I’ll be honest. I’m surprised it’s taking me so long to learn how to trust God. I expected to be better at it by now after fifty-plus years. Recently, Cyndi and I were in the Dallas area; Cyndi had a workshop and I was hanging out. But she was sick all weekend and didn’t enjoy her classes as much as she should have.
She’d had a headache for a week, and I suppose other symptoms she wouldn’t mention. Neither of us is good at describing our aches and pains to each other, much less our fears or concerns. We are too afraid to sound whiney.
I wonder how many times I get worried about the future (Is there anything else to worry about?) but don’t tell Cyndi, either because I am embarrassed to be scared over such a small thing, or don’t know how to talk about it, or I don’t want to be a complainer. After thirty-five years of marriage I still want to show only my best side to her. We still have much to learn about trusting each other with our fears as much as with our dreams.
Cyndi slept all through each of our morning commutes between Mansfield and Dallas. We went shopping on Saturday after her workshop - she had energy for shopping - but she collapsed once we started driving. She woke up occasionally to remind me of an exit on the freeway, usually about ten minutes after I’d already made the move. Cyndi went straight to bed about 8:00 PM.
Before crashing, Cyndi sent me to Target to buy Pediolite (a mystery to me why it should help with headaches) and Tylenol PM. It was the only time Cyndi budged all night long, to drink and swallow.
The thing is, I always function better with more information, but I didn’t have enough in this situation. When I don’t know what’s going on I tend to assume the worst, and since I had no idea how to help Cyndi, I spent the entire night dreaming about brain tumors and devastating illness and how, sooner or later, one of us would be left alone.
In my dreams I asked myself why Cyndi and I didn’t make more time for each other in our last years. Why didn’t we go to more cool places, not just workshops or seminars or business trips. Places like the Pacific Northwest, or New England, or Europe, or more cruises.
Why didn’t I take Cyndi dancing more often (well, because it hurts my knees … but so does running and hiking and I still do those). In my dreams I went through thing after thing, item after item, all night long, asking myself why I didn’t take our life together more seriously.
When I woke up, much to my surprise, I was singing inside my head. That’s actually not a surprise since I wake up singing in my head almost every morning, but this time I was singing a song we often sing in church, rather than some hang-dog blues riff which is what I would’ve expected after being hounded all night in my dreams. I had tossed and turned over unfounded and fabricated fears all night long, and yet I woke up singing a praise song. How does that work?
As I was brushing my teeth, before getting into the shower, wishing Cyndi would join me in the shower but glad she was still sleeping in bed, about 7:15 AM Sunday morning, I was still singing the song in my head when I realized the song itself was the answer to my long night of fears:
So what can I say, What can I do, But offer this heart, O God, Completely to you. So I’ll stand With arms high and heart abandoned In awe of the one who gave it all So I’ll stand My soul, Lord, to you surrendered, All I am is years. (The Stand, Hillsong United)
The reason I worried about our future and fretted over our past was because I didn’t trust God with our life together.
I should do this better. My constant prayer for the past two years has been - “Teach me trust you.” So often I stand up in front of people and talk about trusting God, yet I don’t trust him with my own best stuff.
So while brushing my teeth, I prayed, “Lord teach me to trust you. I give you Cyndi, and all she means to me. I give you this time we have together that is so important to me. Teach me to trust you.”
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32