In mid-March, after having a prolonged quiet time and moving to my desk to start tackling my calendar, paying bills and returning emails and texts, I felt a nudge that became a gnawing in my spirit. Then I felt a heaviness like chains had been wrapped around my shoulders as I opened and studied the calendar. I knew in the next few months there would be speaking engagements, book signings, weddings, and kids’ activities. My father was recovering from a stroke and had been in the hospital for weeks, requiring me to drop most of my responsibilities.
My mother’s ongoing disease was progressing rapidly. Thomas was graduating college in early May. Over the last 20 years May has always proven to be one of the busiest months of the year for our family–school ending, end of the year programs, spring sports wrapping up, graduations, celebrations…..and the list goes on. I kind of got stuck on thinking about Thomas graduating and his move from Clemson to home and all the logistics in getting him moved.
In the Back 9, I have learned that it is important to look ahead and plan…but I have also realized it is a way that Satan attacks me personally….the whispers in the ear of ….what if….this or that happens? What if he needs to move out and my mom is at rock bottom? What if my dad isn’t better? Where will we put his stuff? What truck will we use to move him? Who will be available to help? I had never published a book before and I had agreed to things and knew I would be traveling in waters I had never tread. I wasn’t sure what would be going on with Thomas’ golf. Just a lot of unknown…
Thankfully, through experience, when these thoughts start coming with the “what if’s?”, I have learned to stop…..stop and pray….for God to calm my spirit…realizing I need to think about these things and plan but I do not need to obsess. Seriously, I had just finished my morning time before God….and the attack in my thoughts was heated and escalated with the simple task of opening my calendar………..This post may not apply to you and if doesn’t, great….but if it does…..if you are a planner (which is a good thing), but Satan uses the good of planning and likes to throw darts at you and overwhelm you with WHAT If’s? Then the next few thoughts and suggestions are for you………..
In Philippians 4:6 it states, “Do NOT be anxious about anything but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [emphasis mine] This sounds like such a simple scripture to follow, doesn’t it? God’s Word is awesome and helpful, if we choose to believe it and apply it……..That is called obedience. I have never applied God’s Word to my life and not received what it promises! I have memorized this verse….and when I recognize this attack, the first thing I do…is quote this scripture out loud to myself.
Next, I stop. Yes, hard for me to do when I am in GO MODE…but I stop and pray! I mentally see myself taking the chains and unwrapping them from around my neck and flinging them into the abyss! I also apply the scripture that basically teaches me to take one day at a time, Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” What I take this to mean is that you plan, you pray, you give it to God and you physically tackle the day you are living. Reading and studying Matthew 6:25-34 is very helpful. In my Bible the subtitle is “Do not worry!” It teaches your Heavenly Father knows what you need!! It has taken me a while to truly understand…..HE HAS ME! HE really does have me! And, guess what? If you are a Christian, He has you too. If you do not know Jesus….He still has you but you have NO POWER to live out His promises because you do not know Him…..When you invite Him into your heart….He sends the Holy Spirit to help you live out all that He has for you!
Let me just share how God has taken care of me in such an amazing way this past week……I was in Seneca to care for my dad and to help my sister with things concerning my mother’s death….and those feelings came over me about Thomas graduating and moving him out of Clemson. I stopped what I was doing and pulled over in my parents’ driveway and prayed. I asked God to take the overwhelming feelings away. I felt immediate peace and began to drive to rehab to see my dad. As I passed the little house where Brewer, our oldest son, lives, I saw a U-Haul truck in his driveway. I immediately called him to find out whose truck it was. He told me it was Thomas’ friend Aaron who was moving in. I called Aaron to inquire about the truck and his plans.
In the back of my mind I was hoping I could put some of Thomas’ things from Clemson in the truck and bring them to Brewer’s house. Aaron was so very quick to help, to offer the use of the truck and his personal time. I hung up the phone and called my brother-in-law….let me remind you, this was all spur of the moment…..after I had prayed and was not at all planning on moving Thomas that day. My brother-in-law offered to call a few people to see if they were free to help me after work…..And, guess what? They were available at the absolute perfect time that Aaron was free. So we left for Clemson that afternoon….and in two hours had Thomas moved out of Clemson and everything safely stored.
This story may seem so insignificant to you….but the reality for me……was this was a huge undertaking that required planning, muscle, logistics and timing…..Thomas had done much to move his stuff but we needed help with the heavy stuff, a good truck, and a place to store everything, which my dad provided in their basement. You see, what seemed to be so huge and overwhelming in March, at just the thought of it….after prayer…… and then more prayer as the time was approaching….God worked out every little minute detail….When I got up that morning, moving Thomas out of Clemson…was not on the schedule….at all….it just happened and fell into place. I look back, as I often do now, and marvel at God’s provision and timing!
I encourage you with this….God wants to be involved intimately in every detail of your life. He even knows the number of hairs on your head! Nothing is too small or too big for HIM. He is all-knowing, all-powerful and loves us more than we can imagine. I have found at 51 it is absurd not to include HIM in the simple things as well as in the gigantic things. He has you. He really does. The BIGGER QUESTION is……Do you have HIM….on the throne of your life? Trust me…..He does a better job than I or you ever could. It is good to plan but allow the Lord to direct your steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”