These two pictures define the last few weeks for me. The first is something that I received in the mail. Notice how the stamp says, “Please do not bend,” and it has clearly been bent to fit inside my mailbox. The second picture is of the delicious crockpot meal that I put together one day last week, pulled out the refrigerator the next morning, and promptly turned to low. I would now like you to please turn your attention to the cord that I later discovered was not plugged into the wall. Yes, December has been one of THOSE months.
Frustrations like these any other year of my life would have been like an annoying rain shower on an otherwise sunny day. But, when you factor in the holidays and the intense roller coaster of emotions that come with the grieving journey, the skies turn dark and a tornado looms in the distance. How we choose to deal with the rain showers in our lives often predicts how we will deal with any tornados that may pop up.
I can’t say that I have always dealt with rain showers appropriately. I prefer for things to be planned, organized, and to run smoothly. However, life doesn’t always cooperate and I find that to be annoying. I like to be in control of everything.
Somewhere along the line though, God put certain people in my life to help me realize that I can’t and shouldn’t try to control everything. I learned that I needed to trust God and allow Him to guide me through the easy situations so that I would have the courage and strength to allow Him to guide me through the horrible ones. I am thankful that I learned this lesson long ago even if I still haven’t completely mastered it.
The month of December hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. To be completely honest, the strong emotions prompted by the holidays have pretty much put me in survival mode. Despite this, I am still trying daily to turn my attention to God and trust Him. It is so hard to do this when I am living a life that looks very different from what I had hoped for this year.
I can recall reciting the following verse from Proverbs over and over in my head in high school and college when those small rain showers would come through on an otherwise sunny day:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge to him, and he will make your paths straight.
This year, this verse takes on new meaning. Leaning not on my own understanding and trusting in God has taken more strength than I could have ever imagined. It has left me completely exhausted. Thankfully, we don’t have to walk our journey of faith alone. We need only to ask and God will pick us up and carry us. So this December He is carrying me because the skies are dark, and there is a tornado looming on the horizon. He is my strength and what keeps me moving forward each day.