Waiting For Us
A few days ago I was getting ready for the day and as I stood in my closet trying to figure out what to wear, a memory popped into my head from a couple of years ago.
Our teenage son was living at home again. If you aren't familiar with our story I have many, many blogs talking about my journey of being Mom to a special-needs child, but for a while he was not able to live at home with us.
I had just started our ranch business and occasionally had customers stop by. I was also working on countless other projects around the ranch, as well as trying to write books. My time had been my own for over a year at this point and I'd come to enjoy having a quiet house while I worked.
But my son isn't very quiet. He enjoys listening to music, playing video games with the sound on, and making his own sound effects when no other sound is to be had. I tried very hard to be patient, to set boundaries, and asked for a specific time of day to be quiet so I could focus on getting work done. But to no avail. I very quickly became overwhelmed and overstimulated.
One day, I simply couldn't take it anymore. I yelled my frustration, then locked myself in the only room in our house where I couldn't hear any noise from any other part of the house: our closet. The light was off, the door was locked, and I cried and cried.
My husband was working from home that day and few minutes after I'd locked myself in the closet he came and tapped on the door to see if I was okay. But I didn't respond. I ignored him until he eventually left.
A couple hours later I finally emerged, feeling a little better, but not much. I craved silence so much, that the idea of leaving the closet and hearing any noise at all made my skin crawl. But I was starting to feel bad about locking my husband out and I knew he was worried.
So I went and found him. After explaining myself and my actions, he told me he'd been really upset that I hadn't responded to him and had kept him locked out. Now, I want to say here, he could have gotten in. But he chose to let me have my space, knowing how frustrated I'd been with the noise level in the house. I want to be clear that I was not alone in this. My husband and I have always worked together to find solutions, but this time I just couldn't handle the situation anymore and broke down before the solution was found.
I felt horrible about hurting him in that way. He didn't make me feel guilty. I'd known he was worried and I still refused to let him in. I apologized and for the next hour, we locked ourselves in our bedroom and he just held me in complete silence until I felt recovered enough to deal with the situation.
As I'm writing this memory down, I have tears running down my cheeks. Not because I feel any lingering guilt, but because of the way God has used this memory to show me a beautiful picture of Himself through the way my husband acted that day.
God gave us free choice. From the beginning we have had the choice to believe in Him or not. To have relationship with Him or not. As believers we have the choice to pursue Christ, or live from Sunday to Sunday wondering why our lives don't look and feel any different than those who don't know Christ.
But that doesn't mean God isn't waiting for us. Watching us live our lives, knowing He has better things for us if we would only seek Him. But he allows us to live without Him, doing the best we can. Getting overwhelmed and overstimulated without his guidance and support.
How often do we wait for that moment to approach God? How often do we wait until life feels impossible before we reach out and ask for His help? But when we do, there He is. Immediately offering his love and comfort.
And if we're paying attention, we may sense that our absence from Him has caused Him to grieve for us. He is happy to have us in His arms again, but sad that we missed having his love and comfort sooner.
For a few weeks after I locked myself in the closet, I did feel guilt every time I walked into it. But eventually that emotion faded and the incident was mostly forgotten. Now, a couple years later, God has brought the memory back to me and redeemed it. I may not have been feeling the same guilt when I walked into my closet, and beyond wanting to show me an example of His love for me, I don't know why He brought this memory back to me. Perhaps there was something still lingering in me that needed to be healed.
Whatever the reason, I can now walk into my closet and be reminded that He's always waiting for me to come to Him. No matter what.