Within the past 20hrs my life hit some major financial snags.
I found out that I couldn’t apply to another grad program because of a financial hold (which I am currently taking care of, but doesn’t change the situation); I broke a filling; and found out that even though I am unemployed, I still have to pay for health insurance.
The first two happened last night and sent me to bed in tears. The school situation was bad enough but cracking a filling, with no dental insurance, means lots of money…that I do not have. (And to be honest, the problem may be worse than just a cracked filling.) Instead of saying my normal prayers, I wrote out my prayers, and fell to my knees singing “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…Something happens when I call You.” I know me. I asked God for the strength to get out of bed in the morning because I knew that sadness over this situation would cause me to stay in bed all day. I had already mapped out my plan for avoiding food forever so that I would not further mess up my filling. The situational depression was creeping in and I knew the next few hours would be crucial in determining how my life would pan out. But even though I knew that, I still decided to wallow in my issues.
Of course the few hours of wallowing led to more bad news this morning. I attempted to sign up for health insurance so that I could visit the dentist (and eye doctor) and learned that, even though I am unemployed, I still earned too much money for the year and would have to pay for my monthly insurance. Really though? Can’t I get some good news?! Once I saw that, I rolled over in bed, picked up the book I was reading, and refused to get out of bed. That was the third and final straw- I was NOT getting out of bed. I was going to stay in my sadness. I was going to let the depression win.
Reading saved me…
I have been on this new reading kick ever since the year started. It was my goal to read one book per month for 2017. My surprise unemployment kicked up my goal and now I’m reading 2-4 books per week. I had started a new book (Someone to watch over me by Michelle Stimpson) yesterday but was unable to finish it last night because I was sleepy so I decided to finish it this morning. As I was holed up in my bed this morning, I finished the last few chapters of this great book. The books that I have been reading are either Christian fiction or Christian self-help and this particular book is the former. My logic in reading these types of books is that as I was venturing out of my reality into someone else’s reality, God would still be able to reach me. And boy was I right!
Unlike most books that I’ve read this year, I did not see myself in this storyline. I did not feel like I was specifically relating to the characters. Even though the storyline and characters were realistic and relatable, they just weren’t M.E….but I kept reading. The storyline was captivating, inspiring, and made me think of God through and through. So I read and read because I wanted to find out what would happen in the lives of my new friends. And then I got to the last page. A tertiary character had just passed away and the primary character was grateful for his death. I know that sounds weird, but let me explain. The tertiary character had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and his family was afraid that he would suffer a sad, debilitating, and humiliating life before death slowly crepted up to claim him. So when he died from something else before Alzheimer’s claimed hold of his body, everyone rejoiced and thanked God for His divine timing.
This may seem weird or morbid but that helped me. Death is a hard and saddening time in our lives but there is always a blessing in its occurrence. In this particular story, death came prior to years of pain, agony, stress, and financial hardship. The family thanked God because “…even in death, God was watching over us.” And that was good news!
As I read that line at the conclusion of the book, I was reminded that God is in everything. While I may not understand why some things happen the way they do, God knows, He understands, and it is working for my good.
After I finished the book, I fell to my knees and thanked God. After prayer, I got up and began my morning (which included writing this blog). My situation did not change because I read this book. And worrying about everything will not change anything. However, my outlook on my situation did change. I chose (and continue to choose) to praise God in all situations. Ok so things are not favorable for me right now, but my God is still good. Ok I don’t really know how everything is going to work out, but my God is still in control. That’s life! We may never know why things work out the way they do but the truth is, God knows and He continues to work things out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Our job is not to question or doubt God; our job is to pray and trust that God will handle everything. Last night I had forgotten that. Last night I had forgotten that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Yes, in this case, my joy literally came in the morning hours, but “morning” can be any time.
Remember that, beloved. Remember that no matter what you are currently going through, joy comes in the morning. Praise God for the good and praise Him for the bad; in all things, praise Him and give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).