It's been a while!
I feel like I'm nutshelling this, and I shouldn't be. They say BLog posts should be short to be read - ok, so read what you want, skim if you feel like it - I'm gonna take some time to spill. Not for my sake - but for the glory of the Lord. Through all of this, He has been my shield and protector, my strength and my rock. The only way you're going to see that is if I tell you the details of the last couple of weeks. That said - let's dive in :-)
As I noted above, work has been my greatest challenge the last few weeks, and especially the last couple of weeks. First there's the workload - which is really weighing me down. I feel like I'm doing two full time jobs (marketing and administration) and trying to cram them all into one. I'm terrified that the quality of my work will suffer as a result of trying to do too much - so I demand a little more out of myself. The down-side is, when I get pressured like this, I get flustered when others demand more out of me too - at least that's how I tend to perceive it (in the moment) when someone asks for a little favor - just an ounce of my time, when I'm already several pounds in debt. This can make me cranky, and I admit to allowing some crankiness to show through a couple of times in the last couple of weeks.
This is where God grabs ahold of me and says . . . "Who are you doing all this for?" and "Who are you relying on to get it done?" The answer to both questions, I know, must be my Lord Jesus Christ. When I come back to that, He pours out the peace that passes understanding. It's really amazing - the circumstances and demands don't change - but I do - and it's such a beautiful thing to see God do. We went through this lesson multiple times the last couple of weeks - and I have the feeling (knowing what's in store for me at work and knowing I don't know all of what's in store for me) this lesson will be repeated frequently in the days to come.
I was also tested in the area of patience. To be honest, I'm not sure how I did. I really tried to respond with patience, but I also know that every emotion I have shows on my face (never could get away with lying when I was a kid!) and I'm sure there was tension in my voice far too often. So, while I may have expressed patience by choice - the underlying emotion of frustration was probably all too evident to some of my co-workers. I'm sure this testing will continue in the coming days as well.
There was one day when, at the end of myself, I'd taken some time out in the break room to try and get a handle on things . . . ended up crying - which caused me some concern as I didn't want my co-workers to see this weakness. Once I'd gained control (fortunately no one came in the break room during my little break down) I headed back towards my desk and bumped into our Controller, Peggy. Peggy is not even close to Christian - she's a liberal naturalist, but a really nice lady and God has given me favour in her eyes. As I said, my emotions show all too well in my face - she immediately knew something was wrong. We had a brief chat in a far too public place, but it was an opportunity to witness. I had the priviledge of exposing the frailty of my humanity and confessing reliance on the strength of my God. Perhaps a seed was planted.
The second biggest challenge the last few weeks has been an unrelenting desire for family - not just for the company of my parents and siblings, though that has been a strong factor - but for my own husband and child. Especially a child. I suppose this is natural - I'll be 41 in less than 2 months. I'm not dating and there are no notable love interests, so not much hope of marriage any time soon - and in my theology, marriage precedes children by at least 9 months ;-) So I have this terrible sense of loss that keeps rolling over me at the worst possible times. My friends Josh and Bonnie have a beautiful 9 month old. They've been coming to Game Night regularly and are now coming to church and the adult fellowship group I'm in. I get to see their son a lot. It helps that he's about the same age as my nephew, Benjamin, who I miss desperately. It also helps to increase the sense of loss everytime they take him home.
I don't know why God allows this desire to remain, and worse, to grow, but I know He has a purpose and a plan. I trust His goodness and His care of me - to provide all of my needs and to do whatever is required to mold me more into the image of His Son. But this hurts. In general, I'm quite content in my singleness. I hope this craving dissipates soon - it only makes the difficulties at work more difficult to bear.
God has been generous - at work I have been given a helper (sort of - she will work part time and only a part of that time will be devoted to helping me). She's a real quality person to have on board and has already lifted some of the weight from my shoulders. This also means another person in our already snug (and noisy) office, but the additional challenge will be worth the additional aid.
Spiritually I've been given a church who's teaching is Biblically sound. I've been given a fellowship group made up of truly caring individuals. I've been given a Bible Study groups where I can build stronger relationships with other believers and where we can delve into the meat of the Word and hold each other accountable to it's truths.
Socially I've been given the best friends anyone could ever ask for. With them it's ok to be weak - they don't love me any less because of it. It's also ok to be strong - or stupid - or smart (aleck), or funny, or wild, or off-beat, or - - - Basically, it's ok to be myself! There are always hugs readily offered and accepted. There is so much love between us and our differences only make us stronger. And for some reason beyond my understanding, they actually seem to like having me around.
I've also been given a family that loves me and wants me. It's so nice to be wanted. Sometimes I feel so unnecessary or needed but not wanted or simply disposable. It's not that way with my family. They have worked very hard to get me to move closer to them (we are currently a great distance from each other) and are constantly bugging me to come see them :-) It's not possible at this time, but their efforts mean more to me than I can express.
So, through all the fiery trial, I have been sustained by His unwavering love and care. He has kept my mind together, kept me from falling into sin - which is typically where this kind of stress leads me - and given me the encouragement and support system I need to make it through. God never promised life as His child would be easy - in fact, He assured us it would be all the more difficult as Satan takes aim to destroy us - but He promised to carry us through. He has kept that promise in my darker days and I trust Him to continue His gracious provision in the days to come.
All praise and honor and glory are due to Him alone - my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer and friend, Jesus Christ.