February 17, 2017

The Lord is Good

It is Friday - Again! Praise God for Fridays! I am so thankful that today is the last day of the work week, and that Monday is a holiday! Hooray! I expect to finish my dissertation (revisions) so I can rest up for next week. I have approximately two weeks to finish in order to make the deadline for review and defense. This means that with the final changes made today-Monday, my dissertation will either be given the “go or no-go" for defense in March. My prayer is for the defense to come the week before spring break. This would give me the entire week of spring break to make deficiency repairs, to engage a proofreader, and then to begin the arduous task of submitting my copy to ProQuest. My hope is that between now and the end of the month, my chair thinks my dissertation is in good enough shape to really defend. I am trusting the Lord for His provision of grace — an extra measure of grace — in order to finish strong and graduate on time. This is His work, so His timing is perfect. I believe it, and I claim it in Jesus' Name!

Moving Forward in Faith

So today, I woke up feeling as if I was being asked to take a major leap of faith. I have been working steadily on my project, and I have been managing my classes. I am stressed, of course, and the strain of managing so much work has taken its toll on me. Yet, I am still here — swinging — as they say. I am still hanging tough, and I am placing my faith, my whole kernel of faith, on the Lord. He is able to do this work. He is able to manage my needs. He is able to supply every want and need with sufficiency.

As I woke up, I couldn’t help but think about how fortunate I am to be alive. I mean, I am in one-piece, and thanks be to God, I am still able to mentally control my thoughts. I have had a life of stress, and I have suffered from mental exhaustion and anguish for now on 30 years. My brain has had to function through fog and fear, and in the end, there were times when I really thought I was going to lose control, I was going to go crazy. I know that sounds awful, but for someone that has struggled with mental issues, and I readily admit this, it is a constant fear that I am going to go insane. I know, I am not. I guess I just mean that I will someday lose my ability to think — to rationally, to logically, and to completely — be able to think, to process, to create, to develop, and to communicate. I don’t know why, but I have had this feeling lately that I am at the breaking point, mentally. I never imagined that getting a PhD would be so difficult. In truth, it is not that the degree is so difficult, rather it is all the extra stuff that goes on while you are getting the degree that becomes difficult. Consider it this way:

I teach 6 classes each semester
I care for my Mom (part-care) who has Alzheimers
I care for my Dad (part-care) who is disabled due to Post-Polio
I care for my college-aged son
I am almost finished with my PhD
I have no solid work — just adjunct — which is contractual
I am single, without any support other than what the Lord provides for me
I am menopausal, and that means my hormones are depleted, so my body is screaming for help

In all, I have stressors that deal with family life as well as stressors that are related to work, life, and the balance between the two. I am mentally overwhelmed. I am seriously depleted physically, and emotionally, well, I am at a point where I have pretty much shut down all my emotions just to manage these other things.

Spiritually, I am strong. Spiritually, I am a work horse, so to speak. I believe in faith that the Lord has a plan for my life, and that His plan is good. I believe the Word of the Lord, the testimony of the Saints, and in this way, I walk on in faith. I don’t mean to toot my own horn; no, not at all. I just mean that without my faith in God, I would not function. I would not be able to handle all of this. I would literally be falling apart. Instead, He has made this way possible. He has made it possible for me to work at this grueling pace, to deliver the goods, to meet each appointment, and to keep all of this rolling forward. How is this possible? It is only possible because He has determined for it to be so, and as a result, His will is coming to pass in and through my life. He has done this for me. He has made this all possible, and praise be to God, my life is GOOD. My life is so very good. I wouldn’t change one bit of it, save maybe less mental stress, nor would I want to change any of the issues, concerns or items on my to-do list. No, this is the life I want. This is the life He has given to me, and I readily, cheerfully, and with a grateful heart, accept it. He is good to me. He gives me good things, and I love Him deeply and devotedly. He is my ALL IN ALL.

Planning for a Future Life

I sit here today and I blog. I blog about the little things in my life. I blog about my blessings, my fortunate blessings, and I give Him thanks for the beauty with which He surrounds my life. In fact, today, as I was driving my son over to church so he could go with the Jr. High Group to Disneyland this weekend, I was thanking the Lord for the provision of this life. I mean, here is my son, aged 23, and the Lord has made sure that he is never far from church or the reach and influence of the church. My son has doubts in his faith. He struggles with normal young man issues, but he has remained a part of the local church since he was a child. He has continued to serve at church, to work at church, and to attend church. He is faithful. He is strong. He is so blessed.

