I feel like for the last four weeks I've done nothing but rush and run and rush some more.
I made decisions...took leaps of faith...and God opened doors just when I thought I was going to hit another wall.
My journal has been full of questions like, "Am I moving forward when I should be standing still?"
"Should I be stepping out in faith or should I be waiting on the Lord?" "Should I be seeking more counsel or searching more Scripture?" "Am I discontent or being moved by the Spirit?"
And honestly, a lot of the counsel I got was contradictory...like those questions.
I decided to take steps forward and pray, "What now, Lord?"
And the Lord answered.
Just when I thought that time was up God flung open a door, and I grabbed my children's hands and jumped through it.
About three weeks ago I saw an ad for an English teacher position in a great school district. On Wednesday I applied for it, on Friday I interviewed for it, on Monday I accepted it, and on Wednesday I started it. It was the craziest seven days!
So now my children and I have moved (sorta) and I have started teaching sixth-grade English. It has been exciting but absolutely and thoroughly exhausting!
There doesn't seem to be time to do anything but work, drive children around, be with my children, and do the regular everyday stuff of living.
I'm ever so grateful though. God is so good. I once again feel like David who was in awe of God's goodness to him and his family.
"Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O Lord GOD. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears" (2 Sam. 7:18-22).
I so often feel overwhelmed by God's goodness. I'm thankful that even when I struggle with trusting Him about things...when I feel afraid, anxious and frustrated...He doesn't fold His arms, shake His head, and say, "Well, if you aren't going to trust Me, then you can just sit there and I'm not gonna do a thing for you."
Instead He looks on me "according to [his] own heart" and does what He does best...loves me and takes care of me and all my stuff.
It is in these moments when I wonder why I struggle so...why were the last few months so full of difficulties...why can't I just trust Him?
I think I could say that I'm a lot like the father with the sick child who pleaded with Jesus, "I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 8:24)
I believe God answers prayer, and I believe God has absolutely only our best in His plan, and I believe God loves me more than I can imagine, but I know from experience that sometimes the plan hurts. The plan can be quite difficult....excruciatingly difficult. I know that sometimes the answer is no or not yet. I know that sometimes God lets us wait so we learn patience and trust...so our faith can be strengthened in the process.
And here I am...I want quick solutions, fast answers, easy plans and some peace and rest in the process.
Who doesn't want those things, right?
But God desires us...not necessarily us doing something better or different or faster or quicker or more patiently or more kindly...although all those things can be very good. God wants ME. He wants all of me.
Me...the stressed single mom.
Me...the worried woman.
Me...the tense new teacher.
Me...the exhausted one. :)
I kept thinking while I was waiting for direction that I must have been doing something wrong...that I was too much of a mess, too anxious, focused on the wrong thing...that I was missing something. It was something I was or wasn't doing.
But God has reminded me once again that it is ME He wants. Me...in whatever goofy state I'm in.
There is so much beauty in that.
I don't have to worry or stress or fuss. I don't have to do or not do something. I don't have to think or be or say or not think or not be or not say something.
My life is not defined by me; it is defined by Him.
He is my life.
"Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:2-4; emphasis added).
I'm praying that I will remember these days of provision...that I will build a little place of remembrance in my heart and mind so I won't forget that even though I had to wait a bit and things were uncertain, God was faithful...as always.
Sue Birdseye is an author and single mom of five kids that range from 4 to 17 years old. Her book, When Happily Ever After Shatters (Tyndale House) is in bookstores. This is adapted from her blog, uptomytoes.com.
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