Well, I’m exhausted and fighting a cold, but I wanted to continue my blog posting. On my way down to Florida, my grandmother asked me to think about what I wanted to be making in order to be happy. In all honesty, I don’t know. We have had times of plenty and times of little.
So instead, I want to come from a point that my pastor shared on Sunday before we left – the practice of gratitude
We previously had two vehicles – a car given to us by a more-than-kind soul, and our SUV. We had to sell the latter since age and wear prevented it from making the trip. Though it’s “just a car,” it was the first car we had shopped for and purchased. It was the car in which we brought our son home. Instead of mourning its loss, I counted it a blessing. The money we received from selling it (within 20 minutes of listing it on Craigslist, I might add), we used to put new brakes and tires on our car – both of which turned out to be a necessity for the trip.
I will confess that I had struggled leaving and faced many mixed emotions. Part of this came as Martha spent a fun-filled night with her girlfriends from church. My son was in greater demand than a boy band in a middle school. And those nights I sat home alone. It hurt me more than I realized – which says a lot coming from a self-proclaimed introvert. And then we had our going away party from church, which I knew would be difficult. We had tried for some time to find a place we fit in, finally have, and then have had to leave it. But instead of just disappearing, they sent us off in style – with care packages, a delicious lunch, and tons of hugs.
My mother gave us some money to help with the trip down. My father-in-law paid for our gas. My father bought us meals and a hotel stay. A family friend and her boyfriend came and helped us load up the car and shut down the house. Our neighbor mechanic and his wife loaned us a DVD player for the car, did the work on the car for cheaper than a shop, and are being helpful looking after our house.
Blessing after blessing came pouring in during one of the hardest transitions we have ever had to make. And in case that wasn’t enough, the trip wouldn’t be possible without the help of my grandmother who has been instrumental in this.
So as we traveled in a car that came as a direct blessing from God, fed and fueled by His blessings through people, going to a job that is going to provide what we need, and surrounded by amazing people, we can only be grateful for what we have.
I have heard the verse Philippians 4:13, more times than I can count. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” With all apologies to sports figures everywhere, it does help to read the preceding verses. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Php 4:11-12)
It is only after this picture of suffering that Paul is able to say, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Php 4:13).
So I will be content to be in need, knowing God will provide for my needs, whether directly or through others. I also know that in the even that there will a time of plenty, our time of need will help keep us sensitive to those who need assistance.
So, in the words of my friend, Michael Baker, “Praise God.”