As I looked back to the last time I posted, I think of how it's a wonder that I haven't gone completely bonkers. So much has gone on in my life and more is pending and, well, you know...
As one of my friends keeps telling me, I have a lot of people who love me and who have been rallying behind me these past two years in particular. So much has happened and while a good deal has been stressful and good, there are so many blessings blended and tucked in to corners of my life that I cannot help but feel cradled in the arms of God.
It has made me do a lot of pondering over the last month in particular as we lost one of our fur babies very suddenly, moved the next week and had our other fur baby (both Huskies) in for emergency surgery two days later and then receiving the ultimate results of her having cancer, that the phrase "God moves in mysterious ways," became clear as ink in how it can be frustrating as all 'get up' (one of my grandmother's expressions, don't ask, I have no clue! LOL). As human control mongrels, we want answers to everything and we want it now. Waiting on God's time, which literally could be millenniums, just doesn't suit our fancy or our sense of reason.
Why, we ask, do we have to wait to find out about injustices, perceived or real, to be revealed to us? Why, we ask, can't we see things without having to deal with the stress of illness and watching our loved ones, both human and furry friends, decline and leave us to bear witness without them. Why, can't we live lives without stress? Wouldn't we consider ourselves blessed without the stress? Indeed we would but then where would we see God in action in our lives and the lives of others. Where would faith be needed? How would we define a blessing if everything, every day, every minute was just peachy keen perfect.
Don't misunderstand me, I don't think God says, "let me stress Bonnie (or whomever) out so very much that she'll consider any little thing in her life a blessing." No, I believe life, and its myriad of circumstances, happens, both by circumstances within and without of our control, and that God walks alongside us, lifting us from behind, leading us forward and standing side by side holding our hands as we attempt to navigate all of the known, unknown and mysterious things that efface themselves on a regular basis.
How we handle stress is much like how I believe we are to handle joy. Stress may not be a choice you are a willing participant in but you have the choice while you are in it to admit you are in need of others to come alongside you and to see all the blessings, even the most minute, that are put before you to help you walk the path you are on, holding your head up high and focusing on those blessings instead of the trials and tribulations you are in the midst of experiencing. Like joy, and most things in life, we have a choice how we perceive and handle them.
A couple of recent stress examples are, personally, I got the notice we needed to move by a 2 a.m. email and cross-posted by 6 a.m. my search for a new home and within an hour my new landlord answered about a property he owned that would be available soon. Then Angel in emergency surgery right after losing Kai so suddenly sent us into a tailspin but we have what we hope is at least a couple more years with her. In any circumstance, we know what is ahead of us with her no matter how much time and will have the opportunity to say goodbye ultimately. And then I have friends and family from both my church life and my former MHS music life who stepped in and helped to relieve the enormous stress of moving by taking a lot of the burden off my shoulders. Blessing upon blessing. God in the midst.
Some of those examples are big and some are small. The point is that God puts blessings of every shape and size before us at just the right time. He doesn't want us to experience stress, loss, anxiety, or any of those life-zapping things any more than we do. What He wants though is for us to not only look to Him at these times, but to find blessings in the tiniest of places at those times. Finding the blessings helps us find joy in all things. Finding joy in all things allows us to acknowledge that we may be stressed yet we are blessed. And that's a good start to finding hope in the life we live here and the one yet to come.
"Stressed yet blessed today,
Tomorrow's light shines the way,