On days when I am planting honesty within my stories, my relationship with God bears resemblance to the late Grocery Store Barbie who tragically lost a limb in the Polly Pocket Battle of ’96.
A real David and Goliath kind of story.
Grocery Store Barbie. A gem all encased in plastic.
The process of freeing her and her shopping cart from the confines of cardboard started out proper and delicate. With Scissors. And a great deal of Patience.
Fast forward five minutes, all visions of lining plastic cans of corn up in neat little rows have catapulted from the window as I am ripping Barbie from the plastic twist tie shackles of her cardboard grocery scene.
FREEE BARBIEEEE, FREEEE HERRRRRR, I’d yell in my perfectly pitched Little Girl Barbarian Voice.
Y’all should know it true– Limbless Barbie was Barbie all the same, especially if I got to play with her quicker.
And though God might not even have legs (though I am certain they would glow ten octaves brighter than Barbie’s) and I highly doubt his feet are welded onto tiptoes, I tend to tote the same kind of reckless, impatient behavior when it comes to the plans He has for me.
Grumbling. Whining. Not fully understanding. Understanding so fully but impatient with the reality that the Man operates on His own watch and we just be blown steady with the wind whenever He chooses. Talking my brains out and curling up into my own resolutions that offer sanity, clarity & a right-now-we’ll-fix-this kind of answer.
God might tell you I have not mastered the whole “Simon Says” thing yet. I know how to play but I often like its better pretending that Simon never said, “Do this.”
I’d rather He’d beam down a book with golden glinted pages and a road map already intact from his Heavenly Playground. Straight down into the hands of a young woman who believes the world might shake and shatter over something as simple as Hazelnut or Vanilla (or, jeepers, Pumpkin Spice.)
But He knows me better, better enough to know that I’d stop leaning…
Stop choosing to be patient with the slow unravel of His Plan’s if I knew I could just take Him off the shelf from time to time, shake Him like a snow globe to see what beautiful, crumpled magic He can stir up for me, and then put Him back to collect seven more months of dust until my little world falls apart again.
He knows I’ll surely bypass the Little Things to get straight to the Big Things. Steer clear of the hard lessons to propel straight towards the goodness. And then never learn how much it means, or how badly I can want something. So bad that I taste it in my tears when I fall asleep in pillow case puddles one night.
I’d scoff at the baby steps. Scoff at the thought of being helpless at His feet. That’s not of my culture. That’s not something I’ve learned while growing up– to be helpless to someone else while the rest of the world totes championship & victory by the individual’s own strength. My “religion” holds rest in its corners and surrender in its pockets, people don’t take too kindly to that sort of order.
“Little One,” I hear him beckoning on colder days when dew slabs the windowpanes like Nutella on crepe. “Life will lose its worth if you are only ripping to find the answers.
“I know, I know, that waiting for things might make your bones ache and leaving might only leave you wanting to dip your shoes in concrete, but my Much Bigger Plans won’t ever evolve without your patience. Keep stepping, keep stepping forward, even when you cannot see the bigger watercolor. Trust me, trust me, I am the road map much grander than you.”
And it always happens this way. Like I’m serving a God who’s planned it all along. Just when I think I am getting savvy with creating my own lyrics to this song called “Life,” He shifts, shakes, and then throws me off.
Leaving me with no choice.
Leaving me to surrender whatever I thought I wanted and needed for myself.
Leaving me to pick my scissors back up and begin anew– with patience this time.
Leaving me in awe, over and over again, by the fact that the lyrics to this song and the plans for my life are never to my own credit, rather words I find I know by heart after a Someone sang them into me a long, long time ago.