Ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right, that the whole world seems to be against you…that you’re God’s punching bag! Well, I had about 3 weeks of feeling that way.
Between problems with my car, house, & a savings account that was dwindling because of those two I really didn’t know how much more stress I could handle. Throw in the troubles that having a job naturally brings, bills that never seem to get paid & your body telling you its not feeling good…well…let’s just say my temper & my fuse were pretty short.
I prayed & prayed for some kind of break, some kind of peace, that never seemed to come. In fact, the stress seemed to heighten & I felt the most overwhelmed that I’ve felt in a long time. One morning I even had a 5minute crying session (okay, more like a temper tantrum) over the fact that I had burnt my breakfast toast…really???
I was diligent on doing my morning devotional’s, praying, & asking God to give me a break & it just didn’t come. And that, of course, led to more frustration & more aggravation. During my prayer-time I reminded God of his own words, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)…after all, they are HIS words…HIS promises…surely he’ll stay true to his word & honor them in my life. Okay, I knew during those moments I wasn’t presenting thankfulness & praise unto him, but why would I when I was going through such crap…crap that He could release me from & has chosen to pile more onto me. I was not a happy person!
Last Friday, September 21st, I had just picked up my car (after it was in the shop for 3 weeks) & was driving home.
“Stop & visit your Grandpa.”…the thought just popped into my head.
“No, its raining (like that really matters???) & I just want to go home.”…I’m sure I spoke this out loud because I tend to do that when anything pops into my head.
“Stop & visit your Grandpa”
“Okay, I’ll drive by & see if he’s home”…it really wasn’t out of my way, but chances are he was probably in bed. After all it was 7pm & he’s old, old people go to bed early.
Well, he was home & wide awake. We talked about my car & the repairs it needed, I told him about the fight I had with my dad the day before (after he was done laughing about it he said, “your dad’s proud of his kids. He’ll get over it.” As only a man that has weathered many disagreements with his kids over the years can say with confidence). We chatted a few more minutes about my dog & when he saw me reach for my Grandma’s blanket because I was cold he asked me if I knew what day it was.
“Its been 6months today since Grandma died.”
“Wow…yeah, I guess it has. I didn’t even realize it.”
“I miss my wife.”
And with that statement I started crying.
I realized something in that moment that completely changed my outlook on the last few weeks I had went through. I foolishly thought I had nothing to be grateful for…I was so overwhelmed & stressed out by the problems of LIFE that I forgot that I was LIVING.
That’s always worthy of thanksgiving.
Life isn’t always rainbows & unicorns (although, my head is usually filled with those things)…sometimes its stormy weather & piles of smelly crap. But you’re still alive, you’re still breathing, you’re still trying. God never promised it was going to be easy, just that he would never abandon you through the hard times.
The fact is, one day we’re all going to take our last earthly breath. One day, we’re all going to have to say goodbye to somebody that we love. In some part of the world, at this very minute, somebody is doing that exact thing. As long as you’re still breathing, there is thankfulness in that alone. No matter what you’re going through, maybe even more so during the hard times, you need to be grateful & focus on the good things that God has brought into your life. One of my favorite songs (and one that I had never heard until the days leading up to my Grandma’s death) is by Casting Crowns called, “Praise you in this storm”. It’s a song I find myself constantly singing, repeating the chorus over & over just to remind myself that I’m not alone…even when I feel like I am.
Life is so short…and it is so precious. And even if you feel you’re going through hell right now; that life is just beating you down, keep fighting because your life is worth it.
I miss my Grandma. I miss her everyday. She led a good life, but she also led a tough life. She fought “something”…some struggle, her whole life through; anxiety, depression…cancer. But she continued to fight. She never gave up because she knew as long as she was breathing, that meant she still had life.
So…bring on the stress. Bring on the struggles. Bring on the hardship. Because I know I can handle it. Just like I’ve dealt with issues, pain, & hardships before & have overcome-I’m equipped to handle it again & always. Life is stressful…life is overwhelming…but life is also amazing. I welcome whatever it throws at me.