In the beginning of this week, a light jacket or long-sleeved shirts was enough to be comfortable outside. This morning I woke up to snow! It’s a good thing we didn’t put away the brushes we use to clean off the cars yet. I had many miles to go before I could rest today.
Our best laid plans often don’t come about. When I entered college, my "plan" was to immediately get my graduate degrees and open a counseling center for adolescents (yes, there is only one "l" in counseling even though it looks weird. I looked it up to be sure). I figured they were the lost souls because they weren’t cute like little kids and adults had many options.
Well, I finished my degree in psychology with an unofficial minor in health education and set out to conquer the world. However, I impulsively made some decisions that sidetracked "the plan." Marriage, child, divorce, single parenthood, remarriage and another child caused me to set aside the dream.
In my mid-thirties, I earned my teaching certificate for grades K-8 and taught for one year. The principal decided it was not my bag. He liked sweet young things and, honestly, I could have tried harder. The conditions were not all that good but it was a major blow to me.
Unable to find another teaching position, I took on office work which is something I could always lean back on. Then, after about four or five years, I entered a deep, clinical depression. So bad that I eventually qualified for permanent disability. Definitely not part of "the plan."
A full year was spent "on the couch" fighting anxiety and watching home decorating and cooking shows. I never "planned" to get off that couch. I did, though. Then the anorexia (third bout). Then more treatment.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity."
Since I was 16 years old, I have counted on God. I have never wavered in my belief in Him. The mistakes I made were made because I didn’t include Him in "my plans." I was a spoiled child blaming everyone but myself for the situations I found myself in and self-loathing and self-pity were the result.
After Isabella was born, I realized I had to get my act together. I was already doing fairly well but wasn’t experiencing joy in my life.
Three months after her birth I gave up smoking. A year and a half after her birth, when I began to lose my smile again, I decided to continue in a therapy I had started with a qualified person from my church. (The therapy is based on the book "Walls of My Heart" by Bruce Thompson.) What took one person three months to do has taken me over a year and a half to and I am not through yet! However, I have found my smile and I can truly tell you….
I have joy!
Deep down, earnest, sometimes giddy joy! Where before, I was unapproachable and people told me they were afraid of me (they told me after they got to know me), now they seek my company! I still don’t like mornings but at least I am no longer annoyed that the world still exists when I wake up…I still need my cup of tea and quiet before I am approachable.
Becoming a Christian doesn’t guarantee you will have an easy life. Nor does it guarantee you will be happy. It guarantees you a place in heaven and the opportunity to be joyful. Once I put my life in His hands and got over my self-pity, God was able to do a wonderful work in me. And He continues to. I don’t know if this makes sense to you but it is the main reason I write. To share Him and the transforming power He has if we only allow Him in.
The snowfall could have dampened my plans but it didn’t. Although it looked bad, it was gone in hours. "The Plan" has still not come into fruition but I am seeking a better one. Counseling? Maybe. I’ll let Him guide me.
It took me thirty plus years to make Him the center of my "plans" – although I slip up a lot. For others it takes an instant to relax in His arms. Oh, what a stubborn woman I am! Oh, what a patient Father He is!
Do you believe in the supernatural? Absolutely. I know there is spiritual warfare between good and evil going on all the time. However, I read the end of the book and I know who wins! (I do not believe in ghosts but angels and fallen angels or demons.)
Do you believe in coincidence? Not any more. That annoying thing at home that made me late might have kept me from getting into a car accident. Or worse.
Do you put your keys in the same place every time you come home or are you always searching for them? Mother got me into the habit of placing them in the same place when I was still living at home. It is a good thing.
Do you habitually turn off lights when you leave a room? Once again, Mother training kicks in and I do. However, getting The Boy to do it…..I make him get up to turn them off even if he is settled in and I am going in that direction anyway.
Have you become more "green" since the price of petroleum products went up? As a matter of fact, yes. Even though the prices have gone down, I am still driving differently to consume less gas. I’ve always kept the heat low but have lowered it even more. Finally, I have been remembering to bring cloth tote bags to the grocery store. I’m trying
Have a blessed weekend, all. Hope I didn’t go on too much but my fingers seemed to do what they wanted to do today! hugs, gail