Tag Archives: plan

Look Back

Life was falling apart, husband said he wants a divorce.  The very night her husband told her his plan, a member of the family called offering her a job in his business because other family members that worked there got a job and other reasons…and offered her a job.  Feeling like it was a meant to be thing, she accepted and moved to their little town to begin the job and a new phase of her life.  She thought it would be wonderful, family close by, actually working for them.  She needed support and if the truth were known, she needed help.  Her son had many health issues from birth and this kind of support would be a dream come true.

It didn’t exactly turn out like that and after a year or so the family member told her he was closing down the business and she would have to get another job but not to worry, he would help her find one.  Because he was very well known in the little town, he asked someone who knew someone who knew someone at the local hospital who told him to have her apply for a Medical Transcription job.  She laughed out loud.  That’s a skilled profession, she had no experience and hadn’t even worked in a doctor’s office.  Impossible.  Ridiculous.  Just trying to get rid of her she thought. But because he pushed, she applied…and got the job.

She remembers sitting at a typewriter bawling, trying not to throw up because she was sure this was absolutely impossible.  “My God, what have I gotten myself into”, she kept saying to herself.  She couldn’t understand a word the doctor was saying and her very job was to type what he was saying!  To make matters worse, the department head told her, “you’ll never make it, I’ll have you gone in 30 days.” She made it very clear she was pressured into hiring her because a board member recommended me (because of the family member) and in a small town, that’s pretty much the way things went.  Nobody was happy with that situation, least of all the woman at the job.  She didn’t want to be there as much as her boss didn’t want her to be there.  A host of crazy things happened but she persevered…

Almost 30 years later, here I am, working at home as a Medical Transcriptionist.  That job (that I was thrust into because of circumstances beyond my control; the job I hated at first) has provided for me and my son.  Not only that because I work at home, I can work around what Matt needs to do – his work, appointments, and things he enjoys in his personal life.  Because he’s site impaired and doesn’t drive, he’s blessed to have a pretty normal and free life.  The kind of work I do allowed me to move back home to Kingsport, which was my heart’s desire.  I can make a living doing something I absolutely love (even though I hated it in the beginning) for an Australian company that has turned out to be the best, most enjoyable job I’ve ever had.

As I remembered all the details that brought me to this moment, I was brought to tears.  The beginning of how I got here was horrible.  I almost quit several times and in between then and now, a lot has happened, good and bad but I stuck with it, sometimes because I had to; other times because I wanted to.

The word that immediately comes to mind is PROVISION.  See, way back then when I thought my life was falling apart, God had a bigger plan.  Even though He was the last thing on my mind at that time, I was foremost in His.  When all that happened, I was lost and, if the truth be known, thought there was absolutely no hope for any kind of halfway decent life at all.

Your life may be crashing right before your very eyes.  You may think you won’t survive what you’re going through; you may hate what you’re doing and are looking for a way out.  Hang on a little bit longer.  Trust God and let your faith in Him grow stronger.   Do what you can do and trust Him for the rest.

Look back for a minute and see how far you’ve come.  Friend, none of it is by accident or happenstance.  Like me, one day you’ll look back and see His presence, love and provision for you every inch of the way.

Jeremiah 29:11-13; Isaiah 43:10

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Killing Me

I don’t like my perspective today.  I don’t like what I think will happen, what I see and what I feel.  I don’t like me or anything about me today. So I’m not doing it anymore.  I’m going to kill myself. I don’t have the desire to deal with me or “this” anymore.

I’m going to decide to trust God and what He says about me – that I’m cherished, beautiful, and the apple of His eye.  I’m going to believe He has a great plan for me, plans to prosper me.  He has hope for me and since I don’t (today), I’m going to keep moving on what He says and act like I believe it.  He’s my willpower and energy today because this ole gal is dead.  I’m choosing to “kill” her and not do anything, say anything or believe anything she says.  I’m living for and BY Him.

Some days that choice…that sacrifice is more significant than others.  Some days it’s easy and we live subconsciously doing our normal things without giving them a thought.  Other days we just don’t want to get out of bed.  Whether we’re going through something or recovering from having gone through something, some days we may not want to.

Even on good days, strong days, we should get ourselves out of the way and live for Him as that puts us in a different place, a better place…a place outside ourselves.  During those times, everything has more purpose and meaning and we see it’s really not about ourselves at all.

Killing ourself isn’t such a bad thing if it means sacrificing our wants and desires for Him and what He wants for us which is better and greater than we can imagine.  I’m willing to believe that and try it again today…are you?

Psalm 54:6 “Willingly I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name O LORD, for it is good.”

WHY Am I Here?

I walked in to another Friday afternoon/evening at the very busy grocery store where I work. I was so tired…kind of wishing I could just have a lazy day.  I discovered my position for the shift would be “the cage” (as we call it).  That’s an odd position with sometimes unusual people frequenting that register.  It’s also kind of isolated from the bustle of the rest of the store as it is kind of an “express” check-out.

I wondered why today of all days, I was placed there.  I mean, what was I there for?  We all do that from time to time…why do this and why do that, the result is going to be the same.  Same, same, same.  Blah, blah, blah…

My very first customers were two young women, both with young children.  One mom had an almost 3-year-old in the buggy.  They both were buying baby food and formula.  While checking the other mom out (which required a manager) the other mom told me her son was “special needs”, blind.  She proceeds to tell me their story – which eerily paralleled mine and my son’s – with all the familiar struggles.  I told her a little of the story of my son’s birth and we both teared up because they were so similar.

