Miscalculation by Shelley Giglio

 
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guest blogger.

Disappointment. It seems like a word that, in and of itself, doesn’t have that much to it. When disappointment is lived out in our lives, however, it becomes our nemesis and a paralyzer. Our disappointment could stem from a person or a circumstance. It could be in something that did happen, or something that didn’t. Ultimately, it could even be in God. As a girl, slightly older in years :), who has been in ministry for much of my life, I often hear of and obviously have experienced huge letdowns. Why would people who love God act so unkindly to each other? Why would people who are on the same page spiritually treat each other with any disrespect? Why? Sometimes the disappointment can even overwhelm us as it relates to God’s sovereignty. Why would God allow such heartache to come to someone who loves, obeys and follows Him?

 

When disappointment is lived out in our lives, however, it becomes our nemesis and a paralyzer.

 

I’ll be honest and vulnerable with you for a second. So, for those who don’t know me, I’m Shelley. Hi! As a Texan, I consider myself friendly. It’s one of those pride-in-Texas things that we have. Being a big state obviously gives us clout, at least in our own minds. Even when clout isn’t deserved or earned, we still pride ourselves in our Lone Star State. One of the many distinctives of Texans is friendliness. We consider it a fruit of the Spirit – well, almost. For me, friendly means looking people in the eye. It means catching eyes with someone who is obviously not that interested in catching yours. It means speaking a word of greeting to all people, everywhere. When I first moved to Atlanta years ago, I expected the same thing from the “friendly South.” I didn’t yet realize that many people in Atlanta weren’t even Southern, and a lot of those and others were just busy and not so interested in a “Hello” from a girl they didn’t know. “Why,” I would ask my husband, “doesn’t everyone speak to one another here? Where are people headed in such a hurry? What’s up with the no eye contact?” His response, was usually something about giving them some space and that they are friendly, just maybe a bit overwhelmed by my outgoing spirit. Good one. My mind couldn’t comprehend. Who needs space?! Oh yea, did I mention I’m married to an introvert? According to old Myers-Briggs statistics, one in four people are introverted. Current sample data, however, suggests that the introvert number could be as high as 1 in 2. So, potentially, 1/2 of our population is categorized as introverts. Maybe that’s why many people don’t want us extroverted Texans saying “hey!” [I would just like to take this time to say I’m sorry to everyone in Atlanta over the past 22 years. In no way was I trying to interrupt your mental flow or step into a space I wasn’t invited into. I was just hoping we could meet eyes and give some meaning to this crazy mixed-up place we call home for now.] Anyway, I digress.

 

Surely there is a reason I am telling you this story. Um. Nope. Not really. If I had to guess why I told you this it would just be for you to know me a little more. Ah, back to disappointment. I met Louie in college. I had just finished my freshman year of university when he came strolling into my life. I literally saw him from across a large auditorium and in my heart kind of knew I would marry him. I know, CRAZY girl. There was something about him from the moment I laid eyes on him that was like a magnet to me. See, I wasn’t looking for “Mr. Right”. I had “Mr. Right Now.” I was dating people, busy enjoying life and definitely at 18, almost 19 years old, not ready to settle down. My mind couldn’t even comprehend that. I loved God. I had such a passion to know Him more. I wanted my life to so reflect His light and life and I was desperate to be a follower of Jesus for all of my days. I believe now, it was my contentment in God that led me to my future. I’ve heard people say it for years and it sounds so cliché when I hear it come out of my mouth, but until Jesus was enough for me, I wasn’t ready for the more.

 

I believe now, it was my contentment in God that led me to my future.

 

When my heart was steady and complete in Jesus, Louie appeared in my life. To hear him tell it, and you need to at some point, he was absolutely SURE that he was good without someone at the moment too. Anyway, God’s plans are way better than ours. So, we met, dated three years until I completed my degree, and married in 1986. That was 31 years ago this week. Cheers to that! That sounds like a happy story. What about disappointment? Well disappointment didn’t follow until I realized just days after we married that I had no idea how to successfully be a dedicated follower of Jesus, wife, partner in ministry, good daughter, loyal friend and so on. I was completely under-equipped and outmatched by the size of my life. It took me years of struggle to realize, that Jesus, who was enough when I met Louie, was also enough after I married him. Where did I go off the grid? I believe it was as soon as I expected something I wasn’t guaranteed; as soon as I placed my hope in marriage (or specifically Louie) and not in God.

 

One of the most freeing moments as I look back on my life, was the moment I realized I already had everything I needed before I had the life I wanted. See, I wasn’t owed anything. No one is guaranteed a happy little life of everything working out. No one said marriage would be the thing to make you happy. Joy was promised {Psalm 126:5-6} for sure, but I would soon be facedown before God, struggling to find my own satisfaction and purpose in something more than the label, “married.” The Scripture says it this way, “In Him we live and move and have our being" {Acts 17:28}. The implication is that without God we have no purpose. No meaning. No power to live victoriously. The best news is…WE ARE NOT WITHOUT GOD. We have Him. Therefore, we live full lives. We move freely around life knowing that He is ever present and always for us {Romans 8:31}.

 

We have meaning, purpose, heart and drive to live all the days that have been set out for us, with the hope that we are enough because He is enough in us.
 

We have meaning, purpose, heart and drive to live all the days that have been set out for us, with the hope that we are enough because He is enough in us. So, you know when my struggle became hope? When I recalculated and figured out that He is truly ALL that I need. That’s when marriage and every other label I carry became a joy and not a burden. I’m not sure what you’re thinking will bring you hope today. Maybe the last thing in your heart is marriage, but there is something that you believe if you could get in your life, you would be complete. As one slightly ahead of most of you, I’m telling you, if you know Jesus, you have ALL you need right now. Nothing is missing. You lack nothing {Psalm 23:1}. Being married to Louie is my greatest joy because I already have all I need in Jesus. Hopefully he receives joy as well from a satisfied wife who doesn’t put my expectation in him to be my everything. My everything is Jesus. He is the love of my life and my complete satisfaction. From that place, I love my husband. Live free today. He is with you. He is for you and He is truly enough. Recalculate.