Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tumultuous Tuesday Thoughts

My thoughts are all a flutter.

I wish I could explain better. Most of the time, I have a very orderly brain, especially when it comes to writing.

I’m able to rehearse what I want to say in my head, formulate a post, and then edit as I write. However, lately I find my thoughts jumping from jetty to jetty in the sea sludge of my brain.

I apologize for the haphazard tone of this post. I’ll understand if you’re too bewildered to comment.

So, in no particular order, here are the items taking up valuable thinking space in Ann-Marie’s mired mind:

1.) Should I delete the blogs at right that are not updated regularly? I understand that not everyone is a blogging fiend, such as yours truly, but if a blog hasn’t been updated in six months or a year, then it really starts to annoy me.

2.) It seems to be a tough time for so many people right now! Prayer requests have been pouring in.

My former middle school teacher had a sudden heart attack. He’s still relatively young and fit, so it came as a real shock. Thankfully, the doctors were able to save him, and he is recovering. But a heart attack is still a life changing event.

One of my dearest friends from high school just learned her father is gravely ill. She’s flying here to be with him, but the outlook does not look good. My cousin’s father-in-law has also been stricken and is quite possibly facing the rest of his life in a vegetative state. Another friend is dealing with her mother’s terminal cancer finding.

Two distant friends and a dear family (in my extended family) are struggling with difficult diagnosis of their children. Two babies and one toddler are looking at serious medical health problems, most likely life-altering conditions.

Two more families (in my extended family) are painstakingly working through separation and divorce proceedings. Their marriages are crumbling or have completely dissolved, leaving much inconsolable hurt and devastation in the wake. Four innocent children now have to bear a burden they should not have to shoulder.

3.) Our love/(mostly) hate relationship with Secund Staffing continues. They are once again protesting Brett’s unemployment claim.

I told him I’m sure it’s not personal. They probably have a policy to challenge anyone’s claim every so many days. But my husband takes everything personally, including global warming. He has been (I think unreasonably) angry and obsessed with their interference.

Please pray he will be able to calm down and address the unemployment agency clearly and confidently during his appointment this week. I pointed out that the LAST time this happened, they were VERY understanding and didn’t revoke his unemployment.

But he’s still mad as you-know-what.

4.) I am almost outlandishly at peace. It’s like God has settled a mantle of unmovable certainty on me.

Let me explain. You all know how I was freaking out recently (and not all that recently)? Well, the other day I was at a graduation party, and one of my family members began to interrogate me.

It’s not as bad as it sounds – we’re Rehfeldts; that’s what we do.

Anyway, she began to challenge me on the whirling dervish that is my life. She said, “Aren’t you worried about your job? Brett’s job? Where are you going to live? What if you have no income? What if the baby has health problems? What are going to do? You must be so worried!”

As I listened to her list EVERY single “what if” and complaint I’ve made (myself) over the past few months, I realized something profound.

I’m not worried anymore.

I told her, “Well, to be honest, I’m not worried. I believe God will take care of us.”

The words seems to come from somewhere outside of myself and felt foreign. Yet powerful. I DID believe it.

She said, “Well, I know you SAY that, but you still must be worried.”

I found myself shaking my head, happily. “You know? I’m really not.”

I left her there, looking skeptically at me.

And yet, I found myself rejoicing that the burden of worry had been lifted completely. I felt free, like a bird wanting to soar into the open air. I was striding confidently where I could see no path. And yet I knew there was one. The Trailblazer was far out in front of me, lighting my path, one step at a time.

At that was the truth that freed me. I can only take one step at a time. I can only take one day at a time. God has taken away my controlling, selfish need to plan ahead and is now leading me by the hand, one small stretch at a time.

I’m getting used to it, and even coming to love it.

However, while God has granted me peace, Brett is still struggling to get to that place. The other night he opened up to me. It was like uncorking an unhappy bottle of champagne. All the worries, stresses, and troubles on his mind spilled out like wave curls to the floor.

I listened patiently and nodded. I’m still surprised at how supportive just nodding can be.

The truth is – this was a conversation we’ve had many times before.

If you’d told me, during the Great Marriage Trial of ’06 (GMT), that I would one day be grateful for what I learned, I would have laughed hysterically in your face.

But as much as I HATED that trial and the accompanying emotional torture, as close as I came to walking away from my marriage – God’s grace saw me through, and I emerged from the Refiner’s fire equipped in ways I could never have imagined.

I smile to think of how “small” that trial was, compared to the snarling, ravenous behemoth of trials we face now. But God knew THIS was coming and prepared me through the GMT! He preps His own.

So, instead of reacting the way I used to – arguing, yelling, and trying to single-handedly combat negativity and depression – I was able to calmly listen and speak the Truth in love.

It wasn’t easy for Brett to hear the Truth. I don’t suppose it’s easy for any of us when we’re not at the place of acceptance. But he listened and tried to absorb what he could.

I SO want him to be happy. I want him to experience the peace that I currently have. But he’s not there. Yet.

That’s one of the other things I learned through GMT.

In and of myself, I can’t change anyone. Not a single person. And certainly not my husband. I can listen, love, and encourage – but NOT change, not FIX.

Because it’s not my JOB. It’s God’s.

Giving up that “control factor” (one I never really had anyway) was the single greatest lesson I learned from GMT. I have found it comforting and freeing to place that responsibility solely in God’s hands and step back to watch Him work.

And that’s what I’m doing now.

I’m stepping back, thinking of all these prayer requests, all the uncertainty in my life, and just watching Him work. Waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky, and the Done by God signature to be scrawled across the heavens.

It’s going to be one amazing show.


The Beard Bunch said...

I am glad to be the first to comment and say that, despite the "tumultuous circumstances" around you, you are the envy of many people. Peace is a quality everyone wants, but no amount of money can buy. Someone (like Brett) can't be talked into getting it. The Lord has taught me the same thing in the past couple years and what an amazing way to live. It is how HE wanted us to live! Wow, you got me going. I feel like I could preach a message (or should I say "share a devotional") :) Love ya, girl! Be thankful for the peace and the God who gives it!

Colleen said...

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 26:3,4
God is so good!!!

Juliet said...

As the late Pason Larsen said, "God takes care of what He owns."

And there truly is nothing like the peace that God gives.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Yea for peace. And, next time, stop her right away with "Shhhh. I have peace." Then smile and WALK AWAY. :-)