The past 12 months have brought some major changes for me. I walked away from a dream school district and a dream job that I had spent several years and lots of money (that I still owe) getting certified for. I stepped out in a major (for me) move of faith into an uncertain adventure that no one had ever tried before. I planned, I prayed, I cried, I reasoned, and I tried to figure out how I could control an uncontrollable and unknown future.
About the same time as I was struggling with the idea of changing jobs, my dad began to seriously struggle with major health issues. As an only child and a daddy’s girl, it made me ache to watch my once strong daddy, who could always pull himself up by his own bootstraps and fix anything, sink deeper and deeper away from himself. I wanted to fix it, to help him. I could feel him slipping, but my best efforts to help- going to doctor’s appointments with him and mom, encouraging him to take his prescribed medicines, having stern and serious talks, and crying many desperate tears into my pillow late at night didn’t seem to have any effect.
And then, there was my beloved husband, and the farm. Joey works harder than any person I have ever met. He has a heart of gold and is absolutely brilliant. But, Joey has never been an inside “office job” kind of guy. He thrives on being outside and working with his hands. God has mightily blessed him with a talent for growing and nurturing all sorts of plants, trees, and berries. He is an amazing farmer and he loves farming more than anything in the world. All this is well and good, but the thing that was bothering me was money and supplies. As anyone who has ever tried to run a small farm on a shoe string budget knows, farming income isn’t exactly certain. Our last growing season seemed to be full of problems, from uncooperative weather, to needing more soil amendments, to equipment that kept breaking. It was painful to see Joey trying so hard and not being able to make everything go smoothly for him.
I wanted to get quick answers to all these things that were heavy on my heart. I needed to get things under control and know for certain that it was all going to turn out okay. After all, I’m still fairly young (I think?), of basic intelligence, and I have my daddy’s “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” spirit. Surely, I could think of a way to solve all these issues.
So, with all this sure and certain knowledge, I began to think hard. I thought, and thought, and thought. I thought early in the morning when I first work up. I thought about it late at night into the early hours of the morning. My mind raced around and around until my head felt like it was going to explode. I asked other people for their ideas and solutions. I looked up answers on the Internet. I did everything I could think of, and when I had done all that, I prayed.
When I say that I prayed, I didn’t just say a causal prayer or two. I mean that I really prayed. I prayed in the morning when I first woke up. I prayed late at night into the early hours of the morning. I prayed until my head felt like it was going to explode. I asked other people to pray for me and with me. I prayed so hard that I felt like I was banging with both fists on the gates of heaven shouting and screaming to God to make things controllable.
Guess what? He didn’t. He listened to me and comforted me, but he did not let me have what I wanted, which was to be in control. God found me lying there in a heap, outside heaven’s gates, worn out from crying and worrying and trying to fix everything all by myself. He gently gathered me up in his arms and reminded me that it’s not my job to be in control. He wiped away my tears and pried the worries about my job, my daddy, and my husband and farm out of my tightly clenched hands and said that he would take care of all that.
He reminded me that faith is believing that he is God and he is good and he is charge-over everything. He is God. He is good. He is in charge over everything. Those are powerful words and thoughts, and the best part is that they are true.
This is the part of the article where I am supposed to report that everything is completely wonderful and all my problems are gone. They aren’t, but there has been quite a change. That major leap of faith I made in changing jobs has been the most exciting and amazing thing I’ve ever done. I still miss my old co-workers, but I’ve found that friendship doesn’t stop just because you don’t see each other every day. As for my daddy, well, he has his ups and downs. This week, it’s been more up than down, so that’s a blessing. And, despite the hardships of last season, Joey has once again fired up the greenhouse this week and is working his magic with all the tiny seeds and plants.
The biggest change hasn’t been with my problems, it’s been with me. Through all this, God has shown me that I’m not in charge, even if I sometimes try to pretend that I am. He is teaching me to appreciate each day, and sometimes even each moment. When I start to falter and take control, I can turn to him and let him be in charge. Life is uncertain, but all things are possible with God.