God and I have had some long talks the past few days. I used to think that my conversations with God were a "one-way" discussion. Me just venting my frustrations or my "wish list" with God and not really hearing anything in return. Sometimes it felt... I don't know... void of a "listener". Not only void of a listener, but God didn't seem to really say much back to me.
Today, I imaged that God used to sit up in Heaven and think to himself the exact same thing - "I sit up here, and talk to Charity giving her my "wish list" for her life and it seems as though she is not listening... and not only that... when I really speak to her, she doesn't say much back".
I've learned lately that a discussion with God is a two way street only if you allow it to be. In order to make it "two way" though, you have to listen. Imagine talking to a friend and they tell you over and over how they bake a cake and it burns every single time. They get all upset because they can't make a cake that is edible. They want a good cake and they never have one. So you, being the good friend that you are, you give them the recipe for a good cake. You tell them that if they follow the directions, it will turn out fine. Don't take any short cuts, don't try to modify it to "make it in a way that you think will be better", just follow the recipe. Time and time again though, they come to you and say how nasty their cake is and how they want something so much different as their end result. They are sick and tired of having burnt, bad tasting cake. You ask them if they followed the recipe - no... they made a slight change because they thought more sugar would be better. They didn't want to take the time to bake the cake so they upped the baking temperature in hopes of making it bake faster. You remind them again to follow the recipe. Follow the recipe and it will be right!
I've done it myself a million times. Not with cake (I'm great with following a recipe! I'm a chemist! Chemists make great cooks!) but with something much more important - my life.
There are times when I look at my life and think "I really wish this was different". I find myself speaking to God out of my frustration, asking "WHY"? Why do things have to be this way. I want things to be different. God has given me the recipe. He has told me to follow it - and I will find peace and a joy will live inside of me. I won't have a perfect life, but I will find contentment in the life God has given me. What do I do though? I take short cuts. I change up God's recipe. I tweak it to make it "sweeter". I become impatient and I try to speed up life.... the whole time creating my own self-destruction. I don't listen. I need to listen. I need to follow the recipe. He does not hide it from me.... He willingly gave me the recipe for my life. I just need to follow it. I need to listen!
Today I learned a lesson about worry. It's very easy to tell someone not to worry about something.... when it's not your problem. It's easy to say that worrying won't do you any good... when the consequences of something are not yours. I've been anticipating something happening today. I got up this morning and it didn't happen as I expected (it's nothing major, believe me - nothing exciting - just something I needed to have taken care of, and it was to be taken care of today). It was only taken care of partially. I called Tim and told him. His response - don't worry..... it will be taken care of. Just make a few phone calls and find out what is going on. It will be fine.
That is one area where Tim and I are very different. Tim has patience to allow time for things to fall into place... to see things through. I on the other hand have to ACT immediately. Well, it was 6:00 this morning when I was ready to ACT, and there was nothing I could do. I could not call anyone because no one was open yet. I was also attending a class today and had to leave the house by 7:15. The earliest I could call anyone was 7:00 and that would not give me enough time to discuss the issue with anyone. So Tim said - Just call them when you get back from the gym. Oh. My. Goodness! Seriously? I will say that the consequence of this not taking place as I expected would have some major impact in my mind...it was important to me. So, I was in a bad mood... but there was nothing I could do about it. I let the situation take over me and my attitude. When I got out from the gym, I immediately called Tim and got the number for where I needed to call. I was short with him... even when he gave me the number, he said it's an 888 number... and he started to give me the number "888-" I interrupted abruptly... Yes! I know that part. I just need the last numbers! I had worried about this issue on my two and a half mile walk. I worried about it all during the class. And I worried about it on my two and a half mile walk home. None of that worry did me an ounce of good though. Not. One. Bit. The only thing it did was ruin my attitude.
When I got home, I made a few more phone calls and by the end of the day today, everything was taken care of. Everything fell into place. My worry didn't make that happen though.
I've had to put my faith in God A LOT over the past six months. Having to leave my job because of my diminishing eyesight was a huge struggle for me. When I went to get Chara, certain I would not get a dog as well suited for me as Pearl was. I placed it in God's hands though, because I couldn't do anything with it in my own hands. I told God directly - I know you have a plan. I know it will work for my good. I know your desire is not to harm me. I had to say that over and over and over again for months. But I learned that it was true.
Today was one last step in the struggle I've had over the past six months. Today was really the start of a new chapter. Moving on. Moving forward. Accepting. Instead of worrying, it would have been much better for me to acknowledge the fact that God has taken care of all of the details up to this point. Every last one of them, in truly God fashion. Today was no different. I KNEW God had this, but still I worried. What a waste!
When you give something to God to manage - rather than trying to force something of your own will, the end result is exponentially better than having managed it on your own. My work situation and all that needed to take place as a result of my having to leave work... it was just short of a miracle how it all fell into place. Chara - well, let's just say she is as uniquely qualified to assist me as Pearl was. We fit together like a glove. The current situation... while I worried, I did leave it in God's hands. He placed people in places to assist me and got everything taken care of.
Worry is not part of the recipe that God has for my life. It does me no good. It changes nothing - except what is going on inside of me. It clouds my heart and it doesn't allow me to see the joy in God taking care of the details. I try to imagine the kind of day I would have had, had I just left it in God's hands, taken action when I could - and skipped the worry. I'm sure I wouldn't have snapped at my husband and I would have enjoyed my walk and my class much more!
I think sometimes we all have to learn lessons the hard way. Thankfully God is full of the patience that I seem to lack and He teaches me through my trials.