YA Author, Elana Johnson is releasing her second book, Surrender and has chosen this week to invite fellow bloggers to write about a time when they didn't surrender. A couple other bloggers I follow have taken the invitation, and though I'm still a little tiny blip in the blogosphere, I thought I would join in the fun.
So, when did I not give up?
Some suggestions had to do with physical fitness (getting ready for a 5k for example) or dealing with something terribly difficult in one's life (I've already talked about that a few times ). Of course one could talk about not giving up on a dream and that has been on my mind soooo much since I just finished writing my first manuscript.
But, I just had to resurrect a blog post from last year. It tells a better story than I could today.
My year of 2010-2011 was the most difficult season of my life (I really don't want to write "so far"...).
And yet, as of this week, my husband is faced with unemployment AGAIN.
The charter school he's worked for the past year and a half has not gotten its charter renewed. It is closing. He turned in his laptop and all the goodies he needed in his administration role. And we get a paycheck until the middle of August, but then...
By then, I'm sure he'll have a job. He's already put in more than a dozen applications/resume's this week alone. And he has his first interview ( for Round 2012) tomorrow morning. It's not his first pick (40 minutes away) but its something. So, I'm reproducing my blog from last June, commemorating the Death Crawl and the strength God gives us when we have none left within ourselves.
Because, all my stories of strength are never about me. I'm a wuss ( and I know it). Any strength, any persistence, any fortitude I have has been a gift from Heaven.
And I thank God for that. I need him so very much.
Giving ALL to the Lord
This Past year, I thought I could give the Lord my All. He asked Mark & I to trust him. We did. He asked us to walk into the dark. We did.
We were sure that employment was just around the corner. If a corner is nine months, then yes, it was.
I went to the Lord when the savings was just about gone. He showed me where to go for assistance.
I calmly trusted when I only had a week's worth of food in the house. He brought a sister to my door with an abundance that fed us comfortably until we could obtain more.
I told the Lord the money was gone and there was a mortgage and bills to pay. And money would be put in my hand or Mark would have more work so that the meager paycheck was a little more. Just enough to pay the bills.
I told the Lord that the little part-time job Mark had wasn't going to pay for the winter bills. So, I received a call asking if I could work nights. Yes, I could.
I told the Lord that I was grateful and though Christmas was less than ever before, it really was enough. I was so glad to have a job and so many blessings. So he blessed us some more. Four deliveries were made to our doorstep Christmas Eve night. My family was overwhelmed to tears of gratitude. God's abundance was amazing. Another delivery of food was made by perfect strangers on Christmas morning. I was speechless at the goodness among my friends and community.
I was settling into the night job and beginning to get used to the routine when the Lord sent us an employment opportunity. It was a straw to grasp. It was hardly anything. But we reached out. Mark was overqualified. But another job was created for him, without interview or visit. Just on the strength of his resume, recommendations and a phone call.
I told the Lord how grateful I was for employment, even though it might mean moving.
It did mean moving.
I told the Lord I loved my house. Could he help me get it ready to sell?
Before I could put it on the market, there was an interested buyer.
I asked the Lord if he could help me get everything ready. I was so over whelmed with my husband out of state and my children in a state of emotional stress. What progress I made on the home seemed to be negated within hours or days. Quirky things kept happening, like sudden leaks two days before the home inspection. But somehow, it all worked out or got fixed, just in time.
Then we tried to find the right house in the new city. We looked and looked. Each house we found would have something wrong with it. When we settled on the house that had everything except charm, I was reluctant. When the home inspection came back with bad news, I felt relief to get out of it. But the Lord whispered that this was the right place. Darn!
When it was time to move, my heart was heavy. I told the Lord how sad I was to leave my precious, wonderful friends. I told him I hadn't had so many close friends in my life all at one time. It was so very hard.
So, when I moved into my new home, I was introduced to new neighbors of the same faith who met every day after school at the nearby park. I had friends that I felt comfortable with in less than a week.
Last week, I had a hard time. I kept looking at the un-beautiful exterior of my home and areas of unattractiveness inside of it. I held crying boys in my arms and yelled at ornery, naughty boys. I chased run-away boys at Walmart and searched for wandering boys in the park seven times. I stared at my manuscript on the computer and wondered why I wasn't feeling excited about writing as usual. I went to the temple and broke up fights for nearly six hours in the car. I asked the Lord why my life was so HARD.
I found a couple of scriptures this morning that helped remind me that I shouldn't run faster than I had strength and to pray always so I could come off conquerer. That was good and helped me get centered again.
But I was still feeling a little overwhelmed. I wondered what I could write about that was uplifting on my blog, when I felt so...powerless and burdened. Then, I remembered this scene from the movie, "Facing the Giants".
Yep, this has been my year of Death Crawling. I am carrying a seven-person family on my back. I never thought it would last for so long or be so hard.
I thought it would magically be over by now. I thought I could write, "Been there, Done that, Bought the T-Shirt." But its not finished. Maybe I've only reached the 50-yard line. I hope I've gotten farther than that. I hope this trial is closer to the 100-yard line. I want a little calm and rest in my life.
But I am learning, as I look back over my shoulder, that whatever task the Lord has asked me to do, he has made it possible to accomplish it and poured out blessings all along the way.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."
"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me. For I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
"Trust in the Lord thy God and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Now, all I have to do is remember this tomorrow. :)