Walk By The Way

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ms. Wanda

Sometimes I think the greatest strength of the women in my life lies in their insecurities, their imperfections. As each woman walks with God and learns to face her fears with Him, the rest of us learn – to some degree – the same lesson with her. It is by far one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed God do.

That is why I am so excited about Ms. Wanda. She literally blows my mind in the way she trusts God. In the past year, she has faced circumstances that would have devastated some people, and shredded some church bodies. But she held fast to God instead of giving herself over to the destruction of human rage. She held fast to Him as waves of despair threatened to plunge her ever deeper. She held fast to Him in moments when some of us wanted so badly to throw her a lifeline, but we weren’t always sure how to get it to her.

Ms. Wanda has experienced a lot of human relationship bruises, scrapes and pains over the past year. There were probably times she felt mangled. And I’m sure that some of her church family has unknowingly caused a nick or two ourselves as maybe we didn’t know what to do or maybe we weren’t intuitive enough to realize the moments she needed a particular word from someone – or even just a hug.

I also believe she has experienced – and continues to experience – spiritual healing. She seems to be living in a new place with God, in a new dimension of her relationship with Him. It seems as though she is cradled with Him. He is the Father; she is the daughter. As any father would, He looks into her face and sees beauty beyond measure; He sees beauty in that she needs Him. And she has allowed all of us to see that as well.

Ms. Wanda recently confessed to a few of her daughters and sisters in Christ that she is afraid to trust people again. Trust in people is misplaced, as we are so apt to disappoint. But we all knew what she meant. She is afraid to fully open her heart again. She is afraid to make herself vulnerable. One aspect of submitting to God is allowing Him to soften your heart. What she was really saying is that she needs God to teach her, to help her, to remind her that her heart is always cradled with Him when the response of her heart toward other people remains in His will.

The same day she revealed this concern about trusting people, she did something else. She opened her heart – to me. She opened her heart to encourage me in my writing, and my faith. In the past I would have thought, “Oh, she has faith in me, faith in my abilities!” Now, because of my own journey with God, I received something very different from her. It occurred to me that she has faith, not in me, but faith in what God can do through me. And that sheds a whole new light on the definition of “trusting people.” Relationships will be much less disappointing when we release the other person from our own expectations and allow our “trust” in that relationship to be centered in our faith in what God can do with it.

Ms. Wanda may never make an appearance in People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People, but she is at the top of my Most Beautiful list any day!

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