Praise In The Storm
Yesterday, our area was rocked by a severe storm. Not hurricane grade that I grew up with but certainly far out of character for our quiet corner of West Virginia. Many trees are down, including several on my property line. We lost power for about 16 hours or so. We are all safe and sound. There is much work to do.
I made a decision that I want to “count it all joy” but in the midst of the storm that is sometimes a challenge. A difficult challenge. I am going to share some things about this past week not to whine or cry, but much like King David in the Psalms, I am going to share the obstacles then tell you how I was brought through.
Sunday June 18
Started great with my sons in church beside Joe and I. Growth Track went well and we had a quiet afternoon. I fussed with Joe a bit when he said we were not going to our connect group on Sunday. I wanted to be there and felt that was where I needed to be. I yielded to Joe’s wisdom. (DO NOT tell him I said that.) I stayed home with Joe, the boys and Anna to enjoy good food and family while watching a movie. A friend of ours showed up with an urgent need. We were home at the right time to give her comfort and to pray with her. Lesson learned…sometimes God needs you somewhere other than church activity.
Monday June 19
I want to call this the day of birthing pains, cause I do not remember even child-birth being this painful. In case you are not a regular reader here is the Cliff Notes version. (Do they even have Cliff Notes anymore?) Fell at work, hurt shoulder, and out on worker’s comp because sometimes the rules do not make sense. Monday I woke up already in pain. We took Devon and one of the other boys to the church to leave for camp. Lots of hugs and conversation. (Hugs are not comfortable when you have a hurt shoulder.) Then I had physical therapy.
Physical therapy was not difficult stuff, not like when I had PT for my knee last year. These are tiny exercises, currently with little or no weight. My shoulder and neck were on fire. The pain was honestly worse in my neck. It radiated into my jaw, my ear and finally gave me a headache that rivaled even my worst migraine on record. I was in so much pain that I was nauseated. My initial prayers were weak, I was too focused on the pain. I took my muscle relaxer and some OTC pain killers then applied ice, then heat, then back to ice…nothing worked. In the middle of the night I finally got serious in prayer. With tears streaming I prayed until the relief came. Thank God He hears us even when we did not fully trust him first. For more details on this “come to Jesus” moment read here.
Tuesday June 20
I spent Tuesday fasting and resisting the temptation of social media. I spent the bulk of my morning creating a prayer strategy. Ok, for some that sounds weird but we are on a spiritual battlefield, not a playground as my friend, Jeanette, frequently tells me. Strategy is important for business and battle…then I believe it is important for a successful walk of faith. I read a lot of scripture, listen to a few sermons and wrote out my prayer points with scripture for reference. I drafted out scriptures for the ACTS of prayer. All of this is in my planner that I take everywhere. I have my emergency resource at all times. It was a good day spent in the word and remembering how much God has blessed me. I also wrote my blog where I talked about counting it all joy.
Wednesday June 21
Physical therapy again, or as I like to call it…torture. I have to be thankful I have mobility. I can move my arm rather well but I hit certain points and it hurts, add weight and I want to cry. It is improvement in the shoulder. The neck though…Lord please give me relief in my neck. I thought I was going a little crazy until the physical therapist assured me that neck injury with a shoulder injury is common. Great, at least it is not all in my head. How do we fix it?? I left in pain, but not as bad as Monday. That’s a win.
I went home to update my worker’s comp adjuster and check the status of my MRI approval. I find out she is on vacation this week. So that delays my MRI approval and scheduling. Oh, my worker’s comp check will be delayed too. This too is ok. She will be back on Monday and she is amazing to work with…everything will be fine.
Thursday June 22
Any day you have to visit the OB/GYN is not a good day…unless you are having a baby. Enough said.
Friday June 23
Physical therapy…I HATE IT. I am doing my exercises at home, I give 100% at therapy and my neck just burrrnnns. So they add other exercises for my neck and they just make everything hurt. It is not like Monday so we are still thankful.
