August 30, 2016

First Day Blues

It is Tuesday, praise be to God, Tuesday! I made it through my first day back at GCU, and I am reeling from the pain of standing for five hours, walking about a mile, and climbing six flights of stairs. Yes, I did myself in yesterday, and today, I am paying the price. It is typical now, I mean, to be in pain when school starts each semester. I think this time, though, the pain is more severe. It is possible the reason the pain is so bad is because I had a very long summer. This summer, in particular, seemed to be longer by perhaps a couple weeks than last year. Thus, I was off my feet for a good four months. The four months was an uber blessing to me, and not only did I recover from the stress of my spring semester, but I also had plenty of down time to rest. It was a good thing, a really good thing.

Now that I have started school again, however, I am on the hunt for new shoes. Yes, I need to find better shoes and that means spending significant money to invest in good quality shoes. I know what I need to do, the kind to buy, but I have been put off by the cost, and in my usual "frugal" mindset, I have purchased knock-offs and less expensive versions of the shoes I need to wear to work. Thus, I have no one to blame but myself.

This time around, I am doing the "right thing," and I am going to purchase the shoes I need regardless of their cost. Furthermore, after four years of teaching, I am going to have to start sitting down. I hate it, it drives me crazy to not be able to move around the classroom, but I have to get off my feet at least part of each class period. God be praised, He will help me. I know He will. I believe He will. I am certain that He will help me.

Moving On

So with that sad introduction to today's post, suffice it to say, I am beat, tired, and so very worn out. Yes this girl is road weary and oh-so very exhausted this good, good day. But despite my condition, I am thanking the Lord for His provision of work, and for His strength to see me through my summer and on into my fall. He has been a gracious and generous provider. He is good to me, so very good to me. He knows me well, knows my shortcomings, and my limits, but praise to God, He enables me to do such good work. I do not deserve His goodness in my life. I do not deserve His mercy or His kindness. He is gracious to me, He loves me, and He cares about me. He knows my pain, and my sorrow, and my fatigue. He knows me so very well, and because He knows me, He is able to meet me, protect me, and yes, carry me through even the most difficult and darkest days.

Today is a good example, and while it is not a dark day, per se, it sure feels like one. I am tired from my long day yesterday, and since I have Tuesdays and Thursdays as rest days, I am resting comfortably at home. I know the Lord knows what He is doing with me, and while I may not understand why I am suffering the way that I am, I do know that He understands my pain. He does indeed understand my pain.

It is a good day, today, despite the pain. It is a good day today because my Savior lives! Yes, He lives. He is RISEN AND EXALTED, and today, I give Him all praise, all honor, and all glory. To God alone belongs as the glory, the praise and the honor. Selah!

Coming to Terms with My Lot

I guess you could say that today is a day when I have come to terms with my "lot" in life. Sometimes when people use this phrase, they do it to gain sympathy. I can hear the tone in their voice as they sigh and say "It's just my lot in life!" In this way, it is easy to see the resignation, the frustration, and yes, the self-pity in saying they have accepted their "lot" in life. In general terms, however, one's lot in life is simply another way of describing their current situation. In my case, my lot in life happens to be all that I am dealing with at present in my life. I am an adjunct instructor, for example. I live with my 83-year old parents, who are both in general health, but with complications and some difficulties. I parent an almost 23-year old son, on my own, as a single Mom. I teach college courses at four different schools, two being online, and two local. I am completing my PhD, writing my dissertation, and hoping to graduate soon. I have a lot on my plate right now, and at times, my "lot" seems heavy and difficult to bear. Yet, compared to others I know, to other friends and family members, my lot is very good. It is very good, indeed. I have friends with sick children, chronic and severely ill children. I have family and friends in the midst of divorce or suffering from job loss. I have students grieving for numerous reasons, all of them seemingly overwhelming and difficult. In truth, my lot is a good one. My portion is enough. My hope is secure. God is good all the time, and all the time, He is good. Selah!

Yet, there are aspects of my life that are difficult right now. There is much uncertainty, and much that is unknown to me. I am persuaded to believe God has this all worked out, and yes, by goodness, I believe He does. I am at rest and at peace in the plans He has for my life. So much so that I feel confident and bold to say that my future appears to be well-set.

It is funny really to think about how just three months ago, I was so intent on finding a full-time position in industry. I was ready to leave teaching behind and to find some work that would more amply provide for my family. In three months time, I have come to terms with my role as faculty, and while I still would like a full-time position, I know that for now, this is what the Lord has determined as "best" for my life. Despite the discomfort. Despite the pain. Despite the uncertainty, this is what the Lord has said is "His best" for me. Yes, this is His will, and while I would prefer to win the lottery and cash out (just saying), the Lord has determined a way for me to go, and that means I must continue to walk on in this direction. I must carry my load, so to speak, and with His help, I will progress through as He has determined is best for me. How can this be, you ask? How can God want you to be deep in debt, living in pain, and facing an uncertain future? Surely, He desires you to be blessed, to be healthy, wealthy and wise? I'd say, "may it be so, may it be so!" But only as He desires it to be. You see, while I do take responsibility for my choices, while I am quick to take my due and credit (for mishaps, I mean), I also believe so fervently that the Lord has a plan for my life, and that plan is the one I am following. I am reading His road map, and I believe I am reading it correctly.

The main thing, I believe, that is vital is to know and to comprehend the Lord's will. It is specific for each of His children. And, while some believers will say that the Lord's will is not specific, but general, well, I do not think this is accurate. In Scripture, we see so many instances of where the Lord called individuals to do certain things, and where the Holy Spirit spoke to the person and directed them to go and do tasks that were predicated upon God's will. Yes, I believe that each person can discern the perfect will of God, and that means that in every area of their life, the Lord can oversee, instruct, and direct their steps in order to give them His best. At the least, they can have a life that is surrendered to Him, a life that reflects the Son's submission to the Father, and a life positioned to receive the blessing that stems from that action. Yes, a surrendered life can yield amazing internal results (witness, testimony, peace, etc.) More so, a life that is focused on the Lord's will can reveal abilities, both natural and supernatural, that can be used for God's work and His glory and praise. In this way, all of our lives can be transformed from difficult and unknown ways into a more focused, directed, and spiritually alive manner of walking, talking and living. Yes, we can live supernaturally in a very natural world.

As I think about my day today, and I wonder how I will make it through (I am so very tired and sore), I know that my Lord lives. He loves me, and His purpose for me is special, unique, and wonderful. I am ready to follow after Him even though my feet ache and my muscles throb. I can walk on because He calls me, bids me to follow Him. I trust Him, I will follow Him, and He will care for me. He is good to me, so very good to me.

In Closing

Today is a difficult day. Today is a day when my patience is tried, my faith is tested, and my body is battered. Yet, I carry on because it is His will for me to run this race of faith, to stay the course, and to finish it well. I will finish strong. I will finish strong today because it is His delight and His desire that motivates me to do so. I pray for strength today, for rest, for recovery, and for His goodness to fill my life, every area of my life. I pray now that in all things, He would be honored, praised, and glorified. May He be honored. May He be praised. And, may He receive all glory this good, good day.

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