I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since May – and here it is October! A lot has been going on for sure. Some of it has been tough, but I lean heavily on God and He always sees me through!
As mentioned in this previous post, my daughter and son-in-law moved down south. They are doing well though we are all missing each other like crazy. My daughter had some serious home-sickness going on for a bit – but I think she is doing better now.
They both came back up a few weeks ago for a visit. While here, many of their friends came out to the house for a little party. It sure was fun seeing everyone together again! And most recently they were here for the wedding of ‘my other daughter’ – as you may have read on previous posts….she is my daughter’s best friend. They call each other ‘sister’ and I’m ‘Mom’ to her.
I also mentioned that the new job I got after being laid-off was not very enjoyable. I didn’t want to complain about the job I had after losing the other one…but I was miserable. I didn’t want to come across as being ungrateful. It was during this time though, that I started learning that I was not leaning on God as much as I thought.
I was so ‘worried’ about being laid-off that I grabbed the first job that came along rather than praying about it and relying on God to open doors for me. Again, which has been typical in my life, I was trying to be in control and manipulate my situation.
If you read this earlier post of mine, then you will understand my thought process here. Of course it wasn’t until after I started the new job and began to reflect on my situation that I came to realize that I was still struggling with ‘unbelief’. Though I had faith that God would provide, my unbelief came about in thinking that I needed to jump on that job because there might not be another offer rather than waiting on Him. So I spent almost 6 months in a job that I was unhappy with and that was not a good fit – for me or the employer.
During this time, I kept studying and learning about God’s grace and His desire to provide for us, His children. Most recently it dawned on me….
Just as an earthly parent, God does not want His children to suffer, be ill, in pain or live in poverty. He wants only the best for us. I have always said I believed that….but I think deep down I always felt like I wasn’t living up to whatever it was in my mind that I thought I should be or be doing for Him. I felt that because I was ‘failing’ or falling short of what I thought He wanted….then why would He shower me with abundance? If I couldn’t take care of the little, why would He give me more?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about doing ‘works’ in order to get to heaven. But just as with my own children….they may do things that are not what I would choose for them…and they may even disappoint me from time to time. But would I want them to suffer, do without, hurt? No way! So why would I assume God would be any different?
I heard someone say that maybe we shouldn’t be asking God for ‘just enough’ – meaning, why do we ask Him for things like giving us just enough to live comfortably, or feel better, or pay our bills? We are children of God. We were made righteous by Christ. So we should claim it! We have power through Christ!
So I recently sat down and had a lengthy conversation with my Father. And I laid it all at the feet of my Savior. It finally made sense to me! I gave thanks. I cried. And rejoiced. And cried some more. But afterwards I felt so much lighter and I could definitely feel a difference. The burdens were gone.
Very shortly after that…things started happening for me:
First of all, I hurt my back carrying something at work that was WAY to heavy. And I was laying in bed on the 3rd night of the worst pain I have ever been in. But through the misery – I kept repeating thanks over and over for the healing. And sure enough, the pain went away without seeking medical care.
Every time I found my mind wanting to head down in the dumps or start with the negative thoughts – I would correct myself and say thanks to my Father. I gave thanks for my healing (we are healed by his stripes….) and thanks for His provision. Let me tell you….it was not – and still isn’t – a natural or automatic thing for me. I am so used to thinking ‘here we go again’ or something negative…and then gearing up to deal with it. So, I have had to repeat many, many times that I do not have to carry the burden….God’s got this!
Next, I got a call from someone that I have always considered a mentor of mine. I had worked with him in the past and though we parted ways years ago, I would still do some ‘virtual assistant’ jobs for him from time to time. I also know his boss – the owner of the company in which he works now – from that same time period in our past. He asked me to stop in to help them with some personnel issues. I agreed.
When I got there, both of them were there telling me about how some things had changed within the company – and they wanted to offer me a job!!! You have to understand – I have wanted to work for them for years! And here it was, out of the clear blue, being offered! Needless to say, I accepted the job.
Within the first week – I was given a raise…to cover the healthcare premiums – so that it wouldn’t cut into my take home pay. Can you believe that!? I was also assured that I would be getting my pay bumped up very soon.
