Mexicans use “only God knows” as an accepting phrase when life has given something unexpected. It is like saying, “God knows best.”
Victor and I have been reflecting a lot on our first days in Mexico. Today is the four year anniversary of my arrival to Chiapas–and last week was his four year return arrival to Mexico. I sat in meeting Wednesday night, and cried through the Spanish version of “Oh! For the Peace.” I could help of thinking back to how broken I was four years ago–and how much healing I’ve received. It isn’t because my trust has been perfect, but rather because I am still seeking perfect trust.
Oh! For the peace of a perfect trust, my loving God, in thee. Unwavering faith that never doubts thy choice is best for me.
I made a lot of choices for myself in 2011. Some of my decisions were selfish–seeking to hold onto what I wanted rather than what God wanted for me. I was trusting God though, when I turned in my notice for my job. I was trusting God when I moved back to Tennessee. I was trusting God when I accepted that position in Chiapas. It wasn’t easy or what I wanted in many cases, but his choice was best for me…
Best though my plans be set at naught; best though the way be rough. Best though my earthy store be scant–In thee I have enough.
I planned for years. Planning was comforting to me–and exciting! I loved thinking of how my life would unfold, and of the people that would be part of my life in the future. I never planned for a rough road. I never planned for a six-month position in Mexico to turn into more than four years south of the border. I never planned on my heart healing with each charming smile from my Mexican husband. I tell people that my greatest lesson was leaving Virginia where I made a great salary (for a teacher), had tons of possessions, had great friends and family but I was unhappy–to find my happiness in Mexico, where my pockets were empty, my suitcase could fit all I owned, and I was far from everything and everyone I had held dear to me.
Best though my health and strength be gone, tho weary days be mine; shut out from much that others have: not my will, Lord, but thine.
The healing that came to me in Mexico didn’t just come to my heart–but also my overall health! It’s hard to explain to my friends here how sick I was. I remember thinking, “I’m 26 years old! I shouldn’t feel like an old lady!” I got out of bed in the morning, and my body hurt. I had unexplainable inflammation everywhere: my knees, my hips, my back, my stomach, my throat, my eyes, etc. I don’t know what the biggest change has been–maybe the tranquil life in Mexico, maybe a change in my diet… (Now the groaning that happens when I get out of bed now has more to do with this baby that will be arriving in about four weeks.)
And e’en though disappointments come, they, too, are best for me, to wean me from this changing world and lead me nearer thee.
This happens mostly with work. I let work become too important in my life–and every time I do, something has to shock me back to refocus on what’s important. When I feel myself slipping into frustration and disappointment at work, it is usually because I’ve not been putting God first. It is a good reminder that this world and the things in it are vain–and that my treasure has to be things that aren’t of this world.
Oh! For the peace of a perfect trust that looks away from all, yet sees thy hand in everything, in great events and small.
I remember my friend saying, “Someday we will know where Nino belongs,” and the comfort that gave me. I look back four years–and even beyond to my last days in Virgina. I think of the events that led up to my salida, and how easy it is now to see God’s hand! God gave me peace as an answer to my prayers: I left knowing that God’s will was best. I prayed, “If what I want isn’t your will, help me to accept it.” I honestly believe that is why I was able to move forward and embrace the blessings in Mexico: not because of something in me, but rather because God helped me to accept it. I can see his hand in my choices in Chiapas–and in the path that led me from there and back again to northern Mexico.
That hears a voice, a father’s voice, directing for the best; Oh! For the peace of a perfect trust–a heart with thee at rest.
The rest that comes with peace in trusting the Lord–that is what can’t be replaced! When complicated choices lie before me, I want to remember that the devil is the author of confusion. I can trust the Lord to continue leading and guiding our family, and put my own wants and desires aside. As I enter my fifth year in Mexcio, I long for the peace of a perfect trust: and someday I know I will be able to look back and see God’s hand leading, guiding, and protecting.
Only God knows…