Count your Blessings & Climb those Obstacles

Am I the only one who feels like they’re living near the edge of a cliff?

Perhaps in the view of a lifetime, this is just a season I’m going through.  However, it seems like most of my adult life has been careening way too closely to major pitfalls.  I’m continually thankful to avoid the actual pits, but I often wonder why I’m so close to the dangers to begin with.  Is it simply how everyone’s life is?  Is it just the choices I make?  Is it just a matter of perspective?

I go ’round and ’round on this, but always come back to one thought:  I think God keeps me on this path because it’s the only path where I stay humble and thankful.  It probably sounds naive or ridiculous, but the times when I’m struggling are the times when I realize just how much worse things could be.  Don’t get me wrong, I have to continually fight the overwhelming feelings of wanting to just give up and I’m fully aware (thanks to my friends’ glances and comments) that I seem to have a high quantity of “bad luck” or “tough times” or whatever you want to call it.  I’m also fully aware of the “she’s crazy” looks I get when I talk about whatever situation might be worse than whatever I’m in.

Obviously, I’m in one of those seasons right now.  My knee is improving, but slowly (and at a costly rate with physical therapy).  We all eventually succumbed to the flu after Thanksgiving, but made it through.  It took a toll on the oldest’s grades at the end of the first high school semester, caused us all to really work together to make decorating and fun happen, and gave me the motivation to do much of my Christmas shopping online; however we were all well for Christmas and New Year weeks.  (Which is certainly more than I can say for many friends…)  Things were looking up there for a bit and I was so proud of choices our family was making–everyone made sure to send church offerings from their Christmas money, we were all being positive and enjoying the days off together, and plans were being made for the upcoming year.

Then IT happened…the world began crumbling again.  The unsettled feelings I’d been having about my job came to fruition and I found out that one of my two departments was folding immediately.  (The other department claims to be intact, but it certainly seems like the end is in sight.)  Then the oldest came home from the first day back at school with a high fever and flu-like symptoms.  (As of this moment, the doctor is sure he has something “nasty” but all tests are negative.)  Now I’m back to the near panic of not knowing how long the bills will be “easily” paid and feeling like I need to prepare myself for the possibility of house-wide illness (along with cancelled plans) for who knows how long.

Despite all this, I still feel peace.  My brain’s running a mile a minute, my prayers are running a mile a second, and that edge of anxiety is there.  Yet, I am not worried.  You might think that means I’m delusional, but I believe this is the oft quoted “peace that passes understanding.”  Perhaps it’s easier for me to have it because I know my parents won’t let us end up living on the street.  Perhaps it’s also because I know my faith isn’t hollow…God has guided and protected us more times than I can count.  I know that our feet will land where we need to be, as long as we’re trusting and following.

So for all those suffering right now (from job loss to depression to illness), if you can’t see beyond the darkness, focus your thoughts on each and every little thing that is right…that is a blessing.  You will get over, under, or through whatever your current obstacle…then make sure to appreciate it when you get there.

Happy New Year!

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