Then came the realization that I was most likely going to lose my insurance on my home – due to ‘forgetting’ (Fibro Fog) to pay it…and my first check was coming in exactly one week later than the cut-off date. Again I found myself starting to get stressed. But I reminded myself that God’s got this….and I was just along for the ride.
Sure enough – no quicker had those thoughts crossed my mind when my boss asked me how I was with the gap between my last job’s payday and this one. I told him I was figuring it out. He told me to give him a figure and he would advance it to me. I did. He did. When I asked about re-paying it…..I was told not to worry about it right now. So, house insurance was paid – literally within 4 hours of it being cancelled!
For many – this may sound like small potatoes….but for me – this is huge! For the first time in my life, I feel that things are going to be good for me! I no longer feel like I screwed up and therefore it is what it is! Of course there will still be things to come up and I will probably have to remind myself another few hundred times to let things go….but I’m confident that it will become easier as I’m growing and learning more!
Next on my list is my health – again, I’ve spoken with God about this and I am confident that my body is repairing itself and I will no longer suffer. For now, I find that when I’m getting caught up in the ‘unbelief’ – my Fibro starts acting up. Once I claim healing and refuse to worry about the situation the symptoms recede. I believe that for now this is my little reminder to help get me back on track. But I also fully believe that I am healed and that my healthy body will manifest once I learn to accept the gift given to me.
And finally…..relationships. I’m not sure where I’m going here yet. But I’m trusting God to lead me. At the moment, with all of the pain and mistrust I’ve experienced in this area….I do not want an intimate relationship with another man…ever! But at the same time, I find myself lonely and wishing for companionship. However, I will wait on my Father and see what He has in mind for me. Maybe it’s more than I can ever dream of…..or maybe I’m not supposed to have another man in my life….either way, I’m good with that.
F.R.O.G. = Fully Relying On God…..that’s the fun part….once you learn to relax and go with it!
Heard another message that really hit home for me this morning….like a ton of bricks….my head still hurts (Ha!).
The speaker was teaching about how Christians can be saved, but still have unbelief. Not that we don’t believe in God and that Christ died for us – but rather how we often focus on our issues or problems rather than the promises of God.
The speaker said that unbelief comes to be when we do not consider (meditate on or bear in mind) the promises of God. Instead we focus (or consider) on the problem/issue more – and all of this comes to us in a variety of ways:
- Disbelief – when we are given incorrect teaching of God’s word
o Can be countered by our reading and studying His word for ourselves
- Natural Unbelief – is relying on what we physically see and hear – what we naturally experience
o Again countered by what we know of God’s word and not on our own emotions/senses
- Hardened Heart – a result of what you will not consider/accept
o Countered by considering/meditating on the promise rather than the issue – instead of thinking that something is or is not going to happen (based upon your knowledge or experience about the issue) – you simply believe that although you don’t know how, you know for sure that God will take care of it and it will happen in a way far beyond your imagination
Our own unbelief often stands in the way of the promise being fulfilled. And we’ve all read and heard that before. But I guess I never thought of it past believing in God and that Christ died for me. I never thought of it in terms of my thinking or views having an impact on the results. I mean – yes, I’ve said to myself or others ‘God will take care of us’ – or something along those lines. But what was really rolling around deep inside my mind at that time?
Funny thing is though, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been learning a lot lately. About myself. About God. About my life and this journey I’m on. And I had already come to realize that I need to re-direct my thought process as I’m working to trust and have more faith in God. And this message today simply reinforced what I have been processing in my own mind lately.
For example, I have been working through some financial issues of late – and I knew I was in for some very rough times. It was going to be bad. On paper, I simply was not going to make it, folks. But then I corrected myself and thought ‘No, I am going to trust God. He is going to see me through this. I am going to rely fully on Him and stop worrying about what I cannot change.’
I have to tell you – I was nauseous with worry about what I was going to do – and several times throughout the day I would speak with God about it. And I would remind myself to stop worrying, trust God – stop thinking about it, trust God…..you get the picture. Over and over I would go through that process. It took a couple of days – but the anxiety subsided. It took time, I believe because if I wasn’t careful, I would find myself getting anxious and contemplating the horrible things I just knew was going to happen ‘IF God decided not to help me out of my predicament’. I also praised Him and thanked Him for taking care of me and my son. Each time I caught my mind wandering back to the dark side – I would praise Him and thank Him and claim His promises to me. And of course, He was faithful and He worked it all out for me! I just had to focus my thoughts on my heavenly Father and stop focusing on the things of this world. Why oh why do we make things so difficult on ourselves?
