Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Thank You Note

Well, I have heard of this happening. -The whole idea of God's special timing and last minute surprises. -But it has been awhile since I saw one happen so overtly in my life.

It is on my heart to share this with you, Dear Reader. Perhaps you need to know it can and will happen for you, too. -Or perhaps you need a reminder of a thank-you-note in case you already had it happern?

Whatever the reason, here goes.

I have been whining. (Yeah, you noticed, huh?) I wrote this blog as a result of my whining. I felt like I was wandering in between something in time and space. I could not get used to the idea of not being BUSY or PRODUCTIVE or feeling USEFUL, in short NOT WORKING! I have worked all of my adult life, and as I have shared before I have the pattern of being an "achiever" since grade school. Check lists and goals are part of my daily activity.

Retired while raising a 9-yr. old finds me wondering about my usefulness. The busyness of life was stilled. I began to doubt my self-worth. I just could not figure out what God wanted me to do and how He wanted to use me this past year. It has been over 12 months since my mother died. She lived with us while my family and I cared for her.

After her death, I was ready to sell the house and move far away. I could not bear the grief and the memories of her last year. I missed her. I also felt lonely and lost.

God chose for me to stay put. And wait. And wait. And wait. I admit that while I studied His Word and prayed daily, I still whined. -A lot! I came close to knocking down some doors for job opportunities. -Anything to fill my time and to feel valued again.

This past month, something changed. I surrendered. I told God, if this is what He wanted from me, then I would be thankful for this time. I would clean house for Him. Do laundry for Him. Go to the grocery store for Him. Take care of my daughter and husband for Him. If He did not want to use me in any other capacity, then I surrendered.

Shortly after that, a group of women met and they shared their idea of starting a Christian women's speaker series for our community. They asked me to be the kick-off speaker in three weeks. Oh, was I elated! That's it! That is what God wants me to do! I love speaking in front of large groups. I love sharing and preparing and planning. The lists and goals were back! I already had my power point presentation going in my head.

Then I heard it. "SLOW DOWN! Remember what I worked on for a year with you? Give this to me." I was stunned. After praying and reading the Bible, I was sure this was not what God wanted right now. So I met with the women and told them that I needed to wait. I so wanted to push forward and have it happen, but in my heart God was saying otherwise.

I didn't understand why. In spite of my confusion, a peace came over me about it. That same afternoon of saying, "Wait," another call came asking me to speak to other caregivers in our community about the book I had written. (It is about my mother's faith while battling Parkinson Disease.) This one felt right, and again after prayer, I agreed. Still, it was only a one-time speaking engagement. No long-term job.

In the meantime, something again started to change. I was driving home after dropping my daughter off at school and my heart was flooded with gratitude. I started feeling so grateful that I could drive a car. Then I started reading the Word once I got home. I was hit with the feeling of thankfulness for being able to read, to see. It was as though every little thing I took for granted daily overwhelmed me. Much like the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, I felt I could see for the first time the truth. I have been given so much. Being able to wash dishes, vacuum, walk, talk on a phone...all those little daily routines are such gifts.

My mother would have loved to have been able to go to the store and shop for groceries, make her own coffee, run errands as she faced the inability to do so in her later struggling years.

I not only told God that it was fine if He did not want me to work, but I THANKED Him for the lack of work, the lack of a job. I not only THANKED Him but I felt my heart swell with gratitude. They were not just words.

It is the strangest thing to share with you. It is so hard to explain. I felt such happiness come over me and it did not go away.

Two days later, I was called for a part-time, temporary job. The person told me God put me on his heart. The offer could not be more perfect, nor more perfectly timed.

God's timing.

I am still praying about it before I jump in because I really want to grab it and rush in...again. --But I have really learned that His plans are for good, and it is best to submit to those plans up front rather than make my own plans and regret doing so.

So this is my THANK YOU NOTE to God. Thank you, God, again for all the amazing things I get to do daily like reading your Word, talking to You, listening to You, seeing my daughter's smile, feeling my husband's hug, hearing my friends' voices, reading texts, typing this blog, and yes, even cleaning my house.

Thank you, God, for bringing a job offer my way. I truly do not deserve it. If you wish me to do so, please, receive glory and honor through it, and remind me when I have to set my alarm once again not to whine. This is after all what YOU prepared me to do during this past year.

What about you? How is God preparing you for HIS answer to your prayer when HIS timing is right? Don't wait to write your thank you note for then. Give Him thanks now.

For His glory,

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