As we were driving over to Scottsdale, he was telling me about the opportunities he will have to travel for school this spring. In March, he has at least two trips for music/performance as part of his scholarship commitment. He is touring, promoting the school, and as such, he is getting to travel and enjoy the freedom of being a young adult. God has provided such wonderful mentors for him at his school, and then He has provided strong young men to befriend him and encourage him. This, of course, was my prayer way back when. I mean, when I separated from my ex-husband, my biggest concern was my son’s spiritual welfare. The Lord has graciously provided a covering for him, and today, he is strong, determined, and well, so well.

I am confident that the Lord has a good plan for His life, and that plan will include music, musical direction, technical direction as well as teaching. He is working part-time as a teaching assistant, and now he is thinking he would like to become an adjunct instructor when he graduates next spring (2018). This is the Lord’s doing for certain. He has made this way possible, and praise be to God, I am rejoicing with the Saints and the angels in heaven that God’s will is being done in and through my son’s life as well as my own. He is so good to us! He is so very good to us!

My life plans are still in flux, but I know that the Lord intends to establish me as a teacher. I may not remain in Arizona, but for the near term, this is where I am to be settled. I still think about moving away, to a new place, but until the Lord opens that door, I will remain where I am — contentedly where I am — I should say. Thus, my life is planned according to His will, and that means that wherever He leads, I will follow. I can no longer see my life separated from my King, my Savior, and my Lord. He is everything to me, and without Him, I would literally fall a part, to pieces, I mean. I need Him to hold me together, and I thank Him for doing just that, for keeping my life — my whole life — as one happy, healthy, whole piece!

Today, thus marks a turning point for me. I had mentioned yesterday how I had to let things go and just accept the fact that I could not finish on my own. I had to let go of the intellectual desire to control the outcome, and as such, I have been able to accomplish much good work. Now, I must move on. Now, I must pick up my stake and move to the next spot in the road. The Lord has asked me to move, and I have agreed. I am moving on down the road, and I am making plans to be settled in this new place, this new spot for a while. I may remain in Phoenix or I may go some place else, but regardless of the physically location, I am mentally engaged and actively seeking His will. I am choosing His will over any desire I have, and in this way, I am saying that there will be no other way save His will, His way. I am bearing testimony that today, specifically, I walk out in faith. I honestly do not know how I will do what He is asking me to do, but I am being moved — pulled along by His merciful current — and soon there will be a resting place. Soon, I will find a little byway to sit and spend time resting. Until then, the current is swift and at times it appears dangerous. My Lord holds me tightly, and He keeps me afloat. Yet, I long for the still water, the place where I can simply bathe in the warmth of the sun while the water gentle moves by. Until that time, however, I cling to Him. I hold fast to what I know is the truth, and I do not let go. I must not let go. He will see me through, and in His way, I will arrive at that place of rest in one piece. I will arrive in one glorious piece, praise God!

Now, I must make ready for the changes that are to come into my life this good day. No matter what happens to me, I will stay steady, remain focused, and determine to complete the tasks He asks me to do. No matter what happens today, I will not let go of Him. I will hold on to Him, and I will trust that He will see me through the next one-two-three weeks before my final defense. He is good to me, so very good to me!

In Closing

Today, thus is a good day. I have completed this week, and I am ready for the weekend. I still have some prepping to do before class, but generally speaking, I am in such a good place. I am in such a very good place. My God has made me healthy. He has helped me overcome fear — the fear of change — and the fear of the unknown. He has made me strong, resilient and like the blessed Cedars of Lebanon — I stand tall, strong, and unbending. I am strong. I am healthy. I am good. He has given me a bright and beautiful future, and that future is filled with such hope.  Thus, as I prepare for this good day, I remember that He is in control of my future. I make no plans outside those that He has determined for me. I wait on Him to unleash His mercy, His grace, and His blessed goodness. I wait for Him to open doors and to move me through those open doors. I wait for Him to enable me to do the work He has planned for me to do. It is with His assurance, His promise, and His provision that I do all these things. I take no credit, no honor, no praise. I am thankful, grateful, but I give Him the praise, the honor, and the glory. He alone is worthy! He alone is so worthy to be praised!

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