Most of us have. I confess to quite a few.
Let's just say the move wasn't my idea. It put me in a new place with no family, no connections and no circle of friends from the church we loved.
I felt alone and adrift, like many spouses do in this kind of situation.
I kept reminding myself if God brought my husband to this place--and I knew He did--He must have something here for me, too. But what?
On one of my empty days I checked out a community women's Bible study listed in our local newspaper. The teaching leader recounted the story of God freeing the Israelites from captivity and Moses leading them out from Egypt. When soldiers in chariots pursued them, God parted the Red Sea so they could escape to freedom. They needed pure water and He provided it, there in the wilderness. Yet the people grumbled. Exodus 16 says they looked back fondly to Egypt--and slavery--because there they could eat until they were stuffed.
Then the leader lobbed a truth that hit home. "Are you wandering around in a dry, dusty wilderness of your own making?"
It seemed she looked into my heart.
She didn't stop there. "Are you murmuring against God because the specifications of your life are not exactly as you would choose?"
Like the old story of how to get a stubborn mule's attention, that woman's words served as my much-needed "whack on the side of the head."
Nothing changed, but everything changed.
Once I took my eyes off Poor, Pitiful Me and looked for the good in our new situation I found quite a lot. (My husband said he got his wife back--and here I thought he hadn't noticed.)
Those memories came flooding back last week, when I ran across an old prayer I've loved for years.
It was found in the pocket of an unknown Confederate soldier, a casualty in the U. S. Civil War, 1865:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
Every time I read those simple words they touch my heart. How about you?
Love from your fellow learner,