#1. Be sure to have a mentor in your life. Someone that encourages you and cares about you. I found that the best type of mentor is the friend that is kinda like a "Grandpa-teacher-forever young at heart-down to earth-can communicate with you by just looks, no words needed-go to for advice" type. Establish a lasting relationship with this person. Then, when you least expect it.... BRAIN TUMOR. Yep your mentor needs to be diagnosed with a brain tumor. And then... DIE within two weeks of diagnosis.
#2. Two days after your mentors funeral... rush to you friends side after you receive a phone call form her in which she states that she has been .:SEVERELY BURNED:. Arrive at friends side... determine instantly that she needs to go to the hospital.. not in a personal car but VIA AMBULANCE. Then convince her five children that it's ok to leave their MOMMA'S SIDE <3 Drive children away before they see their momma taken out on a stretcher...
#3. (I realize that this may seem really depressing but please keep reading... there is a happy ending. I PROMISE.) Upon your return from taking children to a burn unit five hours away so they can see their mother<<<<<<<<<VOMIT VIOLENTLY.. preferably while sitting on the toilet (not because it's comfy but because it catches other fluids coming from other ORPHEUS simultaneously as you VOMIT VIOLENTLY.) Don't do this just once. Do this at least twice an hour for 12 HOURS STRAIGHT>>>>>>>>
#4. Invite an 18 year old to move into your ONE BEDROOM HOUSE. Why you ask? PEACE of course. And because this option is the BEST OPTION. PERIOD.... pErIoD.
#5. Fight off a HORRIBLE UPPER RESPIRATORY nastiness. LOSE FIGHT. SHARE WITH HUSBAND. Repeat once or TWICE.
#6. MULTI-TASK. No I don't think you understand... I mean MULTI-TASK... Make sure you are on multiple committees, involved in groups...Even better LEAD THEM. Be the treasurer of something. DO book-keeping for a business... better yet YOUR BUSINESS. Go to meetings... church meetings, work meetings... dog meetings.... at least 5 nights a week for a month. Because you never know... someone's SALVATION might depend on YOU ATTENDING A MEETING. Go to school... Scratch that.. GO TO COLLEGE. laundry. dishes. MINISTRY. No ministrieS. Wife/husband. Daughter/son. Family. Bills. FrIeNdS? And work part time (minimum).
#7. Oh yeah. I almost forgot. While you are loading your mentor in the car so he can get treatment for his brain tumor in the big city... GET AN URGENT CALL saying your mother is in the EMERGENCY RoOm with a kidney stone attack. And then get a phone call a few days later from your mother... letting you know that she has LOST HER JOB... again...
#8. Watch the news. Once a month is plenty.
#9. Have lots of FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES... so that you can pray about their CRISIS. Because after-all who doesn't have something HORRIBLE going on in their life somehow (right this very second)?
#10. Don't sleep or exercise. Not by choice but by SURVIVAL.
#11. KEEP YOUR FAITH IN JESUS DESPITE STEPS 1-10 (or actually IN-SPITE). <<<You saw this coming, didn't you?>>>
Numbers 1-10 happened to me in less than 90 days. I purposely made what happened sound horrible. It was HORRIBLE. AWFUL. AWFULLY HORRIBLE. Truth is, some of them were much worse and much more involved than I described. #1 and #2 especially. And I realize that there are people in this world (possibly billions) that experience life much worse (maybe even a BILLION times WORSE) for ****YEARS**** (compared to my wimpy 90 days).
The God that I believe in... is a God of LOVE.... out-of-this-world-love... crazy lOVE... more than your first-love LOVE. Therefore, I do not believe that God causes horrible, awful, or awfully horrible things to happen. I just don't believe it. And I never will. Plus I believe a thorough Bible study would prove as much (this statement is based on the premises that you're open to such a Bible study). ###1 John 4:16 for starters.### (No, not everyone has to believe the same way I do. And no, I don't think you are wrong for believing different. Please grant me the same grace.)
But I do believe He (note the capital H) allows things to happen... (the word consequences would be added to this conversation... a conversation that I don't want to finish here... Well not now anyway).
God allowed me to reach a place where I *LITERALLY* could NoT worry anymore. Simply COULD NOT worry. Excuse me... I CAN NOT worry. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and several other "ally"s (or is it "allies") I just couldn't or can't do it any longer.
I reached a place where I MUST pray "God, this is your problem. You can handle (blank). I can not." yeah, sure I sometimes add in "Use me if need be" Or "show me what I can do." but ultimately it's now "All You" Capital Y because I'm talking to the Big Guy Upstairs. The least I can do is give HIM some capitals (He may not care but I do. RESPECT)
Finally... the point to this long blog post.... "6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you." Phillipians 4:6-9
I gotta tell ya, I wouldn't trade this peace for anything. Not even to have my friend Blaine (see #1) back (as huge tears well up in my eyes). I'm praying that this peace LASTS. I realize that means God might allow more horrible in my life to maintain this reliance and peace. And I'm ok with that, that's what i've signed up for... whatever it takes.
Listen, I want to hear from YOU THE READER! What has God allowed in your life to give you PEACE? How is God working in your life NOW? What is your source of encouragement? Please answer these questions by commenting below. Got prayer requests?
Thanks for reading and God Bless!