Saturday, July 27, 2013

Is this what God had planned?

"I'm praying and trusting and thanking God that today will be exactly what He has planned for me. So far, that hasn't made it any easier. But He never said it would be easy. He just promises He will be with me and that His way is the right one for me. I believe that. I hope and pray my attitude and actions will match my belief by time I leave the house!"

I posted that on Facebook Wednesday morning as I continued to battle frustration and negativity, despite my supposed decision and hope over the weekend that I had turned the corner toward a needed attitude adjustment.

My work shift had ended early Tuesday, when my superviser, probably aware that for a day and two-thirds I had been on edge and overreacting to things, suggested I take advantage of a somewhat caught-up moment and go home. I tried to argue with her, among my reasons being this would put me out in traffic at 4:50 p.m. -- potentially the worst of rush hour. But in a moment of sanity and clarity, I realized maybe she wasn't trying to punish me or put me in time out, but instead was doing what she herself would do. And so I left, and traffic wasn't all that bad (although I did observe what appeared to be some road rage invovling a couple of drivers), and it was nice to be home early.

But when Wednesday morning came, the negativity and frustration were back, and my efforts to overcome them were having no effect. Nor did my prayers seem to. The Facebook post was a plea for additional prayers, and they came.

Prayers and support came, and my attitude was better at work, though stll far from what I would like it to be. But I guess I saved the worst of it for choir practice, where some unusual circumstances seemed to mirror part of the situation at work that is so frustrating to me. (It has to do with how time is used.) I felt resentful and crabby. And for some reason, in those three days especially, my filter for hiding my feelings was not working very well.

Vacation Bible school was going on at church, and my spirit was lifted a little to see all those energetic, cheerful kids and adult teachers and volunteers. But that also made me feel guilty, because I hadn't done even one thing to help.

After I got home, I got an email from my sister-in-law, who had been in a wreck that totaled her car and left her battered and bruised but nothing broken, cracked or concussed. The night before, I had learned a brother-in-law had to get stitches after a farm accident. I offered prayers for all of these -- and noted that I had slacked off of praying regularly for family members.

Several times during that day, I found myself wondering: Is this really exactly what God had planned for me? I followed the wondering with continued prayers and expressions of trust and thankfulness, even though I had my doubts.

I guess I still have my doubts. To me, it looks more like God has good plans for me, and I keep messing them up. But I still believe He promises to be with me even when I lose focus and temporarily stray, and that He leads me back to His way, and that His way is the right one for me.

And in the days since, I've seen clearer evidence of that, which I hope to write about soon.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

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