Coincidence? I Think Not …


 

I RAN INTO A FRIEND, AS IT OFTEN HAPPENS, whilst shopping at Safeway. I haven’t seen her since I was at her house—about a month before I left for my trip to the UK, so it was a delight to find time to chat. Aaannd boy, did we chat! There was so much to talk about.

It wasn’t a chance meeting. Nope. There’s no such thing in God’s world. We were meant to bump into each other. It’s never just a coincidence. There’s always a purpose. Discovering that purpose can be a challenge at times, but I’m never disappointed when I delve deeper to find it. This time, it was easy. In our long conversation, I kept hearing a specific word used again and again—one I felt like I needed to embrace.

Sustain
Suh-steyn
—verb (used with object)
•to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
•to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
•to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
•to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
•to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation.

There were at least ten definitions in my iPhone dictionary, but the first five were the point of the discussion my friend and I were having—as in, God sustains us. It was like having a mini-bible study in the middle of a very busy store. It was kinda cool. And a blessing—for both of us.

We all have problems—whether personal, financial, health, or whatever … and we juggle the rest of our life around them. Some of us feel we must “marshal on”, doing the best we can with what we have—and feel the burden is ours alone to carry. We whisper to ourselves, “I can do it myself”. Like my recent ankle injuries … my stupidity (not paying attention to my surroundings, so I twisted my ankle and fell), my problem—right? “I’ll manage.”

Then, there are those that know from the get-go that they have someone very special they can draw upon—dare I say lean upon—to help them get through any situation. Not unlike each time my husband was rushed by ambulance to the ER. I never hesitated—I wanted Him to be in control of the situation, so I prayed. And gave the entire situation to Him.

Personally—and usually without realising it, I see-saw back and forth between those two very real “attitudes”—and sometimes somewhere in between. In most cases, it finally dawns on me and I eventually hand it over to Him—but not always (and sometimes I steal it back …). He waits—waits for me to realise he will gladly take the burden and carry me through. He wants to sustain me. But, I must remember to ask—to willingly give it to Him; to turn over the problem to Him. Until I do, I’m literally on my own.

Perhaps, by remembering that phrase—”He will sustain me”—making it a mantra until it is ingrained in my mind, then it will be second nature to give all of my problems to him in the first place and not waste a lot of unproductive time trying to do it by myself. This is a good week to practice, that’s for sure. I’m juggling way too many things, and in the process, some of the “balls” have been dropped, creating a poorer-quality than desired result. I didn’t give it to God … <insert severe eye-roll> … when will I learn?

Two events loom—Friday night (tonight!) and Saturday—and I am ill-prepared. It’s never too late to ask for help, but I must also be prepared to take on the consequences of my fumbling. I am willing. The events will go well, just not as well as I envisioned, God willing.

Have an amazing Friday and weekend … and may you find a balance between “doing it myself” and giving it up to that higher power in your life. May it be a blessed week … and if you are local and have time, please do drop by one or both events:

Open Ground Studios: Making Our Mark
1230 Fremont Blvd, Seaside
Friday, September 21  5:30-7:30pm
Artist collective group exhibition. Featured work by:
Alyssa Endo
Bonnie Rose
Cindy Davis
Deb Burke
Denese Sanders
Dora Lisa Rosenbaum
Helen Sakkaris
Koko (Donna) Kooyman
Kristin Peterson Guertin
Linda Lay
Noriko Constant
Paul Richmond
Renata Carettoni Abma
Susie Berteaux
Terese Garcia
Yvonne Gorman

Book Signing and Art at Gilroy Sidewalk Sale and Craft Fair
Downtown Gilroy on 5th Street between Monterey & Eigleberry Streets
Saturday, September 22nd. 10am to 4pm
Books • Art • Crafts
 Authors dj jameson smith and Joyce Oroz will be participating in the craft fair portion of this event. They will have their fantasy and cozy mystery book series available for purchase. Joyce Oroz has a new children’s book available—and she just finished another mystery (location is in Gilroy and Morgan Hill), which will be available very soon—find out details on Saturday. Author dj jameson smith will also be wearing her Painterly hat on Saturday and will have photographic and photopolymer prints on display, along with blank photo note cards—all for sale.
Come join the fun, poke around all the booths along 5th Street—we’re sure you’ll find something to your liking.
Event is free; family friendly.

Issues…

YEAH, I’M HAVING ISSUES. SO WHAT…?

Don’t we all? But that’s a bad attitude if I’ve ever heard one.

We all have problems that hang over our heads, producing little dark clouds (well, some may be larger than others), pouring rain down now and then. It’s how you handle them that counts. Do you hunker down, grumbling as it drenches you? Do you pull out your raincoat or handy-dandy umbrella to protect you from most of the fallout? Or, perhaps, fling off the rain coat or toss the umbrella aside and dance in the rain, relishing your “storm”, wondering where it will take you…adding to your myriad of experiences, coloring your life in ways that would not otherwise have been possible?

I have my good days, going along in life, taking it all in. Like most people, I enjoy life to the fullest during these time.

But then, there are the days where everything seems to go wrong no matter what I do to stave off disaster. I realize it is out of my hands and I need to just let it happen, pulling anything that could be positive from the rubble. I pull find a smile, shake my head and laugh. All of that usually helps me. It’s either that or grumble. I’d rather not go there.

Or tears are waiting in the shadows, ready to burst forth for no obvious reason. I would love to blame it on the ‘change of life’, but I’m passed that. Instead, I look to see what season I’m in—I mean, what month. What life experience ‘anniversary’ may be coming up. If there’s nothing, then I shrug my shoulders and blame my wacky thyroid (it is hormonal, just a different beast). And continue on with life, dealing with the tears as they come, considering them a gift. Helping me look at things around me in a more sympathetic way.

But, right now, I just passed an “anniversary”. Each year, little things have  triggered my emotions as the date of my husband’s death draws closer and closer. I handled his death all those years ago fairly well, thanks to the support of friends and the ever-presence of my larger-than-life shoulder to lean on—God. All I need to do is to remember he is still there for me. No matter what. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I find myself concentrating too much on the emotion, getting wrapped up in myself and it’s like a weight, pulling me down. Then I remember. That life-preserver, always at the ready if only I would look for it and reach out to it.

Always lean on Him. Keep Him close.

Also, what I need to remember, instead of concentrating on that death date is to focus on the celebration date—my husband’s birth date, which is so close to it. Take the focus from death to life.

When I remember, and finally bring my focus onto Him, life is better.

Always.

May your troubles be few and may you always be a shoulder to lean on…