Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When Preposterous Becomes Profound

So, last week I told you I would post about a great conversation Brian and I had on our way home from the marriage conference. Well, here it is!

We were talking about wounds and memories and started on this thing where one of us would name a time or situation and the other had to share a corresponding memory.
Brian said, "Middle school." And I responded with a memory from computer class.
I was sitting in my chair doing something on the computer and my two best friends were standing behind me playing with my hair. (I used to have long hair.) One of them pulled it up onto the top of my head and then screamed, "Oh my gosh! You have such a hairy neck!"
So began my hatred of my neck and my fear of wearing pony-tails and braids. I actually shaved the back of my neck for the next several years.

Brian and I went on from that memory to talk about the hatred of my arms I've had since elementary school. They're hairy, too. And I grew up with the frequent experience of kids reacting to the hair on my arms in a way similar to how my best friends reacted to the hair on my neck. "Your arms are so hairy!"
"Wow, you have more hair on your arms than a guy!"
"How did you get such hairy arms?"
And on, and on.
Sometimes I thought about sarcastic come-backs with which I could reply. Like, "Oh, really? Wow, I've had these arms all my life, and I've never noticed that hair before. Thanks for pointing it out to me!" But even the best-delivered come-back did nothing to heal my breaking heart. I felt out-cast and ashamed, and wanted to hide my arms in any way I could.
I hated the mockery.
And I hated my hairy arms.
In fact, it was in elementary school when I decided my wedding gown would have long sleeves. Yes, some twelve years later I was married in AUGUST - in long sleeves.

So when Brian looked at me and said, "God picked those arms specially for you, because He loves you so much," I thought, That is the most preposterous thing I've ever heard. I thought for a moment then confided in Brian my belief that I would never be able to say I like my arms. I'd simply spent too much time hating them. I couldn't imagine ever feeling otherwise.
But Brian wasn't giving up. He kept insisting that God had given me these arms out of His great love. And after a while I sensed His Spirit moving in my heart.
Like He was asking me, Karen, do you really believe what you say you believe? When you say I can take bad circumstances and work good out of them, do you really believe it? When you profess that I am sovereign and good at all times, do you mean it? Do you?
Then is it possible I chose those arms specially for you, because I love you so much?

I couldn't argue.
I told Brian he was right. God did choose these arms specially for me! And as I prayed to surrender my hatred for these arms, God replaced my contempt with joy. I'm looking at my hairy arms now, and I am remembering God's faithfulness and power to redeem bad situations. I am reminded of His goodness. And I am actually anticipating the next time someone says to me, "Wow! You have really hairy arms." I'm going to respond with, "Yeah. I know. Isn't God great?!" Karen

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