonah sent to Ninevah to change the Ninevites or to change Jonah? Or to change me...


Jennifer Miller said...

This is a great story (as always)!

If you gave them notice in December, doesn't that mean that sometime in February you can vacate that apartment?

dthneece said...

God bless you for your post! I mean, God bless you because I can relate to every emotion and reaction that you if I wrote it myself. What an excellent reminder of how to handle the difficulties and disappointments of this life!

H.Clark said...

Jamie, your posts always hit so close to home for me. I've been struggling with God for a year now about some things that happened in Milwaukee and why did He allow them to happen. Reading your I was stuck in & I believe I can now start moving forward. Thanks for being willing to share vulnerably!

Wife Of A Disciple said...

Love your story, especially moved by your telling us how you really felt. My sister and I often talk about what the sory of Jonah and the tree.....our conclusion is the Lord is in control!!!