Cotton Balls, Boyfriends, and Snow Days
A couple of days ago, I wanted it to snow.
Not to see the flakes, or to build a snowman, or even to feel the great wonder of the world when it has a fresh, white canvas covering it; but to get out of classes.
I know, I take a lot of things for granted, but it was midterm week and I didn't really want to sit in two fifty minute classes while I could be studying or watching The Bachelor, or really anything but going to classes on a possible snow day. Not to mention my counseling appointment was that day, and while I know it would benefit me in the long run, why should I sit and talk about my feelings when I could be doing anything else.
But snow honestly means so much to me. My mom and I love the snow. We have a full list of traditions we take part in on snow days. I don't know how the ideas originated, but my mom always got me to put my pajamas on inside out, put a cotton ball and spoon under my pillow, and flush ice down the toilet the night before a supposed snow. My traditions were intended to solidify our snow day, but as you can guess- the results varied. To be fair, I think the ice thing was my idea, but it didn't matter because I believed that the power of the pajamas would get me out of school and allow for some beautiful scenery as well.
But that was in middle school.
So why did I, an almost twenty year old college student, get out of the shower on Sunday night and debate turning my t shirt inside out? Why did I quickly wonder if our spoons were actually clean enough to put under my pillow? (they were, I'm not disgusting). Why didn't I just trust that God knew what would be best, or even just take the cancelation of our morning convocation and not need the snow to make me happy? I ran back to the cotton-balls because for my entire childhood, I didn't rely on God as much as I relied on a spoon for snow.
That sounds crazy now, but if you told third-grade me that putting a cotton ball under my pillow wouldn't make an inkling of difference, I would have sobbed- and then put ten under my pillow when it was already snowing, just to spite you. I was a stubborn kid.
But why do I run to things other than God when I want or need to get something?
I think, while God is usually the easiest answer, I know in the end that He will not just do something because I ask for it, but only if it will benefit His people.
I experienced that first hand almost two weeks ago.
I pinned my hope on my boyfriend just like I pinned my hope on my cotton balls and pajamas. While I didn't think dating him would give me snow, there was a chance the relationship would fill me with the love that I ought to have sought out from God alone. So the love from my boyfriend would never fulfill me, and I wasn't going to God for love because I was relying on the love from boyfriend, and it was just an unhealthy cycle for about the past month.
I asked God to come into my life and to stop anything that wasn't letting me flourish in His love. And He did. But now I'm single.
When God comes into your life, He doesn't come in half way. He will not just make a small adjustment. His love for you is so dramatic and gigantic that He cannot allow His children to suffer or to not have the best when they ask for something. My mom used to say, "God's a gentleman, He won't come into your life unless you ask Him."
So I kept my love life from God because I knew He would turn it upside down. I kept my snow prayers from Him because snow probably isn't best for everyone in the area. I kept things from Him knowing that He sees all. Honestly, probably not the best idea.
So, I'm trying to run to Him. I'm trying to show Him things now and ask Him for things, all things. I'm trying to be confident in my life so that I might show it to God.
But I do get scared to ask God for everything all the time. I know we are called to "ask and [we] shall receive" (Matthew 7:7), but I also learned that our God isn't a vending machine or a genie. He will only give when it best helps and benefits His children. All His children, not just a little girl who wants to sleep in on a snow day or to stay in love even though it's not rooted in God. God wants to help us, but He also wants us to want help from Him.
God can easily give me all the love I'll ever want and need. He can heal me and help me. He can also make it snow. So why do I run to the substitutes so constantly?
I don't know.
But I do know that God will show you what you are substituting for Him, and the Holy Spirit probably already has too. He doesn't want you to settle for a fake when the real thing is standing right there, ready to pour love and peace and blessings onto you. The issue is learning to run to Him instead of the things of this world.
God will never give us something with strings attached or only halfway. He can give everything so we may gain everything through His blessings.
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be washed white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool."
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me tach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest in your souls."
By the way.... It did snow