I could entitle this blog "Losing a Child," or "Wisdom from a Wisdom Tooth," or maybe "'Til the Walls Fall Down." Over the past few weeks, I have been on such a roller-coaster ride of Personal Circumstance vs. Spiritual Walk, my head has begun to spin with messages to relate to you. But here I am, overflowing with joy in my new found stride with the One True God who never left my side through the battle, who rode that roller-coaster with me, and urges me to write and write and write so that I may, perhaps, inspire you to stand your ground. When the storms are raging all around... Praise it down and stand your ground.
The lessons keep coming. I had missed church for three weeks straight due to sheer exhaustion from my new third shift job, but God and I kept talking. At its core, this has been a "drying time" since being re-baptized on March 11th. God is setting my path in new and bold ways as if to say, "Okay, Danielle, now you're listening. It is time to get the job done."
Maybe there have been simple coincidences, but I don't believe in mere coincidence. I believe God. These lessons are bombarding my life - signs popping up everywhere. For instance, a simple lesson I learned on March 29th and 30th is "if something doesn't belong in your life, extract it." I had a Wisdon tooth bring me to the brink of insanity through the pain I endured. No drugs would even touch the pain. When the Oral Surgeon told me he couldn't see me until May 16th, I thought I'd die. While I waited for his office to call me back, I just prayed and prayed. The call came to come right over. In a moment, the tooth and the pain were gone. I praised God all the way home.
Kristen, our beloved god-child, whom we rescued from a neglectful home, left the day Ellen and I got baptized - March 11th. She didn't want to live by our rules anymore, as simple as they were: "Be home when you say you'll be home and call if you can't be home when you say you'll be home." But she is eighteen and is at that point where she thinks she knows everything and will not admit that she's ever wrong. I have grieved this loss as if I had lost my own child.
In my grief, blessings revealed themselves. Suddenly I had more time with my own children. Suddenly, my family and my husband flocked to my side and figured out where I needed help and how they could give that help. The biggest lesson: The pain that God endured every time I strayed from Him became very real to me. I now knew the pain God felt every time I chose sin over what God wanted for my life. This lesson sealed the deal for me. I will never stray again. I will never inflict this pain on my Father in Heaven who has done more for me than I will ever be willing to disclose. Pain turned to Blessing. Hallelujah.
Another lesson showed itself when Derek and I added up all of our "Bills for Immediate Needs" - car repairs, inspections, registrations, and Zoe's surgery which we found out our insurance only covers through "reimbursement." I had gotten a new job and certainly this was going to help, but there was no way that the paychecks would come before the due dates. But of course, with God, there is always a way.
We had applied for a Holiday Loan in December through our Tax service and were denied on some technicality. At that time we were told how much we could expect on our tax refund, and it was barely enough to cover our car expenses. Knowing we had to file, we scheduled our appointment to get our taxes done. Through some miracle - and I do believe it was God's miracle - we walked out of the tax office with a refund that took care of our cars, Zoe's surgery and then some. The lesson, as if I needed a reminder, See What God Can Do. That same day we were called for an interview with a magazine for an article on our Theatre Company. That same day, Ellen, who if you'll remember from an earlier post had been exhibiting signs of Attention Deficit Disorder, came home with an "Improved" Report Card. God basically said, "What Debt?" "What Struggle?" "What ADD?" all in one breath. Yes, see what God can do.
With this new job I got at 2.50 more per hour than I was making as Donut Girl, Derek can finally quit his second job. The pay equals what I was making at my old job and Derek was making at his second job, combined. Praise, Praise and more Praise.
Also, at this job, I have already been approached by four different people who want to know about my Faith. They started calling me "Sunshine" because I'm always smiling. Can you believe it? Me - Danielle "Murphy, the Cynic" Scott is revered as "Sunshine"??? Again, see what God can do.
And finally, "the sign" that some would dismiss as mere coincidence, but I took as my literal "Message from God." While on my lunch hour from my job, which I usually take around 3 a.m., I walk into Sheetz for a cup of coffee where I intend to sit and do my Devotions. This particular day, however, I don't have a Devotional with me, so I'm not sure what scripture to study. Right in front of me are these little plaques, if you will, with nice sayings on them. And there before me stands the one which brings the tears to my eyes: "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6
This is the prophecy Pastor Bond spoke over Derek and I last year at about this time. In all of my turmoil, instead of wailing "Woe is Me," I have finally come to a place where I am looking to God for the lesson - acknowledging His power in my circumstance. In all of my pain, I have learned to praise. Now, please don't get me wrong. I am not writing this to say "look at me, what a good Christian I've become." Absolutely not. I am merely saying, again, "See what God can do." I KNOW He will do for you what He's done for me when you learn to seek His wisdom when the storms are raging. When you learn to seek Him and praise Him because you know not what else to do, and when you acknowledge that everything you're going through is Because God PERIOD, He shall direct thy paths.
After this revelation, Senator Madigan's office called the next morning. They want to hear more about my "Center for the Arts."
God is so good. All the time.