July 28, 2017

Making Sense of Things

It is Friday, and well, I am thankful that the week has come to an end. Yes, Friday's are always wonderful, and even though my weekend never looks any different than my weekday, I am still thankful for the opportunity to have Saturday and Sunday as key rest days. Resting for me is always key, I should add. Lately, I have been feeling less than stellar, and between my sinus/tension/migraine headache and my recent bout with food poisoning, let us just say that I really need some downtime where I don't have anything to do but REST! Unfortunately, that blessed prospect is not on my radar this week. I am in week 6 of my Regent courses, and my master teaching course at ASU wraps up on Sunday with a paper (of all things!) Plus, I have oodles of student essays and projects to grade, so really there will be no rest for the weary, as they say.

I am good, really, despite the fact that I am busy. I would say that right now, I am running on half-steam. I mean, after my hard push toward the finish line at Regent, I really collapsed this summer into a muddle of jello (or is that a puddle of jello?) I didn't see the whole decompression thing until it hit me sideways this past week or so. I was resting at night (mostly), but I would get up and simply keep on "going" all day long. Then earlier in the week (last week, I mean), I crashed. I just started to sleep in longer and longer, and frankly, I simply didn't feel well at all. It was like all the rush ran out of me, and I just sat down and couldn't move an inch forward. My whole body has reacted to this downtime, and for the first time in months, I am starting to feel more rested spiritually, I guess you could say. Physically, I need more time, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I am finally starting to feel like I am in the right place, and that I am moving at the right pace. Let me explain...

Plans and More Plans

A couple week's ago, I prayed earnestly for the Lord to provide some direction to me. I pretty much know where I am going (as in ministry, for example), and I have a good career in front of me (for the next 15-20 years). I am confused on whether to remain where I am, planted here in the desert of Phoenix or to pick up stakes (when I can) and move elsewhere. I've blogged about how my future is filled with such unknowns. If I was totally and completely content to remain in Phoenix, then this part of the puzzle would be settled. I mean, I am right where I am supposed to be. There would be no worry, concern or be fretting about next steps. I would stay in this house until I had to move, and by that mean, move to downsize or because my parents had to move to assisted living or another type of arrangement. Instead, there is this lingering doubt as to whether I am to stay here or not. First off, there is my desire to move some place moderate (a four-season climate). Secondly, there is the pull to move that I think is from the Lord. Third, there is some hesitancy regarding whether or not our homeowner will keep this house as a rental (my Dad feels the folks who own our house may be thinking of selling it). Last, there is the constant worry about my parents care because neither is able to really live well in this home (for now, we are okay, but I am not sure how long this will last). So, I have this feeling that the Lord is preparing me to move. I just don't know if it will be to a rental home or apartment in Phoenix or to purchase a home in another state.

As I prayed for clarification, my mind drifted back to conversations I had with the Lord many years ago. I have blogged about the fact that I have felt that He was asking me to move some 10 years ago, and how that it is 2017, my time in Phoenix is up. I never really explained why this is so, but suffice it to say, the Lord intended to move me east 10 years ago, but I would not go. Then He asked me to move in 2013, but I said no because my parents needed more care, they were downsizing, and well, I simply was afraid to go (both times, I said no because of fear). I made a deal with the Lord to remain in Phoenix through 2017, until I graduated from Regent, and now that this has happened, well, I believe He has said to me, "time is up, Carol. We need to go!" The problem is as I have shared -- I've got sticky situations all around me. My parents need some measure of care, my son is not finished with school, and I don't have a job that provides enough support so I can live on my own. Yet, the Lord seems to be saying to me, "Get ready. I am about to move you! With all this unknown, the feeling of being overwhelmed simply drenches me. I want to follow this time, and I believe I have conquered my fear. However, I still don't see a way clear. I still am unsure if what I hear is true, and if the Lord really does want to move me for ministry and not for a job.

So today, as I was sitting at my computer, I started to think about why I feel the way I do. Why am I so undone today? Why do I feel so unwell? I know part of it is that bout with food poisoning, and I know a part is my lingering tension/migraine headache. However, there is something else at work, some lingering doubt, some feeling of uncertainty, and I cannot get hold of it. I need to do so in order to feel at peace again, but for now, I simply feel unsure of myself. Will I be offered that full-time online position? Will the other school that has stalled employment finally get me approved to teach? Will I have to teach my ground campus classes again this semester? Or will I pack up my things this fall and move to this unknown place where the Lord intends to plant me for good? It is all too much for my pea-brain to handle. I need His grace. I need His comfort. I need His clarification and His peace. I need Him to tell me straight out -- "This is the place, Carol. Make yourself ready," so that I will feel good about what is to come. Yet, I am not sure if this will be or if the Lord will tell me ahead of time or just let things move me along like a rush of water.

I guess I am panicking over the latter. I mean, the Lord knows how much I "need to know," and how I don't handle change well (even if I think I am getting better at it). I really would love to have an Oracle where I can just get the answers! LOL! Thankfully, He wants to develop our trust, and the only way to do that is to keep things from us. Things, I mean, as in details! The Lord is good to us. He knows what we can and cannot handle, so I am resting in His will right now. I may not know the details of His plan, but I have confidence that He does have a plan for me. He has a way for me to go, and that way is a good one. He is good to me, so very good to me!

In Closing

As I close this short post today, I am reminded that not everything we feel is accurate. Sometimes we just feel because our emotions are waning or our situation is trying or we are being hard-pressed by our enemy. Sometimes we think something is true when it is not. And, sometimes we simply feel sad, alone, or depressed because we are choosing to be sad, alone or depressed! Today is a good reminder that I do control my feelings. I can give into them or I can stand ready to defeat them. I can accept how I feel without lingering around in my feelings. I can choose to be joyous, faithful, and trusting just as much as I can choose to be miserable or unhappy. Today, I choose to trust the Lord for the unknown outcome. I trust Him with the details, and I let go my need to know at this point in time. He will tell me what I need to know when the time is right, and until then, I will rest in the fact that He has me well-covered. He is good to me. He is so very good to me!

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