Then I get a call from my boss. They are picking up my company vehicle on Monday. Since I am out on Worker’s Comp they collect the vehicle since technically I will no longer be paying for it. How do I get to physical therapy for my work related injury that I do not want to be out of work for? (OK breath, Sue) I try to reach my HR department because I also have to pay my portion of my insurance premium. Last time I was out of work I received the notice 2 days before it was going to cancel and the bill was over $500. No one is returning my inquiries on my insurance. I need to plan. In my head I am trying to figure out which bills to juggle cause last year’s injury completely depleted our savings…completely. This lit the fire to really begin searching for a new job. Something that would not prevent me from working because I had an injury. Something safer in a more stable environment. I had only been passively seeking something till now. It is time to be aggressive in finding a new job. A little scared by the concept. Deep breath, God will make a way. Count it joy…this builds endurance.
Massive storm hits…weather not my emotions. Son and his girlfriend traveling in it up from North Carolina. Husband and other son traveling in the same storm. A storm with TORNADOS. A storm wiping out trees in my yard and zapping out my power. I prayed for their safety, but despite my initial wave of concern…I was quickly at peace. Colton and Anna got here safe. The house never got too warm. We are good.
In the quiet 3 hours or so before my son arrived I played a few downloaded sermons. These sermons spoke to being in those uncomfortable places, the places where God stretches you. The times when you have to go through the deep water so your doubts and enemies can drown. Such peace filled my soul. I don’t know how God is going to provide, but He will.
Today Saturday June 24
Spent most of today achy. No ice packs cause there is no power. Ice packs are my friend…my best friend right now. I read my bible and enjoyed the brilliant clear sky this morning. I missed my coffee but it was not that big of a deal. I visited with my son and Anna. Colton attacked a precarious looking tree in the yard. The sound of snapping wood assured me that my heart was rather healthy since my son did not manage to make it stop. He is fine, house is fine…everything is fine.
Then I talk to my husband. While he was traveling the hit debris and it popped a tire or two…two tires were replaced so I am not exactly sure what happened. As he told me I heard cash register sounds in my ears. Money. I do not like money. I don’t have much money and now I need more of what I do not have. He says, “Don’t worry we are fine.” He was right. A good Samaritan covered the cost of the two tires and the alignment.
My son took me to lunch. Not sure if he was just hungry or if he knew I was overwhelmed. We had a nice visit over lunch before I went to a baby shower. I usually hate going to showers, but I enjoyed this one. Having time to talk with people and fellowship. Maybe the change in my heart in the last year is the real reason I enjoyed this time with these ladies. I love these ladies. I yearn for their company and the comfort I draw from it. Yeah…its a change of heart.
While at the shower I received word our power was back on and the only thing I need to replace from all the groceries I had bought on Friday…milk. Honestly, it is probably okay but I am weird about milk and it was $1.50, I’ll deal with it. I came home to a cold though not fully frozen ice pack and took a nap.
My family is safe. My home is intact. I can walk. I can drive, with a little discomfort. I can read my bible, pray, clean my house, type/write, fold most of the laundry, pet my dogs, and tomorrow morning I can drive to church and fellowship with people I love so very much.
I read earlier this week that if we are not praying prayers that scare us, they are certainly not going to scare the enemy. I essentially told the devil to “bring it” in the midst of my prayers Tuesday while I fasted and prayed. That scared me to say it out loud and he has certainly rose to the challenge. I am not defeated. There is something divine for me on he horizon. There is a job on the way to supply the needs of my family. There is a breakthrough with my writing just at the tip of my fingers. There is a breakthrough so close I can taste it. So YES. I count it all joy. For every obstacle this week there is a joy that has swiftly followed. My blessings exceed my hardships. I will not go down quiet to lick my wounds…this girl is fighting.
This was the best crappy week I can remember. Find your blessings and hold tight to them. Walk in victory and assurance. DO NOT GIVE UP OR GIVE IN!!
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