Ultimately, this has taught me to think a little deeper and do some serious soul-searching about my ‘self-talk’. I am the expert in telling myself that something is not as good as it should be or why would God do this when I did that, etc. Few people know that I have a Commercial Art & Advertising education on my resume – the reason? I was so critical of my own work it was not rewarding to do the work. Therefore, I never pursued that field as a career.
So, on this piece of my journey I am striving to redirect my thinking. To stop and tell myself, ‘No – I am not going to think that way. Instead, I’m going to believe and trust that God is going to do _____.’ I am going to keep reminding myself daily that I am loved. I am worthwhile. God is waiting for me to get out of my own way – so He can do miraculous things!
Wishing you a blessed day! Take care
After my rambling in my last post about how saddened and discouraged I sometimes get – I thought I would now counter that with some more positive and encouraging words!
Life is like a rollercoaster with highs and lows. The main thing to remember is to hang on in the low times in order to get through them and into the high times – right? At least that is my view. I’ve really been that way all my life – even with my natural tendency to find the negatives in life, I don’t allow those down times to keep me down. For me it’s just a matter of dealing the best I can and waiting for the next wave.
While I was feeling down about the thoughts rumbling around in my head when I wrote the other post – a part of me kept saying ‘no, I am not going to remain in this place’. I will release the pressure that was building for so long inside by writing it down, but I refuse to allow myself to remain down on life and society, etc. First of all, what’s the point? Does my attitude make a difference in how this world will rotate? Nope. It only makes a difference in MY life and how I choose to live it.
I believe that God waits for me to wallow around and get a little dirty and messy for a bit – until I run full circle right back to Him. It is then that He starts to reveal things to me. I know that I have this constant and unnecessary little battle in most things I do – because I am such a strong-willed person maybe? But it seems that most times it is like this – I am battling and fighting for survival and then I finally slow down, calm down and turn my thoughts and focus back on God.
If it were a cartoon – you would see me running around chasing my own tail or like a chicken with its head cut off (as the saying used to go). And you would see God sitting there silently watching and waiting for me to run out of steam. Then he would gently pick me up off the ground and comfort me without a single word -without any criticism what-so-ever but simply with love and kindness and unbelievable patience. Once I catch my breath and settle in to pay attention, He will then show me whatever it is that I need to know. And of course I then see that had I started with my focus on Him, I would have saved myself a lot of energy and bruises.
Right after I wrote that last post – I met with someone asking for some insight about a very difficult situation she was in. That gently reminded me of how many people still come to me for support or advice or whatever insight I might be able to give them. And then just yesterday, my superior mentioned that I had stated something several months ago about praying for someone that I had difficulties with –and that she was trying to do the same now. I realized that a simple statement I had said had made an impact – when I didn’t even realize it.
Also another coworker made a statement that I was quite an example of a true Christian – and that I walked the walk. Wow. I was taken aback. You see I don’t think in terms like that really. I don’t think to myself that I must act and talk a certain way necessarily – I simply desire to treat others in a compassionate way and to always be fair and honest. The way I want to be treated.
There was God’s gentle voice in my ear –reminding me to not let the negatives of this world take me down. Not to allow myself to wallow too long because people around me were watching. People were learning from me. They were taking to heart things that I barely gave a second thought to honestly.
Okay – so I’m getting back up, folks. My fibro pain is in full throttle this week and I’m so incredibly tired I can barely function. BUT – I will not allow it to get in my way. I will not allow it to cloud my thinking and feeling down on life in general. After all – this life is a gift from my God! I will cherish it and take care of it to the best of my ability.
More importantly though, I will strive to always keep Him in the driver’s seat and simply enjoy the ride!
I hope all who reads this will have a wonderfully blessed and fabulous weekend (today is Friday as I write this). And maybe take a minute to slow down, quiet down and listen to that loving Voice. See and hear what you might need to learn.
