Last night I had a VBS program to attend with my nine year old son. To be honest, I was dreading it. I was a little annoyed that I had to go. I know this sounds bad, but there were some people from church that I was struggling to forgive.
See, the church I was attending for the VBS program was actually the church I was raised in. A little white church from the early 1900’s. I have so many memories in that church, VBS I attended myself, Sunday school, Christmas programs, and the old wooden benches we used to have there. I adore that church. A few years ago things changed and that beautiful little church was no longer feeding me and my family the way we needed. So we found a new church home that we love.
So, even though I was going back to the church I grew up in I had fears and hesitations. I have felt judged a lot in our community and by other mothers who have kids my sons age. I’m probably the youngest…by almost 10 years…and they all think of me as an outsider. We had a really hard year last year with Sean in school, the year before that was kinda rough, 1st grade was awesome, kindergarten was a nightmare. So things at his school have pretty much always been rocky, we have had a lot of PROBLEMS. I kept telling myself before VBS last night that I needed to just keep a positive outlook and God would take care of me. So I started praying, that he would bless our night at VBS. The first 20 minutes were bleak. I’m sitting at a table by myself and no one is talking or making eye contact. Then one of the little betties who has known me since I was three feet tall came over, hugged me and told me how much she missed me and told me how glad she was that we were there. Old ladies can make you feel so good right? It’s like having a hundred grandmas. So after we have gotten our food, I somehow end up surrounded by a slew of kids alone at our table and I know things will be fine.
Then…things got even better. Sean’s 2nd grade teacher was not my favorite…she seemed to always have good intentions but I disagreed with her a lot… I could handle her though. She came over last night to say hi, asked how Sean was, and how his school year was last year. She said, “Did you guys make it through last year?” I answer, “No, actually we did not.” She sort of nodded with a mutual understanding and we talked for a while and I told her I had been praying about home schooling Sean, and that I was feeling very led to take a leap and get WAY out of my comfort zone here. She smiled, said “You are so patient…I think you will do great.” Wow…I was not expecting that. She told me she pulled her own daughter out for one year in elementary and home schooled her as well. She gave me a lot of tips, advice and words of encouragement. I could not believe it. I felt immediately like God sent me into a very uncomfortable atmosphere, made me sweaty, but had a huge blessing waiting for me.
“I had a thousand minor problems, and everyone I knew had them too. I wanted to be fixed and healed, and I read all the books and followed all the steps and quite honestly was more stuck and broken than before. I was ridden with anxiety about the church and all the people I wanted to please. I often felt sad, and couldn’t even determine its cause. These struggles and others like them were simply the evidence of a plastic god; I doubted God was alive and working and seeing me. THESE STRUGGLES WERE EVIDENCE OF HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS SHORT LIFE MORE THAN THE NEXT ONE THAT NEVER ENDS.” -Anything by Jennie Allen
We all have a thousand problems right? Late for work, who will watch the kids, I don’t have time to stop for gas, my cell phone is almost dead, I forgot to wash his baseball uniform, we are out of bread, I need a hair cut, my grandmother is in the ICU.
Do we really believe that God is bigger than all of our thousands of problems?
If we do…we should stop. About a year ago I started surrendering my plastic gods, my problems, my struggles and my life to God. I started praying ANYTHING prayers. I started leaning into him to help me find my bigger purpose. If you had told me a year ago that I was going to be a stay at home mom, possibly home-schooling her fourth grader, working for a ministry and running my own business from my home office…I would have laughed…like the nervous scary laugh. I never in a million years thought I could be here, I also never thought I could be happy or content to be here. Oh, how wrong I was. God is bigger than our thousands of problems. Be still, pray and lean into him. He is seeking you, and waiting for you to build a stronger closer relationship with him. We will never be perfect, we will never have it all figured out. But don’t we all dream of being in a place in our life where all these problems don’t seem so big? They don’t seem so much like a struggle? God has blessings waiting for us everywhere we go. We just have to look up, and ask God to be loud!