Today, someone GAVE me an Ikea bed. In the words of my roommate, “I mean, you had a bed, but it was really more of a cot. Now you have a bed!” Before, with my cot, it was very hard to lie in bed and read or type because I did not have a headboard to prop my pillow against. Also, with my cot, it was very low to the ground and not cozy. If I scooted around in the middle of the night, the cot rolled a little bit. I had a regular mattress on said cot, a really nice mattress in fact, but the frame was still cot-like. And now I have a BED FRAME. A real, live, white, beautiful, wooden bed frame with a headboard and a footboard and side rails. And I got it for free.
This is an ebenezer. I just read this prayer of Henri Nouwen’s:
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
My new bed, and the fact that God gave it to me, symbolizes a lot for me. For one, I have trouble resting. I get exhausted, but sometimes I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. For years I feared that sleep would one day be a problem for me because I watched others suffer from insomnia, and now it is. For years I have put so much stock in GOING AND GOING AND GOING and not letting myself take naps or sleep in because I thought I “should” do more, “should” get up and not be lazy. Lazy? Seriously? Since when is it lazy to enjoy the gift of sleep and rest that God has given? So in God giving me this bed, I see him affirming that it is good for me to rest, that HE values my sleep.
I also have been a little restless, a little unsure of where I am going, what I need to do next. For all of your life until your 20s, you have definite yearly goals: get through kindergarten, get through 4th grade, get through high school, apply to college, get a degree, get a job. Go to graduate school, get a job. But then what? You try to settle in to your little niche. Some settle down in marriage, or with kids. Some settle down in a great job with the potential for upward mobility. I am a nanny. I get raises, and the children grow, but there is some question of how long I will do this. And then what? What happens when this family doesn’t need a nanny anymore? Do I nanny for another family? Do I use my education degree and license and go teach? Do I go back to school? (I should state here that I do not like school.)
I’ve been wanting to buy a house, but don’t have the money for a down payment, and it’s a little bit daunting to buy a house by myself. I LONG to be settling in to life in St. Louis. And so today, my bed is also a gift of stability from the Lord. I may not own a house, but I own a very sturdy bed.
“Here I raise my ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.” -come thou fount