Image courtesy of bplanet /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Lately there has been something weighing heavily on my heart. And I keep thinking I want to post about it – but then I struggle with how to put it into words so as not to sound too negative and judgmental. If you follow my blog – you may have heard some of this before – but read on, some of it is new.
I suppose we all reflect on similar things as we get older. Maybe when we mature we start looking at life through different eyes. I struggle to put into words the things that come to mind in a manner that won’t sound like generations before me – ‘this world is going to hell in a hand basket’ or ‘this generation is so ________’ (you fill in the blank). You know what I mean – we’ve all heard those types of statements from parents and grandparents.
However, I do not believe this is the same as the generations before me. I have always been able to take what is thrown at me and I can handle change – even when I don’t like the change. So I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the past or anything of that nature. As a matter of fact, I’m the one who is usually helping others to transition into what’s new or different.
Maybe my problem is that I hold people to a high standard. I always have. And yes, I am often disappointed or hurt because of that standard. People are people and don’t we all fall short? So what am I rambling about you ask? It is how people treat each other these days. Our society seems to have lost compassion for one another.
We have kids killing kids. We have people being picked on (now called bullied) to the point of suicide. We have people hating each other for no reason. What happened? Some of it is that we did it to ourselves. Don’t you think? We have raised a generation (or two) who believes that they should be made comfortable at all times. They should get what they want, when they want and you better not make them work for it either. They expect it to be their way or the highway.
I believe that is why no one is allowed to say or do or think for themselves anymore. No one is allowed to compete. No one is allowed to joke around or have fun – because after all, we might ‘offend’ some group of people. And I believe that is why there are so many jumping on the bandwagon to accuse others of saying discriminatory or slanderous things. It’s like people are just waiting to pounce on every little thing – maybe because there is no adrenaline rush anymore – after all, everyone gets a blue ribbon whether they work hard or not. There is no sense of accomplishment and the thrill of competition is non-existent – so let’s find something to do….hey look – that person said the ‘R’ word! Let’s get him! Without logically considering the context in which things are being said – people want to get a rush from attacking.
And then there are situations such as my former employer. I’ve touched on it a few times but have not gone in depth. This is – no, was a place of love and caring for others. The sole purpose of this establishment was to help those in need while allowing them to maintain dignity. It was to show God’s love – to be His hands and feet in the community. That is why I applied to work there – I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. That is why everyone I worked with was there too. We shared that same desire. Regardless of the lower pay scale – those who worked there chose the blessings of improving the lives of the less fortunate over money in their own pockets.
In all my years in the corporate world, I have never worked with such an awesome group of people! I’ve never seen so many people willing to put so much energy and everything they have into their work. As mentioned, the pay was very low – and yet people stayed because of that love for others. There were times when paychecks didn’t come on time. There were times when benefits were taken away. There were even times when pay was taken back for a period of time….and yet we stayed.
However, as the years progressed there was a group of individuals outside of the agency who couldn’t stand not having their hands in the middle of it all. They simply would not leave things alone. Slowly this outside entity started creating a different atmosphere into our agency. I started seeing some of the meanest and cruelest actions by people who claimed to be Christians. To this day I am amazed at the arrogance of this group (I am calling them a group rather than a specific church as I do not wish to label or lump any particular group of people together). I am surprised at how these people would look you in the eye and tell you that that they strive to show God’s love and at the same time – stab you in the back. Possibly I’m being naïve. Maybe it’s because I live in the so-called bible belt….but I’m not so sure because I have actually lived all over the country and never experienced anything like this.
Their arrogance and interference led to an upheaval in our agency. People became stressed. They were hurt. Negativity permeated the entire environment. Very few of us were happy. No one could trust anyone else. The gossip mill was rampant. However, because of our desire and our love for the agency and the people – many of us tried to stick it out. We assumed it was a cycle that would eventually go away. Don’t get me wrong, there were problems before any of this took place – there are always issues anywhere you go. Nothing is perfect. But even with the shortcomings, one can tell the difference between people who truly are trying their very best and those who are trying to undermine the entire operation for their own greedy reasons.
