Life is in God’s Hands. I have to remember that. I have to keep repeating it to myself. I have to remember, God is in control. Life is in God’s hands.
And He knows what has happened.
And He knows what is happening now.
And He knows what will happen tomorrow
And the next day, and then next, and the next…
My last post was too much about my complaining. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately that Friday I fell momentarily into the trap of seeing what is wrong with my life rather than what is right with my life. Sometimes life gives us one blow after another after another and we quickly become unfocused on the Lord and our blessings. That happened to me for a few hours last week.
Luckily for us, God never forgets or becomes unfocused.
After that last post, I decided to research the changes the College Board has announced it will implement in the new SAT and received another blow.
I have worked SO hard to find a job, to make a way for my boys and for myself.
In an effort to find employment after my husband left suddenly, I taught myself material and worked really hard to obtain almost two years worth of college credits to receive my 7-12 math certification (I already had a Masters in Curriculum Development, but my elementary education certification had expired. I hoped 7-12 math would be more marketable even if it was much more difficult). I have applied to almost 200 teaching jobs throughout my state. I have taught summer school at an inner city district driving 90 minutes each way. I now teach high school equivalency classes at a local community college.
But I have found no full time job.
And so I started my own business teaching SAT and ACT college test material. I have written a 160-page book I use for the SAT classes and know the test questions inside out and backwards. I’d do pretty well if I had to officially take these tests now! Oh to be able to do life over again. How much I would change – right down to how I’d have prepared for the SAT! 😉
My test prep business is by far my most lucrative endeavor so when I heard the College Board would be introducing changes to the SAT, I readied myself to meet those challenges.
But I was unprepared for the challenge the College Board would present me with.
The College Board announced it would provide free test prep through a major online test prep company.
Now, I know I offer service and personal attention those big test prep companies just can’t match, but I had also hoped to offer webinars and more online tutoring, classes, and test prep support. The problem is that I can’t offer those services for free, and, by offering free SAT prep, the College Board has dashed my hopes of being able to support my children through my college test prep business and also dashed my dreams of working more during the day and being home more at night for my boys.
I wanted to cry. I still do.
And then I got an email from my ex, and I just don’t understand him. I’ve pretty much quit trying. I don’t want to have the mind or the heart that would understand whatever goes on in his head right now; he is just one more issue I have to deal with.
And I’m tired. And I just wanted to cry. And I just wanted to give up.
And that night, feeling totally spent and grateful to have a night without tutoring (Thanks to the March 8th SAT – or is it thanks to God’s timing? 🙂 ), I sat down with the boys to watch a movie.
The movie was Facing the Giants, a Sherwood Baptist, production. Sherwood Baptist, has produced a number of Christian movies including its first public production, Flywheel and hits such as Fire Proof and Courageous.
I’m shamelessly plugging those movies. I wish there were more Catholic films; Catholics can learn a lot about advancing the Word of God from our Christian brothers and sisters. In the meantime, as a mom of active boys none of whom will sit through preachy stuff, especially preachy stuff without a plot, action, and humor, I love these movies!
As a single woman thinking about dating again, hopefully in the not-too-distant future when my long-awaited annulment finally goes through (please pray that it does!), it is helpful to me to know there are good, strong, family-oriented, faith-filled men such as Alex and Stephen Kendrick and Ken Bevel whom we were honored to meet, and that dating for the sake of dating is not really what the boys or I need or want, that I really need to wait for a God-focused man this time.
Anyway…back to my point.
I felt drained. I didn’t want to cook so we splurged on pizza (again). The boys were playing Scrabble. I wasn’t. I just couldn’t concentrate.
Fears about what would happen to us crowded my mind.
How would I provide for these kids?
How would I feed them?
How do I help the younger ones when I’m gone so much?
How do I send Troy to college?
I cannot possibly work more than I already am. How do I do this?
Even now, the questions, the fears, the unknown still makes me force back the tears that threaten to overflow and the bile which churns in my stomach.
I could only summon the energy to watch a movie with my boys, and so I asked if they wanted to watch Courageous or Fire Proof thinking I needed to be reminded that there are strong, good men in this world, thinking my boys needed to see faith-filled, family oriented role models – men they could be one day if they chose to be.
But Noah had other plans.
My football loving 10-year old wanted to see Facing the Giants.
And maybe that’s what God knew I needed that night.
The main character in the Facing the Giants faces one hardship after another – problems with his house, his job coaching a losing football team, his dying car, conflicts with friends. Finally, perhaps the most devastating blow was the infertility he faced and the discovery that the infertility was due to a condition in him, leading him to question his manhood.
I watched the movie, knowing it is JUST a movie, but at the same time, it reminded me that, even when life sends one blow after another, we are incredibly fortunate
for the blessings we are given each day,
for the love of amazing family and friends
for the opportunities I don’t see yet but that are out there – somewhere
For the God who holds everything in His hands.
For the God who knew I’d face these crises long before I saw them coming.
For the God who holds our destiny in His hands.
For the God who sees things I cannot see.
For the God who maintains control of my life even when I forget and fight for control myself.
For the God who knows that I need to recenter Him in my life again, to read my Bible more, to pray with earnest, to sit quietly, to listen to what He whispers into my life.
For the God who loves me despite my faults: no matter what my job or how much I work or how much (or how little) income I make or how stupidly I worry about what I will do for more boys!
For the God who can do so much more than I ever could dream.
For the God who already has!
I must remember that life is not entirely up to me, that I do not bear the weight of the world on my shoulders, that we are never alone.
And so, despite the touch of anxiety that I feel even today and with my refocused direction, despite the nauseousness I experience when I wonder what will become of us, despite the temptation to give in to feeling overwhelmed and incapable, I am feeling better.
Life may seem overwhelming sometimes. I do not see a way out right now, but I will not give up. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I will keep standing up. I will keep (trying) to do the next right thing.
And when I fall, I will get back up. Like I am now (Thanks Lord! 🙂 )
I will not try to lead God. I will follow Him in His path, and I will trust in His will and whatever happens, I will deal with it when it comes.
Me and God – together. Focused. Strong. Capable. Forever.
My Life is in God’s Hands & With God, all things are possible.
What are you facing that seems overwhelming? How is the concern of the world threatening to pull you down? We all have those moments. Have you handed your situation over to God or have you, like me last week, given in to the negativity? I’d love to hear your thoughts and your coping strategies.