I write about this almost every year because it is such a good reminder to me of God’s faithfulness to me. The “Glorious Impossible” comes from a worship song by Carl Cartee we sing at church during the season. It causes me reflect on all the “impossible” things that God made possible for His glory in the Christmas story. How impossible it was for a virgin to get pregnant! How impossible it was that Joseph decided to marry her anyway. How impossible that Elizabeth, who was past childbearing years, would get pregnant. How God moved a couple from Nazareth to Bethlehem to birth a child in the city of David from the “house of Bread.” How impossible for shepherds to see a choir of angels singing or for Mary to have an angel speak to her or for Joseph to have an angel in a dream… twice! How impossible is it to get a man or woman to act in obedience based on a dream? How impossible to find three kings willing to travel and bring gifts based on what they saw in the stars! How impossible to move this couple from Bethlehem to Egypt to again fulfill a promise! How impossible for God to become man and yet remain fully God!
The Christmas of 2006, when I first contemplated these things, I had experienced some amazing glorious impossibles. God’s provision for two new vehicles, one of which was a minivan for our growing family. Both cars that we still have today. I had seen broken relationships that seemed beyond repair healed. The impossible realization that I was pregnant with a baby girl, a feat no Patton man had accomplished in five generations! However I struggled with what seemed to be the most impossible situation of all…providing for the needs of my mother-in-law without having a nervous breakdown.
In 2007, I looked back at a year of up’s and down’s with Andrew’s mom. She did come to live with us for six months until she got pneumonia and had to move to a nursing hime. How impossible it was to have two strong women share the same house! How impossible it was for us to sell our house just before the market turned! How impossible it was to find a mortgage we could afford!
In 2009, the biggest glorious impossible was that God made me, a cold-hearted, selfish woman, the mother of four children. How impossible it was for us to have not only one daughter, but two! How impossible it was for God to make provision for us financially without fail each month! How impossible it was to find four women to work together to start a Connection group for women who attended Fellowship and lived in Nolensville. How beautiful and precious is their friendship and community to me now! God is glorified when we live in relationship with one another.
In January of 2010, I prayed to God and told him I was weary. Our financial situation was very stressful. We had medical bills from Andrew’s kidney stone that weren’t covered by insurance, not to mention other major medical expenses on a high deductible insurance plan. God asked, “Are you tired of trusting me?” Ouch! I told him that I never wanted to grow tired of trusting him, but that I was weary of the journey. I asked him for a window. How impossible it seemed to have a record label job open up for Andrew! How impossible it was for him to keep his own company! He works two full-time jobs so that I don’t have to spend time worrying about how I can make money. How impossible for our family to have group health insurance again! Glorious! I also rejoiced in my own glorious impossibles like teaching a Bible study called Women Who Dare to Believe with the amazing authors of the study Nan Gurley and Bonnie Keen. Somehow God saw fit to place me on that teaching team with two women I greatly admire and learned so much from.
Which brings me to my glorious impossibles for 2011. This year I’m taking a year off from teaching weekly Bible studies so that I can have time to write a book God placed on my heart five years ago. This is the year to write. I stand here not know what God has for any of the things I am writing, if the books will get published, if anyone will ever read them. Right now the thought of a publishing deal or future speaking engagements seems entirely impossible. How impossible it is for me, a young woman who teaches the Bible without a seminary degree or a platform, to be granted a ministry to other women of all ages! The other glorious impossible is trusting God to make me the kind of mother who can deal with a tween (who acts more like a teen) and preschoolers. Every day I go to bed emotionally and physically exhausted. And every day I get up and do it all over again. We stand on the edge of watching our oldest son develop into a top baseball player. How impossible it will be for the two of us exhausted parents to steward his talent well for the glory of God without going bankrupt!
But if I know He can do the impossible because I have been watching him do it in my life for years and reading about it in His Word for thousands of years, why am I filled with worry and fear? Why do I spend my time trying to figure out how to make the impossible possible? I’m so thankful that He has done the most impossible thing by making a way for me, proud, arrogant, selfish Ice Queen, to be in relationship with Him. Not only to live with Him forever, but to be forgiven, adopted, justified and declared righteous by the blood of Christ. How impossible is it for a sinner like me to be deemed a saint! How impossible for man to dwell with God for all eternity! At Christmas God did something that was impossible for any man or woman to accomplish. He made a way for the unrighteous to be made righteous, not for our glory or happiness, but for the sake of his glorious Name.
So what’s your Glorious Impossible for 2011?