Through those years, I watched the head of the group treat his second-hand man like dirt in front of others. I remember being appalled and shocked that someone could be so openly cruel. I eventually lost all respect for this person and honestly that religious group as a whole. There was once a very loving and caring person who stepped in as an Interim Director – just to help out until a permanent replacement was found. His sweet little wife was very ill. It didn’t take but a few minutes talking with him to know just how much he loved his wife. He was the picture of how you hope your own marriage would be. But before long, this ‘group’ was pushing him to do more and more in the church – to the point that the head told him that he should be picking his service to the church over the needs of his wife. Kudos to him – he told them what they could do with the whole thing!
Let me be clear – I don’t mean that I believe all people of this faith are bad. What I mean is that for whatever reason there are those who have this idea that they are all-powerful and that they can do whatever they please. They are out to gain whatever they think will advance them to the next level and they don’t care who they stomp on in the process. Harsh words – I never thought I would say….but I have felt this way for several years as I’ve watched how people are used and then thrown away when no longer useful.
When I finally decided to leave – I was completely burned out. When we hear of people getting burned out – the picture in my mind is that they are tired, exhausted and bored with whatever they are doing to the point that it is time to stop. I also assumed that once they change environments all is well again. Not the case here. And since I’ve visited with others who have also left since my departure – I know they have gone through the same process. I believe that it is because we put so much of ourselves into that place.
It has been a very long healing process – one that I am still recovering from to this day. It’s like coming out of a very dark, ugly place into the sunlight. You don’t quite know what to do. You don’t feel you fit in – you don’t feel like you know how to react to or with others. You jump in startled reaction to the simplest things because you know that had you been back at the other place – man, you would have been in trouble big time! It’s similar to being in an abusive mental/emotional relationship. We have had to learn that it’s okay to be happy again. It’s okay to not fear others and believe that they are out to get you. Eventually you figure out that you no longer have to second-guess the motives of every little thing.
Since my leaving, I have been surprised but pleasantly honored to have many of my former coworkers seek me out for friendship and/or counsel on how to handle things that are still going on in that place or once they have moved on to another. My heart aches for all those still there. Since I am in the Human Resource field, I have made it a personal mission of mine to seek job openings and post announcements on my FB page just so those who are considering a change will have information should they wish to apply.
For a time, I found myself angry. I was angry for the way my friends/former coworkers are being treated. How they have been lied to. I was angry because I heard from multiple people that I and others who have since left have been thrown under the bus over and over again. Yes, I know that is a typical thing whenever a person leaves – they are then blamed for everything wrong. But this is more than that. It is announcements or open discussions being made in group meetings that are inappropriate. Private and confidential things are being aired to others who have no need to hear it. They are assumptions and discussions by the so-called leaders of the agency who know absolutely nothing about what took place prior to them or why decisions were made. And honestly I have always worked diligently to be honest, trustworthy and reliable in my work. I worked hard to gain the trust and appreciation of the members of the board – only to have the so-called leader now tell lies about me/us.
Forgiveness. I know, I know. I am to forgive. And I believe I have – and I don’t hold grudges….but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. And more than my concerns for my own professional reputation are my concerns for those who are still trying to survive in that deceitful environment. I pray regularly for those folks. I pray that doors will be opened for all of them to move on. I also pray that the community soon learns the real truth about what is going on in that place. It’s no longer serving the community as it was created to do many years ago.
I guess what I’m getting at is that my heart hurts for the state of our society as a whole. Yes, yes I will acknowledge there are many, many good and caring people still out there. Heck, I consider myself one of them. But I almost feel we are being overrun with negative, hurtful individuals who no longer have the compassion. It got lost somewhere along the way. And is starts early – check out this post about bullying – it is very touching.
Seems like we need more positive, good stories in the headlines. Let’s bring back to light what we are all here to do. We are to share and show God’s love – aren’t we? Let’s help remind others of the good in people. It does rub off, you know. Let’s teach our kids to be good people again – but that it doesn’t mean being a doormat.
I wonder what it would be like to have a news program that focused on GOOD uplifting stories instead of all of the crisis and negativity the world? I don’t mean that we should stick our heads in the sand….but how about a better balance of news, ya know? Just a thought……………
Over the past few years I have seen many friends and loved ones suffer due to health issues. I’ve lost several to health-related issues. It’s heartbreaking. And every time something inside of me screams that THIS IS NOT RIGHT! Why must we suffer so?