That question has been playing in my mind for days now and I haven't been able to answer it. Two of my kids have been almost non-stop sick lately. I found out yesterday that my son has strep throat. His lymph nodes on his neck are swollen beyond anything I've ever seen. On the same day, my baby started her fourth antibiotic which consists of a rocephin shot a day for three days in a row to try once more to beat this ear infection. Over the weekend, she had roseola, which he also had a week ago as well. To add to this madness, I leave for Texas this Sunday for work and will be out for three weeks minus the weekends. I have allowed all of this to get to me.
I've been convicted lately of letting my circumstances control how I feel and how I act. The more I'm convicted, the more I seem to make the same mistake.
I spent the morning looking for a new perspective, to help me change this way of thinking where I let my circumstances control my mood, mind and heart. I got upset with my husband for a conversation that went sour all because I was trying to learn a new perspective. But then...God worked one of His miracles in me. He didn't give it to me as I thought He would, He knew a better way.
I was speaking to a coworker this morning who expressed to me how she is freaking out about the upcoming trip. She doesn't have kids but she has a ranch where she and her husband raise bulls. When she told me how overwhelmed she is feeling, I heard the Lord say, " If it wasn't this, it would be something else Jennifer." I said it back to him. "If it wasn't this, it would be something else." Then I said it to her. She replied, " I would rather it was THAT."
Did you get that? Not only did He show me something, but she also would prefer my circumstances. As I play His words over and over in my head, I come away with several lessons.
- Things in life will never be perfect and I will never have control of my circumstances to the degree that I feel comfortable. This perspective is HUGE for me.
- If I didn't have kids to care for and a job to balance, it would suck something terrible. I could have a completely different life and things would still go wrong.
- I am reminded that I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't want the life without kids (or even the ones I have) or without the very husband I have by my side. I couldn't imagine things being better if they were any different than the life I have now. I can't imagine not having THIS life.
But I was made aware that I needed a change here over a week ago. He's been ever so gently asking, "Why are you so unhappy?" I would give it a little thought and after not knowing how to respond, move on to something else. Last night, while reading a pamphlet by Beth Moore, He spoke to me. Beth's book is about spiritual armor and one of her points is that people who are moody and unhappy should evaluate themselves before the attitude leads to greater mistakes. As I read her words over and over, I knew I couldn't escape it anymore. I wanted to overcome this right then.
But it doesn't work that way, does it? Old habits die HARD.
I ask myself again, "Why, Jennifer, are you so unhappy? You've been given SO much." And I finally have an answer, as ugly as it is. I allow my circumstances to rule over me. I don't "feel" like being happy when things go wrong. I like to be in control of my circumstances because it makes me feel better. When I said those words to myself, I heard the words "me" and "feel" louder than anything.
I have the answer I have been so urgently seeking and that's just how He works. We seek, He shows. We may not always like the answer though. If the Bible had a disclaimer, my guess is that it would read:
"Caution: The content inside inside is the truth. The truth had been known to provoke a wide range of reactions from deep emotional pain to outright rejoicing, but it WILL set you free from any bondage that you are in, if you will accept it."I'm sure that it will take time, practice and more mistakes before my old perspectives die and those godly views rule within me. But I know that I wouldn't want my life to be any other way. With that said, I'll take the not so good with the great I've been given. For who am I to expect perfection, even though I've been given more than most and certainly more than I deserve.