All Things Work Together
The past few weeks have been mentally, emotionally and physically trying. Pain has crept subtly in and is exerting itself quite forcefully. I can attribute it to many things...some I can talk about and others I cannot. Stress definitely has increased the length of this pain flare. I'm exhausted body and soul. Suffice it to say our Spring Break cannot get here soon enough!
This morning as I had a cup of tea....I was scrolling through Facebook and happened to see an article entitled, "My Family is a Prime Example of the Working Poor." Curiosity made me pause and actually read the article by Marjorie Jenkins written in December 2016. Although I don't know the author, she was writing about me...about my life! It was a real eye opener for me.
To be quite honest, she wasn't writing just about me...she was writing about those of us who followed the "rules." We went to college, got a job, had a family and worked hard to achieve the "American Dream." Never did I imagine that I would find myself, at this stage of my life, working a full time job plus a part time job plus earning a bit of extra cash by selling my art simply to pay my bills. Those who know me are aware I live by a very tight budget....no frills....fun times have to be saved for....and heaven forbid I have unexpected doctor's visits. Until reading this article, I didn't think of myself as "poor."
Yes the days when I could splurge on things like books, a night at the movies, dinner out with friends are long gone. But to realize living paycheck to paycheck classifies me as one of the "working poor" was a bit disconcerting....and embarrassing quite frankly. I don't think my friends and coworkers see me as poor...at least I hope not.
All that being said...I'm happy. It is the kind of happiness which comes from knowing and accepting "all things work together for good to those who love God." I spent a good portion of my life basing my concept of happiness on things, people, events. There was even a point several years ago when I had to admit I had no idea what real happiness meant and I felt like I'd never know 'happiness' again.
For me the realization that God is all I need opened the door to my happiness. And the key to that door was learning to love God by accepting the love He has for me. That precious love contains all I need for any situation I may encounter....grace, peace, joy, salvation, encouragement, wisdom. Because He is all I need, my prayers have become simple.
When I'm in pain, I ask God to cradle me in His arms so the pain is easier to bear. As stress threatens to overtake me, I ask God to stand between me and whatever is causing the stress thus allowing me to become more calm. When sadness seems overwhelming, God gently reminds me of all that is good in my life. Whatever the situation, He is there for me with whatever I might need.
I may be considered one of the "working poor" by some definitions and I have had a rough couple of weeks. Regardless of those things...My faith in God has sustained me and I am constantly amazed by His goodness. It is actually quite wonderful to see how He meets my needs....every day and in every way.