The Wall and the Window

Published July 31, 2012 by joypatton

She stands at the wall and sees no way around it, through it or over it.  The wall stretches for miles in both directions and towers above her head.  There is a small window in the wall, and when she stands on her tip toes, she can see all the way through to the other side.  It is beautiful and full of sunshine and life.  She sees it perfectly poised on the other side.  Her heart leaps with joy at the sight of it, and she knows she must have it.  She stretches her arm through the window, but alas the wall is too thick and the other side is simply out of reach.

She slumps at the base of the wall into a sobbing mess.  “Why would God let me see it and then make it so impossible to grasp?” she silently complains.  She lets out a sigh and her head drops to her knees.  God has bigger problems to solve than trying to help her get to the other side of the wall.  She should just be happy where she is and not complain.  Maybe this side of the wall is all that God has for her.  She feels guilty for even looking through the window in the first place.  She tries to list all of the good things on her side of the wall, but she can’t help but think how much better it would be on the other side.  But she can’t sit in this Orphan frame of mind any more.  She pulls herself to her feet and looks through the window again.

The other side is still just as beautiful as it was last time.  “Why would God let her see it if he didn’t want her to have it?”  She decides that she must do whatever it takes to get to the other side.  She walks for miles in both directions looking for a gate, a door, a giant crack…anything.  She finds nothing.  She contemplates building a ladder to get over the wall.  But that would take too much time.  She decides to climb over the wall and pushes her fingers into the cracks until they bleed.  But she drops to the ground and screams in frustration.  She furiously kicks and pounds the wall.  She tries to dismantle it brick by brick, but it will not budge.  Even the Ice Queen can’t find a way through the wall.

“I am here,” he whispered in her ear.  “I will be with you.”  She steps back and confesses that she has forgotten that God is present with her on this side of the wall.  “But I want to be on the other side,” she says to him.  “I know,” he says full of love and compassion.  She turns toward him and thanks him for being with her.  She thanks him for everything that she has on this side of the wall.  The two of them sit shoulder to shoulder looking at the wall and being with each other.  She remembers that she is His Princess and that she is with Him.  Her heart wants to be with Him more than anything on the other side of the wall.

This is a picture that my mentor Mary Grace Birkhead taught me a few years ago.  It has stuck with me whenever I see something I really want, but can’t get.  Sometimes it’s a perfect pair of black boots for my fall wardrobe or curtains for my bedroom.  Sometimes it’s children that actually obey the first time or something I want for our marriage.  But at this moment, the thing on the side of the wall is a publishing deal and speaking engagements.

Last weekend I went to She Speaks, a conference for Christian women speakers and writers, in Concord, NC, organized by Proverbs 31 ministries.  In January, I wrote this down as one of my goals for the year.  I saw it through the window, but standing between me and registration was money.  But God provided through generous friends who gave me the registration as a birthday present.  But then I hit another wall when I went to register.  No spots left.  Seriously, God?  I thought the wall was gone.  I signed up for the waiting list hoping against all hope that this wall would go away too.  And I waited.  I couldn’t push or make the wall move; I just had to wait and try not to let my Orphan thinking take over.

At the beginning of the year, I would have gone to the conference ready to promote myself, my book, my speaking ability, etc.  I would have shoved a business card on anyone I met hoping that it would fall in the right place.  But because of the walls and rejections that kept coming this spring, I barely believed that I could write or speak or have anything anyone would want to hear.  I wondered if I had been looking through the wrong window.  I had little self-confidence left and no desire to promote myself to anyone.  I was crumpled like an Orphan at the base of the wall.

But then the call came that there was a spot for me.  The sessions were full, and I was put on another waiting list for a writing group.  God had a spot for me there too.  As I drove all the way to North Carolina, I was thankful for the places God had given me and ready to receive whatever he had for me.  When I asked if there were openings in a speaker evaluation group, God placed for me in a perfect group.  When I asked if there were any openings to meet with publishers, God had a spot for me there too.  I had to wait and trust God with everything, every step, every meeting, every opportunity.  It was not my job to promote myself, it was my job to receive more of Him.

While I still don’t have a publishing deal or speaking engagements, I do have more of Him.  He reminded me of his great love for me and that I am still qualified, still called, still wanted, even on this side of the wall.  I don’t know whether the things I see through the window of the wall will ever come to pass.  I don’t know if he will make a way through the wall or if he will keep giving me more of himself on this side of the wall.  But I do know that he has called me to be His Princess.  At the wall, I can’t take the posture of the Orphan lost in despair or the Ice Queen full of self-determination.  As a Princess, all I can do is step back and worship Him.

Question: At this moment, what is on the other side of your wall?  What has your posture been at the wall?

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