Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stumbling, but getting up

When I went to work on Wednesday this past week,  I was very discouraged, sad and tired. But, like the rest of the world, when asked how I was, my response was, "I'm fine."  Why do I answer, "I'm fine" when I'm really not?  Well, usually I don't want to get into it, since I can't really verbalize what I'm feeling anyway.  I'm afraid if I really let people know how I was I would scare them away, or I would start crying and be useless as I faced a room full of 3rd graders.  
 So, I tried to evaluate what was going on with me emotionally and physically and I came up with a couple of things: 
  • We are in the midst of moving.  It is a pain.  All three of us are tense and sick of the boxes and the mess.  I'm so tired when I get home at night that I don't do anything to help with any of it. There's a little bit of food, but no dishes to cook with, and most of the staples have been packed.  I sometimes think I am too old for this, and I am really sick of having stuff.
  • I started teaching a new class.  As any teacher knows, the beginning of the school year is not the same each year, no matter how many years you have taught.  What worked one year may not work the next.  I'm still pondering these little lives every day.  I go to bed thinking about how to present something.  I'm not sleeping well, and my stomach hurts all the time. (did I mention that I'm feeling very old???)
  • The months keep marching on, Kristin is about 29 weeks into her pregnancy and Branch will be here in December.  I don't like being far away.  Even if I don't know what to do at least I wish I could be around to offer whatever.  I don't like that I am clueless how to navigate through this as a mom and a grandma and a wife.  It eats at me every day. And I wonder, where is God in all of this. 
Then I remembered....   
A week ago I got a package in the mail from someone I don't even know, but who heard of the situation with Kristin, has been reading my blog and Kristin's, and taken it upon herself to pray for us and encourage us.  She sent me a note and a  stack of cards with various verses to encourage me.  I finally read one of these verses the day I was feeling so down and out.  The verse I read was from Psalm 16 and I was reminded that God will care for me, hold me, and show me how to travel this road.
 1-2, "Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.  I said to the Lord,    'You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.'"
7-8, "I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken."
11, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

So I prayed.  I prayed that God would instruct me in the night.  As I drove to work the next day I took in God, not the news radio and not the country station. Tears came again, but somehow they were tears of cleansing, tears that brought peace.  I'm not sure how or what happened but I do know I believe in a God that works in very subtle ways to turn my heart towards him.
As the week progressed, I heard from God in so many ways.  Sometimes I hear God speak directly to my heart and mind, sometimes it is through reading, sometimes in a song or a word from a friend. I had to pay attention this week to hear-each time I heard something, I could easily have ignored the message that was there for me.
  • Reading Jesus Calling on September 20, "Try to see things more and more from my perspective.  Let the Light of My Presence so fully fill your mind that you view the world through Me.  ...When serious problems come your way, you will have more reserves for dealing with them.  You will not have sqauandered your energy on petty problems." Message to me: "moving-small problem, don't squander you mental energy on it."
  • Two statements that stuck out from the teaching at church this week, "Your Christian life is never done.  It never has a completion date." and, "The Christian life requires your full participation." Message to me: "Are you going to trust me with your daughter and grandson?" 
Sometimes I don't like it when God's message to me is so blunt.  I'd rather have Him tell me that everything is going to be great with no tension, but that is not how life works for anyone.  But, here it is the end of the week, and instead of being depressed and discouraged, I'm thankful.  Thankful for an unknown friend who was so thoughtful to send encouraging cards, thankful for books like Jesus Calling, thankful that the message at church was one that really spoke to my heart, and that I listened.  And most of all thankful that Jesus never gives up on me. John 10:28, "My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

Thanks so much for reading.  I appreciate the support and prayers.

Kristin's blog


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