She told me she knew her son was her “angel” because it took him having him with all the issues he had to meet God.  I had to fight back tears as I listened because I’ve said that about Matt a thousand times, even way before I was saved.

She shared with me all the never-things she was told her son would experience and I told her to not listen that anything was possible with God, to keep going forward with Him and believing He was in control.  I told her about them saying that if my son lived to be a year old he probably would never walk or talk, that he was now almost 33.  The other young woman jumped in and said her child was developmentally delayed and told me of the negative and bleak picture doctors and specialists had painted for her baby’s future.

Boom.  There it was.

Had I not been assigned that particular position at that particular time I would have missed meeting these women.  I wouldn’t have had the chance to let them “see” down the road what is possible in their children’s future when their present was so bleak and uncertain.  That’s why I was there. Take it back a little further – had my life not fallen apart and I hadn’t applied and got hired there, I would have missed that golden moment where God met us…in the grocery store.

It occurred to me, because one of the managers was there – that I could have…maybe SHOULD have…kept my mouth shut, but I didn’t.  God’s teaching me that EVERY single encounter is not by chance and with every encounter comes an opportunity to speak of what He’s done in my life. THAT is why I’m there.

That’s why YOU are where you are too.  You don’t have to preach, you don’t have to quote scriptures, you just need to speak.  Tell it.  Tell how God has brought you through.  I dare say, every single person I meet when I am behind that register is going through something awful.  Some are hanging on by a thread and others are on their way to giving up and giving in.  You never know what a positive, God-led word will do for someone.  That’s why you’re there!

That’s why on my worst days, no matter how I feel I’m going to choose to believe there something much bigger and grander going on than just working at a grocery store and I look for those precious moments through which I see His hand.  Someone needs to know it’s going to be okay.  Someone needs to just be seen and heard; someone needs to be smiled at made to feel like they matter and someone going through something you have already been through needs to know someone understands.

It’s not about us at all.  It’s about them and showing them who God is and what He has done (Isaiah 43:10, Genesis 50:20).  So if you’re feeling like you don’t know why you’re where you are offer up a prayer to God to be used and watch what happens.  Be an encourager; be a light.  That’s why you’re here!

Convinced because I’m Compelled.

I’m compelled to eat peanut butter because I’m convinced it’s good. I sleep because I’ve been convinced it’s necessary to rest. I’m compelled not to walk down the middle of a busy street in the dark with dark clothes on because I’m convinced I wouldn’t live through it!

Why do you do what you do? Out of necessity, because it’s what’s expected? Some things are unavoidable – we have to do them to live. What about the things we do out of choice, why do those? Something had to convince us to do them. We try new things and decide we’re going to do them because we enjoy them, because they’re right…then others are a one time deal.

Taking inventory is sometimes a painful thing. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place we never intended to be because of things we never intended to do. Look back at your life. Has it turned out to be what you thought it would? When traced back to the beginning the why can be a surprise.

I started writing when I was 12 to deal with my pain and found it was therapeutic. It served the purpose of getting the poison out so it wouldn’t fester and poison me. What I write today in no way resembles what I wrote then. The reason I write has changed. Back then, I didn’t want anyone to see it because it was ugly and personal. Now I write with specific intent to share. I WANT others to read because I want others to see what I’ve learned. I want to bless others with God stories and lessons. It’s not about me anymore.

I’ve published three books that few have bought. Should I stop writing and blogging? Maybe…but I can’t because I’m compelled to write. I have to write whether anyone takes the time to read or not! I’d love to make a living at this but I don’t see that happening. I am convinced I have some good stuff to say because God compels me to write and share with you.

I’m convinced God has given me the gift of simplicity in conveying Him in everything. I’m not a scholar or expert in God or in life and certainly don’t think I’m best-seller worthy author. I DO think He has taught me life lessons in the simplest ways and I think that’s priceless. I’m convinced we ALL need God to live everyday life because He simply makes everyday life better. So I’m compelled to write what He shows me and share it with anyone who will read.

I thought about stopping. I thought about how hard it is for me to make arrangements to travel to speak and sell books- the packing and planning, the driving, the money it takes, the arrangements for the critters, my son, etc…do I really want to put myself through that? WHY do I put myself through it? Wouldn’t life be simpler just to quit? I’m often asked how much money I make (that seems to be the number one question) and what I get out of doing all that. You’d laugh if I told you the money part – it’s the other question that keeps me going: what I get out of it; that’s the part I love.

I see women lift up their heads thanking me for coming because my telling what God’s done in our lives encouraged them, changed them, gave them courage to believe their lives would get better. I’ve found myself to be lifted and encouraged when someone else is blessed. For me, that’s where it’s at. I’m compelled to keep on keeping on because I’m convinced I have keep writing, keep talking and keep believing God is good and it’s not about me.

It’s okay to inventory life and get rid of what’s not working or unhealthy. It’s okay to listen to others advise what they think is best but be honest with you when considering what you’re doing. Are you convinced you’re doing it right for you? Do you have to do what you’re doing? Is it such a part of who you are that you’d be a “lesser” you if you didn’t do it? Is God in that part of you, does it make you feel closer to Him or father away? In addition to the basic “is this good or bad” those are the inventory questions I ask myself.

I guess the bottom line is being convinced, right? If you’re convinced you’re compelled. Even when it’s hard and there are costs and sacrifices associated you HAVE to do it. That’s the way I feel about writing, about speaking…and about peanut butter.  😉