December 20, 2016

Challenges

It is Tuesday, and I am sitting at my desk, relieved, from finally passing a kidney stone last evening. I haven’t had stones in over 16 years, and I cannot believe that I would have another one, right now, right when I am in the middle of one of the most stressful periods in my life! But, alas…the stone came and went. Yes, it was painful — like shooting needles — but today, I am mostly sore (like being socked in the tummy). Thankfully, after some Advil last night and Tylenol today, I am feeling better. At the least, I am feeling more “on the mend,” and for that, I am grateful. I am thankful for His mercy and kindness toward me, and that despite the pain yesterday, I do not have to go to the doctor today. Yes, I am thankful and blessed in that regard.

So, it is December 20, 2016, and I am here at home, contemplating my day, and thinking about all that I have to do this good, good day. For one thing, I am really thankful that I was able to finish my grading yesterday. I completed my final grades for Regent, and posted those to the registrar’s office. I still have GCU grades to complete, but I have until Friday to post those, so for today and tomorrow, I am focusing on my dissertation research. I didn’t do anything yesterday toward my research, but today and tomorrow, I hope to make up for my lack of time. I made good progress on Sunday, and I was able to complete Phase 1 of my research project. Now, I am on to Phase II, which includes inventorying features and content areas. I need to have this phase completed by tomorrow so that I can move into Phase II and begin in-depth analysis. It is a good thing, such a good thing, to be so close to finishing my research.

I am panicked a bit over whether I will complete everything necessary to graduate, and after a rather difficult day yesterday, I have let my outcome go, as in “letting it really go” since I know I cannot do this research, write it up, and finish it on my own. No, this is His work, and as such, it will be done according to His way. I cannot push, prod, or produce work that is not under His authority or promoted by His abilities. I have to let Him have His way, and that means, He has to do it all. I am His assistant in this matter, and in this way, I will move to the background so that He can receive all the praise, this honor, and the glory.

Stressed, but Making It Through

So, to say I am stressed…would be such an understatement. I am beyond stressed. I am UBER STRESSED. Yet, I know that the Lord has me well-covered, and as such, I can CHOOSE to rest. I am not choosing to rest, rather I am choosing to be stressed. It is my fault; it is my bad and my doing. Yes, it is all true. I know what to do, and yet, I do not do it.

Today, I am determined to rest. I need to rest, I mean, after all — I just passed a bleeping kidney stone. If I never saw a more bright and flashing sign telling me to REST, well, then I don’t know what  it would take to get me to rest, know what I mean? I am struggling to overcome these challenges that I face, and I am praying for His help — yet — I don’t accept His help when offered. Why is this so? Why am I so unwilling to let go and let God help me when I need His help most? I think the answer lays with control. I have this deep-seated need to be in control and to let go means that I am letting someone else or something else take over. Normally, I don’t need any help. I mean, I am pretty darn capable, and I typically can handle A LOT of pressure and pain. In truth, I am probably more stoic that most people I know. I trudge on. I pick up my cross and carry it without complaining about it. I hustle, and I over-achieve as a normal part of my daily life. But, when I get really weighed down, really burdened, then I crash hard. It is in this difficult times, hard and overwhelmingly challenging times that I recognize my own failures, my own faults, and my own fruitless ways. Yes, I realize that I can only do so much, and to continue to push on is akin to suicide. I mean, if I don’t rest, I will burn out. If I don’t stop and accept help, I will fall under the crushing weight. I am smart, no bones about it, yet I will often be the “trooper” and keep on “keeping on” until I can no longer keep anything up. I know this is truth, it always has been the case, and still I do the same repetitive behavior. I am consistent, to say the least.

As I face this mountain, this last mountain, I know I cannot scale it on my own. There is too much at stake to risk foolishness and arrogance. There is too much hanging in the balance, and thus, I must draw on His strength, and His power, and His authority to overcome, to succeed, to accomplish the tasks set before me.

I made the commitment today to let go, to let Him lead, guide, and provide for me (again, for the umpteenth time), and in doing so, I am resting in His hand of blessing, of mercy, of goodness, in and through my life. I need Him so desperately this good, good day. I cannot do it without Him.

As I think on my life, really think about the details, the changes, the ups and the downs, I know that He alone is my sufficiency. He alone has seen me through all of the difficulties, all the challenges, and as such, I can rely on Him to see me through to the end. I can place my hopes, my faith, and my trust in my Lord and Savior. He alone is worthy, and He alone is faithful. He can do the unthinkable, the impossible, the insurmountable. He can do it all, and I know that He will do it, He will keep His promise. He will be faithful. He will do as He has said. I can trust Him. I can rely on Him, and yes, I can abide in Him. Selah!

Moving On

As I move on today, I confess my utter helplessness to the Lord. I shout it to the mountains and I say that I am unable to do one more thing, to take on one more task. Yet, I believe and I agree with the very word of God that what I cannot do, He most certain can do. Yes, I believe that with God — NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE; ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I believe He can do it, and that He will do it. I am in His will, therefore, I am in His way.

In Closing

My prayer today is to accomplish everything He has in mind for me to do this good, good day. I let my task sheet go — and I trust Him. If He says to “rest,” then I rest. If He says to go, then I go. It is as simple as that…He is the One calling the shots, and I am endeavoring to listen. Yes, Lord, I am listening! Your servant is listening, Lord!

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