Is anyone there?
Am I there? all there?
Ha! Well I think so… I think I made it through this past month in one piece.
Let me tell you… it’s been a month.
Can someone explain to me why, if I have less “going on” in my life than I’ve had in the past couple years, do I feel more overwhelmed than ever before? I mean when I think about all that I used to do… Volunteering in the High School Ministry at my church, leading a discipleship group, being a part of the college ministry leadership team, attending Bible Study Fellowship, taking a college class online, working full-time and somehow managing to have a social life… how in the WORLD did I do it all?!!!
I mean I’ve winnowed that list down to about half the activities/responsibilities and yet I feel like I’m drowning. I’m stuck playing this game: trying to pick up the pieces of my life that keep falling off the truck in front of me, but when I chuck them back into the truck they just roll right out again… Sometimes I have to run back to grab the few bits I missed- e-mails, phone calls, this blog. Shoot… I haven’t even set up the voicemail on my “new” phone. I say “new” because I’ve had it for like two months. Then again I’ve never been good about checking my voicemail anyway…
Aren’t you supposed to get better at accomplishing more the older you get? I mean at the very least what happened to the time-management skills I somehow, somewhere seemed to have acquired? They must have fallen off the truck first and rolled into a ditch. Haha…
So where do I even start?
Maybe where I left off… yeah. That’s probably a good idea.
Well let me begin by saying that I didn’t have strep throat. Once again I had some crazy-weird mystery illness. Arrggh. Can you feel my frustration? But nothing in my life is ever “normal” or predictable so I guess I shouldn’t expect my biology to be any different.
Needless to say my first week back to work after having to take 3 weeks off was rough. Quite rough. And yes, I had to take the 3 weeks off. Completely off.
What you all didn’t know is that in the middle of Midsummer I had to get an MRI done of my left foot. The diagnosis: a stress reaction. Okay so I guess sometimes I do (miraculously) get a definite answer.
But what’s a stress reaction? Basically it’s a pre-stress fracture… the bone’s about to break. But because a break (vacation) was nearing on the horizon I was able to finish A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the understanding that I’d rest my foot for the entire 3 weeks, allowing it to heal.
“Okay. No sweat. It’s only 3 weeks. My body needs the rest and the Lord’s gonna take care of me. I just need to trust Him… Trust that it’s been Him who’s taken me this far and He’ll get me back here again.”
I just kept saying this over and over again to myself, hoping that the more I said it the more I’d believe it. And I did believe it. At first. But Worry has a curious way of wriggling himself into my heart.
You see this year has been hands down my best season thus far at PNB. The Lord has opened doors. He’s opened eyes. He’s given me opportunities, and has helped me improve so much, not only in my technique, but in my confidence and trust too. It’s been Him. All Him. I show up. I do what He asks me to, and I work hard at it. But that’s so minor compared to the work of His Mighty Hands.
And yet, what do I do? I start worrying that all this hard work that I’ve done to get here (“filthy rags” as Isaiah terms it) will all be for naught. And yes, if I had done all this- if my worth and identity were founded on this hard work- then there would be cause to worry, and it would all be for naught. But praise the Lord He’s Sovereign and Almighty! Praise Him that He’s holding me. Praise Him that in all things He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. And praise Him that He sees and knows my heart. He sees that seed of pride creeping in. He sees me slowly separating myself from Him, trying to do things on my own. And He knows how to best draw me close to Him.
“I am with you, watching over you constantly. I am Emmanuel (God with you); My Presence enfolds you in radiant Love. Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials, can separate you from Me. Some of My children find Me more readily during dark times, when difficulties force them to depend on Me. Others feel closer to Me when their lives are filled with good things. They respond with thanksgiving and praise, thus opening wide the door to My Presence.
I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation.” ~ from May 29th in “Jesus Calling”
I wish I could say I were the latter child mentioned in the quote above, but alas I am not. I am the one who finds Him in times of trial. And what a trial that first week back to work was!
Not only was I sick, but because I took those 3 weeks completely off – no running, no jumping… nothing to keep the muscles in my left ankle strong and sensitive to impact-type motion – my left ankle was dangerously weak and jamming up to the point where I could hardly walk on it.
Frustration soon followed. And then it gave way to despair. But it was the humbling I needed to return to the Lord: to submit to Him, cleave to Him and cry out “I need You! I can’t do this by myself. I’m drowning. Save me Lord!”
And He is faithful. He rescues us. He rescued me.
It’s been a humbling month. It’s been a challenging month… and this is only one part of it. I’ve longed for the summer sunshine (weather-wise and life-wise), but all I’ve had is grey clouds and raindrops… And yet sometimes God’s “blessings come through raindrops.” The darkness and the sunshine… they’re both gifts from our Father. So I thank Him for the grey clouds, the raindrops and for nearly drowning. I cling to and claim the promises of His Word… that the good work He’s begun in me, HE will bring to completion. And I keep my eyes open for all those rays of sunshine He brings me each day- both big and small.