March 21, 2014

Letting Everything Go and Letting Everything BE!

It's another challenge day. This is a day when I feel that I am being challenged to let go of all that I so dearly want to control. I am being wooed and called forth with the command, "Let it go. Let it go!"

Let go and let God. Yes, may it be so, Lord. May it be so.

I have struggled recently with trying to control my future. I know better than to do this, yet there is part of me that thinks I need to grab the wheel and take over the driving, take over the course. Whenever I do that, I end up falling flat on my face.

I am reminded of the Carrie Underwood song, "Jesus Take the Wheel":

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel


I believe that God is the driving force in my life. I believe that He is at the wheel and is leading me where He wants me to go. Yet, I still think at times that I should be in the driver's seat, that I should be the one who is at the wheel, charting the course, making directional changes. HA!

I should know better. I should know better than to think that I could be that good, that smart, that proficient, that omniscient to know where to go, and how to get there.

Still, there are times, quiet times, difficult times, overwhelming times, when I think that I would be better suited to driving this car, driving this bus, driving the course of my life.

Today, I woke up and I felt horrible, just horrible. I am struggling with peri-menopause, and the months when I actually do get a period, I suffer miserably through the weeks (yes, weeks) of bloating, irritability, and blood loss. It is not fun, and I wish (oh, how I wish) this would end. I will be 52 this year, and it is time for me to stop getting my period. UGH!

So today, I woke up suffering with menstrual issues. I felt miserable. I felt like I couldn't leave the house. I was supposed to go to a friend's for lunch, but I don't want to be far from a restroom. I didn't want to go anywhere, so I begged off the invite, and decided to stay at home. I hate this time. I am so ready for it to be over. It lingers on still, and I am getting weary of it. I know that it will come to an end soon. I am normal, I was a late starter as a young girl, and this is very normal. Still, I have had months without a period, and oh, it was so nice. So nice to be able to wear white and to go without any worry! Someday soon, some day very soon I will be free of this curse.

This entire week, well the past couple weeks has been stressful on me. I am doing well in my classes at Regent, but I am struggling with knowing my place, doing the A-level work needed, and with understanding the context of the courses. I am tired, so very tired, and I want a break from the study. But I need to press on, and I need to stay focused.

God provided for me, and I am thankful that I was able to do my research paper and get it turned in on time. I wasn't pleased with the grade, but I am thankful that I did it. I have been stressed over my lab work, and my research survey project (due 4/22). I feel as though I don't know what I am doing, and all of that has congealed to make me suffer all the more.

I know that God has me well-covered, yet I still struggle to believe His word to me. I am I really covered. Will I really get As this semester?

So here I sit thinking how I have tried to take the wheel and tried to make my own way. I wanted things to be smoothed out, to go easier on me, to be "better" then they already are. I wanted things to be different. I wanted a different path, a new road, a new way.

Why?

Because I am dissatisfied with what I currently have and where the future seems to be leading me. The short of it, I don't like what I see, and I want to try a different way.

In life there are two ways: God's way and man's way. I was saying to the Lord that I didn't particularly care for His way of doing things. It didn't seem like things were working out in my favor, that I was getting all that I deserved, and that I was "happy" and content about the status quo. Truthfully, the nuts and bolts of it was that I was tired of the status quo. Yeah, I was tired of the fact that I am teaching at GCU, have no future set there, and I am making $11 an hour. I was tired that I didn't have enough money to give my parents what is due them (rent/utilities). I was tired that my classes at Regent were getting to be impossible, and that I was struggling just to keep up. I was tired of the way I feel each day (constipated, menopausal, overweight, and yucky!) I was tired of my life, of everything up to this point, of where I was at, and where I was going. I see no change on the horizon, and I see no improvement.

Of course, none of this is accurate or true. It is my view, and my view is always skewed. From God's perspective (as if I can really see from His vantage point), my life looked well in hand. Nothing was outside the reference of "normal."  Let me explain:
  • I am a 52 year old woman. At this age, many women experience menopause. It is a part of the transition through life, and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. You can alleviate the symptoms by taking good care of yourself, watching your diet, taking herbal supplements, etc. The change process occurs whether you like it or not. It is a fact of life.
  • I am a doctoral student studying social science. As such, the courses required for the degree are challenging and require significant study and original research. The program is one of the top in the nation, and it is challenging. Anyone who has completed a PhD will tell you that the level of work, the amount of work, etc. are killers. That is why only certain people get these advanced degrees. This is normal, it is to be expected, and it is a fact of life.
  • I am teaching adjunct at GCU. I teach one class. I get paid $325 every two weeks. It is good pay for 3 hours a week. The teacher prep time takes another 3 hours, and then I have papers to grade, etc. I spend about 15 hours per week on this one class. It is a lot of work for the pay. I don't have benefits and there are no guarantees that I will get hired next semester. I am doing this work because I need experience, and GCU offered me a chance to teach. I am blessed, so very blessed. I know that the more experience I get, the better chance I will have to be hired as a full-time teacher. Perhaps not here, but perhaps at another school. God is good. He knows I had to start over, and that is what I am doing.
  • Teaching part-time has worked well with my studies at Regent. I don't think I could have taught more courses this semester, so in many ways I am happy to have a low-key and very easy schedule this semester. I panic over "no summer work" but then I think that this is good. It will be good to rest.
When I step back and I look at each item on its own, I see that everything I am experiencing is normal. It falls within the parameters of normalcy. Do I really want to work full-time right now? NO! Do I want to be done with menopause? YES and NO. Do I want to run the risk of getting a bad grade at Regent? NO, absolutely NOT! Do I want to make more money? YES. Do I need benefits? YES. Will I get benefits soon or in the near term? YES, I believe so. Will I work full-time at some point? YES, of course. Will I graduate from Regent? YES, as the Lord wills, so be it.

The long and short of it is then that I am being impatient at the status quo. I am tired of the way things are, and I want things to change. Yet, I see that sometimes cannot change right now. Sometimes are the way they are for a reason, and I have to patiently wait for other things to move or change or end. For example, I have a number of research classes that need to be completed before I can sit my qualification exams. Each of these courses will be just as hard as the ones I am taking now. Do I want to work full-time and do these classes? Or is it better to work part to 3/4 time? The latter, most certainly is better. Will full-time work wait? Yes, it will. How will I make it financially until that time? I believe God will provide. So why am I striving for things to change when He is able and is in control?

Sigh. I am impatient, impertinent, and  impossible at times. He knows me. He understands me, and best of all, He loves me. I can rest in Him, in all of Him, and I can know that He has me well covered.

Today, I let go and I let God be in me, through me, and for me. He will do it. He will have His way, and I will see that He way is Good. He is Good. All the time He is so very GOOD to me.

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