My uncle tells the story of his step-father’s violence towards him as a child. Being left-handed was unacceptable to my grandfather and he proved his intolerance for his little boy’s “rebellion” by trying to nail his hand to the table with a fork. Four pierce marks in the dinning room table served to reinforce my uncle’s fear of ever using the wrong hand again.
I remember when my life was abruptly stopped with a fork in the road. I was dancing down one path toward motherhood when suddenly my husband left me. A part of me wondered if God was sternly trying to change me–as if I, too, were being rebellious. The fork had me startled, scared and thoroughly confused, but I was certain of one thing: I had upset God somehow, and I must make it right.
Some forks in the road are painful.
I had two choices: I could try to persuade my husband to love me again, or I could go on without him. I chose the first road. I resisted the divorce for over a year after my son’s birth and, even as we faced the judge, I was still trying to save my marriage. I thought that I was being brave. I was so sure that my marriage had been God’s will and therefore I should work hard and not give up.
I didn’t give up; I failed.
Like Peter, I had an eager, but childish faith. I wanted so badly to do the “right thing” and walk on water, but the waves were strong and I could only sustain them for so long. It took me awhile to come to grips with the idea that I must have misjudged God’s will. I suppose I didn’t want to be wrong–but I did realize that I was forgiven. Eventually, I stopped trying to do the supernatural and, like Peter, I got in the boat with Jesus and found my peace with the storm.
I have a different perspective now.
No one is perfect and we seldom expect perfection from anyone except ourselves.
I see my children being hard on themselves for things they should be proud of and I realize I have been their example. I think of Peter asking Jesus to call him out onto the raging water with Him and I think how much joy Jesus must have felt that His friend wanted to do something so brave. Was it God’s will that Peter walked on water? I don’t know, it certainly wasn’t a requirement and no one else was asked to step out of the boat (or walk down that watery road), but I don’t think Peter’s choice went against God’s will. And when He failed, I don’t think He disappointed God. I think it was just part of his journey of becoming who he was designed to be.
I look back at my own failure and I no longer feel that I disappointed God. He showed me His favor by giving me a beautiful baby boy; why couldn’t I see that He wasn’t being harsh? I was loving one of His children the best I knew how. I may have done it as awkwardly as a left-handed man would eat with his right hand, but our God is not a harsh step-father who punishes our choices and inadequacies as if they are rebellion. He loves us unconditionally.
God does not command us to be faultless as we chose the roads we travel and then punish us when we lose our way or get pulled under. Instead, He walks through the storm to us and asks us to be brave enough to let Him into our boat to guide us with His good, pleasing and perfect will.
If you have lost your way or find yourself struggling to keep your head above the storm, I encourage you to be brave, trust the One who loves you unconditionally. Let Him direct your ways and calm your storms.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose passion is empowering women and girls to BE and LET BE. Her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach, as well as her personal experiences with abandonment and grief make her message relatable to anyone dealing with rejection, betrayal or loss.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, will soon be available as an audiobook. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com