A place to share struggles and triumphs, a place to bless and serve - but never a place to murmur or complain. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two or Three Witnesses

January 8th began with me in difficulty on an emotional level. I needed to talk to friends. I prayed for someone to call. I called L C - a friend of mine from college. She didn’t answer, but called me back. No sooner had I hung up the phone with her, but D Y called. Both of them had the same advice for me. They said that I should look into teaching design courses online for a community college or online college. The fact that they both gave me that advice, on a day when I had been contemplating what I should do with myself professionally, I found to be much more than coincidence.

In December, my Dad gave me a blessing. This is what it said:
Pour your heart out to the Lord.
Life will be challenging, but you will have the ability to do what needs to be done.
Surround yourself with good people, some of your friends will be able to help you with your challenges.
Seek help when you need it.
You will have the ability to soothe and comfort your children. Love and listen to them.
Encourage the children to maintain and strengthen their relationship with their father.
Seek the Lord’s guidance and He will show you the way.

I feel that so many parts of that the blessing were fulfilled in my experience today, it is awe inspiring to me. It gave me great comfort, helped me to see the Lord’s hand and showed me that He is still very aware of, and listening to me. I was so grateful for that. There hasn’t been a day in a long time that I needed that reassurance more than I did today.

In the evening, T (my 12 year old) was very upset. He’s been having more trouble in school. He’s been missing assignments or not completing things. He is suffering a great deal as well. He was bothering the little ones at bed time, which is something that I find very difficult to manage. In the end, he simply needed my ear, my encouragement, my confidence and my love in much the same way that I had needed my Heavenly Father. Until today, I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but that’s what it was. I was able to soothe and comfort him, as Dad’s blessing said that I would be. He needs to have some experiences with the Spirit to strengthen him and buoy him up. I need to pray for that, and trust the Lord to provide for this child that we both love so much.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Someone Watching Over Me

About 1 1/2 years ago, I started a very trying but necessary part of my life. About August of that year, I started to have this persistent feeling that the year ahead of me was going to be "a very hard year." I would think to myself - "What's going to happen? Is someone going to die?" I was really worried about a loved one passing away. Eventually, I stopped worrying about that because I knew why it was going to be hard. And it WAS hard. That year was the most painful and gut wrenching I've ever known. It made all my past life lessons look like a walk in the park on the most beautiful summer day ever! (And I truly mean that.) The decisions that had to be made and the strength I had to find within myself just to keep moving . . . impossible to describe. It really makes no difference what the struggles were - just that they were painfully real and enough to overpower just about anyone. The other reason that the details make no difference is because, I believe, our trials in life are tailored to us. My biggest trial in life (so far) is not much different than anyone else dealing with THEIR biggest trial. When we are pushed to the absolute breaking point of our souls, and we know it, we are there no matter what brought us there. I had to check out of life for a while. I had to let go of some lesser responsibilities to care for myself and my children. It was a very sad, lonely and painful place, but it was the right thing to do.

For me, around the end of that long long year, there was this night that I was just sobbing, heartbroken and afraid of what my life was going to bring next. Suddenly, a peace washed over me and the FEAR was gone. In my mind and heart I heard, "You don't need to worry about the future because you are mine." I felt powerfully the love of God, and the stormy seas were calmed. I grew a lot during that year. (Understatement.) I was supported by the most incredible friends and family a girl could ask for. They were loving and gentle guides, true and faithful. What came next proved to me, once again, how much the Lord was watching over me. I have been led to tools that have helped me to figure out WHAT I WANT from life. Ever heard the expression "If you don't know where you are going, you'll never get there?" Well, on top of a deep and abiding love and trust in God, I can now say that I know what makes me happy as an individual, & what I want for my family.

Some things have improved in the situation causing my pain. Most of the pain and frustration I experience as normal parts of life are still directly related to that situation. The changes in and of themselves don't begin to explain the happiness I feel. I have taken responsibility for it. I found an quote recently that describes this:
"If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem." --Richard Bach
My happiness doesn't depend on the decisions and choices that others make anymore. I know where I'm headed, in the long run. I'm making small, very workable goals for myself daily, weekly, & monthly. (Details at this link.) I have begun to see with my eyes things that I had only imagined. I have begun to taste the fruit of my efforts and it is sweet. If I had to go so low to be so high, I Thank the Lord for that low point. Today, it's like someone has shot me out of a Cannon. I'm in outer space somewhere orbiting earth with that gorgeous view and incredible perspective.
I think Isaiah says it best, however.
Isaiah 40: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.