It is so much easier to dwell on what is NOT going well, than to focus on what is going well. At least, for me it is. If asked what has gone wrong at any stage of my life, I hardly have to think before responding. Likewise, if asked about what is going well, I pause to think about the answer…particularly now.
We heard such good news Friday night, and I have to admit that it was perfect timing. I had a pretty frank conversation with God this week and I despirately needed to see His faithfulness in order to keep my courage up. My plea went something like this: ” I know you don’t owe me anything and that you are not a genie, so I refuse to talk to you like you are. I am trying to cling to the promise that all things work out for good to those who love you and are faithful to you. So God, I am done asking any more than to watch over us and take care of our family. You know what we need.” Then I let it go. In fact, I forgot about it. By the end of the week, we had a huge answer to prayer! A medical bill totaling nearly $7000 will be paid in full as a result of paperwork errors made by two hospitals.
Last year at this time, we were cold, and we were hungry. We had to rely on the good will of others to get through each month. We hated it and it was embarrassing. Finally at the beginning of April, we began to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. It isn’t a huge amount, but it gives us exactly what we lack each month to pay the bills. Coincidence? Once again God gave us just what we needed and I am so thankful for that.
God doesn’t move quickly and it can be a frustrating wait. In fact, it seems like each time we have a need, He waits until the very last second, the jumping off point before He moves. When we have reached the end, at the crippling final hour, when we are on our knees with tears dripping off our chins, and we are crying out to God, we finally see movement.
It is easy to worry and even easier to feel sorry for myself. I will be 50 in 58 days and my husband has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. We have to anticipate a care plan that will eventually end with his passing. Were the potholes throughout our 28 years of marriage allowed in order to prepare us for this big event? Was the passing of my in-laws designed to help us plan for the eventual passing of my husband? Were the challenges of the past 6 years allowed by God in order to strengthen us and prepare for the hardest thing that we will have to endure?
In Sunday School we are reading about Job. He had some friends who didn’t give him the best advice but at least they tried. If I was Job, I think I’d rather have bad advice than no advice. I’d rather have friends that I rarely see or hear from than no friends at all. I want people around me who care enough to ask, even if they don’t want the real answer or they say the wrong thing. In my book, there is nothing worse than being alone.
Some days I don’t feel joy, but I cling to what I know: that my Heavenly Father will never leave me no matter what. I am worried about the winter: the snow, the cold, and keeping the house warm as well as buying groceries and keeping up with the bills. I worry about how we will afford to keep our home, applying for Medicaid, what to do with the truck, and how I will be able to continue to work full-time while caring for my husband. Debbie Downer takes over and I feel overwhelmed. I want to be like Job and ask God to just take me too because I just can’t stand the thought of living without him.
When I allow myself to go into this funk, I begin looking around and I see so much sadness in the world. I begin to pray for others who are dealing with illness, sadness, and strife and it begins to choke the life out of me and I begin to spiral.
But then I think of the blessings. Oprah once suggested that people write two blessing a day in a journal. I took her advice, only I speak my blessing out loud. I start with thanking God for answered prayer, then for my family, and most especially for my children. I thank Him for my job, home, friends, church, and our community. I have become an observer, have become patient, and practice acts of kindness and encouragement any time I can. I want to feel JOY in my soul and my spirit despite my circumstances and I want to live every single day as if it is a gift. Some days I just want to pretend that everything is right in the world and that I haven’t a worry in the world. I want to drink coffee with great friends, eat ice-cream until I am sick, and forget IT for a while. I want to just enjoy my sweet baby with the sweet smile and quirky sense of humor for just one more day. No dread, no fears, just love pure and simple.
Debbie Downer go away! Suzie Sunshine come on in.