It seemed like during the spring and summer months, I’d told friends over and over that when fall and winter came, I’d have more time. Certain projects would be finished, stress would be relieved, there would be more time.
Fall came. Followed by winter. Work projects that I’d hoped would be finished had carried over for one reason or another. Somehow things never slowed down. Then came the car accident. I was rear-ended on my way to work while sitting still in traffic, and suddenly my car was totaled. I stood on the side of the road, thinking, Are you serious? Is that really my car being taken away, obviously never to return to the road? I thought my stress level was high before I left the house. Lord, please help.
Something like a car accident, a rushed project, a sick family member — suddenly our lives and schedules look different from what we thought they would. And we’re overwhelmed.
To be honest, I’d been planning out a perfect winter season in my mind — you know, dinner parties and play dates, activities with my children, starting the new year fresh, date nights with my husband.
It wasn’t the season I expected.
Soreness and stiffness from the accident lingered. Add a work overload to that mix and the worry over a beloved family member who was ill, and you’ve got a recipe for an overwhelmed wife and mother.
After the car accident, I had to have an MRI. Lying there with my neck in a tube and earplugs in my ears because of the loud sound, I had twenty-five minutes to myself. If you’re a busy mom, you understand the rarity of this. I used all twenty-five minutes for prayer. I was still and immobile and suddenly God was there, willing and ready to listen to me pour my heart out to Him.
And I realized something — God had known all along that it wasn’t going to be the season I was envisioning. He was waiting for me to surrender that over to Him and roll with what had happened. It was time for me to let go of the disappointment and frustration and cling to what He was offering: an abundant life, rest for the weary, fresh mercy, hope for the brokenhearted.
Even for a tired mom down to one car, I remembered that those life-giving gifts were at my fingertips. It takes faith, and honestly, sometimes I’m lacking in that department. But every day is a new opportunity for surrender, for God to work miracles, for life to be lived. And even if I’m a little low on energy and my to-do list has gotten crazy, there’s a Starbucks caramel latte available and all I have to do is go through the drive-through to get it. We have to look for the joy in even simple things sometimes!
Life is unpredictable.
In my opinion, God is unpredictable too. That’s why faith isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be. But it’s worth it. When we’re overwhelmed and nothing is going the way we’d hoped, a few minutes of stillness and prayer (and a latte!), a request to the Father for help for the weary — those things can make a difference.
I may not be able to have the winter season I’d pictured; I probably won’t be following through on that resolution to host more dinner parties. That’s okay. Sometimes you have to rearrange the schedule, scratch things off the to-do list, give yourself room to breathe. God might be unpredictable, but He’s always faithful. He’s there even when things don’t go quite as planned.
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