I wonder how many “parking spaces” I’ve missed in my life. Was I not looking? Was I too self-centered to see past myself? Probably “yes” to both. Recently I’ve tried to intentionally look for those “parking spaces” I may have missed before. It overwhelms me how often God acts in my life when I allow myself to tune in. My mom has been struggling with some health issues for a very long time. Some periods are certainly better than others are but still it’s been a struggle for her. I find myself trying so hard to remedy the problems myself … calling doctor friends, making my own diagnosis, reviewing her medicines, and making my recommendations to the experts. Isn’t that hilarious, a speech therapist and mom giving advice to the trained physician! The effort was based solely on “Carolyn power.” I will get her better; I will figure it out… I, I, I!
In a bible study yesterday, we were reminded that yes, God is able! Hear that? God is able…not Carolyn! And if God chooses not to carry out the plan Carolyn’s way, I need to be ready to follow him anyway. The outcome does not rest on my shoulders. That was the first part of the parking space. The second part was friend council. I tried to slip out of the door after the bible study unnoticed…I was tired and well, just not in a joyful, Christian acting mood. Has anybody else ever been there? But, you guessed it, my friends sensitively stopped my exit. Partially they just listened and partially they spoke truth to me. Busted! Yep, I was riding on my power and it was exhausting me… as they graciously pointed out! Thanks Louise and Lisa! I owe you! Seriously, though, they were so right. You see, in both of those moments God emphasized the same whisper…”Trust in Me, not in your own knowledge and power. Yes, I gave you a brain to use but ultimately your strength comes from Me and your mom’s strength comes from Me.”
He emphasized the whisper again that night. He allowed a new friendship to be sealed when my classmate, who I had talked to some but didn’t really know well, asked me to pray for a certain situation. The friend had realized just the day before that something she had wanted and fought for with all her heart was probably not going to be saved. She was trying to come to grips with the fact that no matter what she did she couldn’t make it any better. Ok, God, parking space number three on the same lesson! What I had learned earlier that day was now being shared so that my new friend could find her own parking space. Did I say “her” parking space? On the outside, that’s what it looked like but in reality it was definitely my blessing as well. We bonded in a way that’s hard to describe other than to say we bonded as Christian sisters both desperately looking for God’s presence.
I guess all this is to say: 1) I encourage you to look for your own parking spaces…through patterns of whispers, through bible study, through prayer, and through the wise words of Christian friends… it will change your life. 2) Don’t try to run on Carolyn power or any power other than God power because you’ll exhaust yourself! If you’re like me, outside forces exhaust me enough without me having to do it to myself!
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