August 12, 2012

Thinking About the Next Steps

It's been a really good Sunday. Even though I am struggling some with my monthly cycle, I am finally feeling better about things (in general). I have had the worst back ache this past week. Almost daily, my mid-back has ached, I mean really ached. It is part-and-parcel with what is happening internally, this I know, but still the pain was getting me down. I normally rely on Advil Liquid Gels which do the trick, however, lately they have not touched the pain. My Mom told me that I needed to switch to Tylenol (Dr's orders) because of what the research is showing as a result from taking too much Ibuprofen. I bought some two weeks ago, but didn't take any because in the past it never did much to diminish my headache/muscle ache pain. Today, though, I was fed up with the ache, and decided to give it a try. Thank goodness I did! My back ache went away, and I was pretty much pain free all day. My guess is that Ibuprofen is good for muscle strains, inflammation; but Tylenol is better for pain. In any case, I am feeling better, and for that, I am thankful.

Church this morning was great. This was our quarterly "Activate" Sunday, where our Children's Pastor brings the Sunday School message to the whole congregation. It was a good message, right on point with my inner struggles. I left feeling as though I had received a personal message from the Lord reminding me to be thankful for what I have today, and to not worry or fret about tomorrow's needs/wants. The whole message was on contentment, and in the end, the parting reminder was "You are OK now," meaning that while we may have had better times in the past, and while we do not know what tomorrow will bring -- today we are OK. God has provided what we need for today, and we are to give Him thanks for this provision.

Afterwards, my son and my DH (former/yet still) went to breakfast. I have been treating us to breakfast after church for the past couple weeks. It is one of the few times my DH can spend with our son, and I am able to do this (thank you, Jesus) so be it. We then went to Super Walmart so that he (DH) could do some shopping. I know that he is having a hard time, and that being carless has made it even harder on him. Later, my son and I came home, and both of us took long naps (I guess it is the heat -- 115 for the past week).

I woke up pretty refreshed, and feeling a little better physically. I didn't do much else, though now I am trying to catch up on some laundry (I need undies for work next week). It is funny how life goes, and how the choices we make, for good or ill, seem to define our very existence. I have spent the past couple months lamenting my work situation, complaining about my job, the tasks associated with that job and so on. My complaints weren't unfounded -- they were accurate -- nonetheless. It is just in light of today, I see how much I have focused on what I wanted and not on what I had.

This is why the message today resonated with me. I am content where I am, so be it. I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about the choices I made in the past, the choices that led to my breakup, and so forth. I have revisited those times in my mind, and have colored them as either worse or better than reality. In truth, they were what they were, but our mind likes to make things seem less than or more than what the truth tells us. I did this a lot, and even felt guilty over the decision I made to leave my husband. I have come a long way since that decision, and my life has not been all rosy and comfort. It has been good, and that is the crux of the matter. My life, for all it's warts and ugliness has been blessed by God, and His Grace and Provision have sustained me.

I may not be where I want to be yet, but at least I am not where I was. Joyce Meyer likes to say it this way, "I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be." We can never go back, never go back to our past history. Like our story today in Church, the Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt, even after God had rescued them from the oppression of Pharaoh. They didn't like where they were (in the desert), and they couldn't seem to get a grasp on where they were going (to Canaan, the Promised Land). They were stuck in the middle of their journey, not where they were yet not where they were intended to be. They complained, they grumbled, and they were unhappy. God was with them, providing and protecting them, performing miracles in their lives, and still they were not content.

I have been this way too. I have been so unsettled by the fact that I cannot go back to where I used to be (at home, a wife and mother, so on), and I am not where I feel the Lord is leading me. I am in the middle, in the desert (literally) and at times it is very uncomfortable for me. God is here, He is providing and sustaining me. He gives to me blessing after blessing, but I still complain, I still grumble.

Today, I made up my mind to be happy in my lot in life. I have determined that it is better to be OK now, than to be miserable. I am content to be in this place, in this desert and barren valley. I am content to wait for tomorrow's blessing, and I am happy to be covered by His Grace and Mercy. I know God has good plans for my life, and He is working miracles in and through my days. He is doing this all for His Name and for His Glory, and I am receiving blessing in the experience. I may not have everything I want right now, but I have it very good. I am blessed. I am rich. I am OK.

Dear Lord (Adonai),

I praise your Name now and I thank you for what you have given to me. I am good. My life is good. Your blessing and mercy are always new, and every moment I am surrounded by your goodness. I trust you to complete your work, and to do what needs doing in and through my life. My your Name be praised today, and forever more. Amen, So let it be. Selah!

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