When you get punched in the mouth

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

This selling a house thing is for the birds. During our final weeks in Wichita Falls, Staci & I worked and worked to get our house in proper condition to be sold. At times it felt like we’d never be done with our to-do list. But after all of the cleaning and packing and repairs, the sign was put in the yard and the house was put on the market.

And then the waiting started.

Some people looked at it. Several liked the house. No offers came. We’ve been living in Oklahoma for over 6 weeks now and we’ve had a few more look at the house. Our hopes for an offer have been raised and eventually let down. The house remains on the market. As of today, Staci & I are still unsure of where we’ll be living next month.

We knew that these summer months would be ones of transition. I guess we just thought transition indicated movement. At present there seems to be little. The waiting continues.

It was so easy to trust at the beginning. Everything seemed to be in front of us – new job, new friends, new home. We looked forward to the new road laid out for us. We talked boldly that even though much was out of our control, we knew God would take care of us. The house would sell and God would provide for us. We believed that wholeheartedly.

It’s still something we believe. But that belief is much harder to hold on to as the days mount. I’m weary of the waiting. I’m tired of details being out of my control. I just want something to happen.

There are days when I get so sick of people telling me it will be ok. How do they know, anyway? What assurances do they have? It’s so easy to say things like that when you’re on the outside looking in. I know people have much larger problems than mine, but this is where I’m at. I don’t desire promises; I want results.

It’s amazing how easily my faith can be shaken.

It’s easy to talk about what we believe until we’re faced with the reality of living those things out. I spend most of my life speaking in hypotheticals, spouting truths from the safety of my bubble.

punch-in-the-mouthBut when the road gets a little bumpy and that bubble pops, the words of faith and trust do not flow as easily from my lips.

That boxing philosopher Mike Tyson was on to something. Everyone has a plan in life until it punches you right in the jaw.

The readings from our liturgy this week hit me hard: the promises of God in Deuteronomy 30, the trust and faith of the psalmist, the endurance and faithfulness of the Colossians. They are a reminder that God keeps a constant watch on his people; that my job is to respond in faith even when I’m not in control.

And the words of Luke 7 call me once again to give God my heart, my mind and my strength. To trust him to fulfill his promises to me. Not a safe-in-the-bubble-of-my-own-wealth-and-happiness type of trust, but a faith where I walk the rough roads with confidence in a God who does not go back on his promises.

Even when life punches me in the mouth.

So today if your road is smooth or bumpy, whether you face certainty or the unknown, may you have the boldness to love God with everything you have. May you face whatever road is ahead with confidence and trust.

Because life will hit you in the face. It’s all about how you respond.

3 thoughts on “When you get punched in the mouth

  1. My experience has been that things will be ok, but only after they have been pretty cruddy for a while.

    Your post was timely because Marisa and I were also visited by the Mike Tyson of life this last week. We have had our oven element explode, found exposed wires potential of harming us under the stove, had plumbing issues that required breaking into our slab and an entire bathroom remodel that will cost thousands, and the neighbors tree fell into our yard…and THEN I GOT PINK EYE!!!

    This last week has been INSANE with a capital crazy. I think that this is when community and family matter so much. People who understand when the frustration overwhelms and then don’t hold it against you when you lose it for a second, people who come over and hang out to take your mind off of the insanity, people who offer to watch the kids while you deal with the plumber or simply take that small nap that your body is demanding.

    The comforting thing is that you have been walloped in the face by life many times before, and you at least know that you can take a pretty good punch. And even when it hits harder than you have experienced before, you will have those people in your corner who help you put a steak on it and get back out there.

    Love and Miss you guys.

  2. Wow, you’re going to make me feel really bad for complaining about my situation 🙂 I think you’re right. It always seems that to get where you want to go, you’ve got to make your way through a bunch of junk to get there. Community and family are how you get through these things. We’ve been so blessed in the midst of this to live with Trevor & Brittany. Having some people who help you carry the load is the way to get through the hard times.

    Sorry you’re getting smacked in the mouth this last week. You’re definitely one who can take a punch. We miss you and love you guys, too. Hope to see you soon.

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