During these moments when nothing in my life goes right, how do I know God still works in my life?
I experience a lot of those moments, more than I care to admit. I feel unsure if God sees and cares about me. I cannot sense God’s presence!
I realize now I could not feel God’s presence because I tend to focus on all the many problems in my life. For instance, I’m working so hard for a job I don’t like anymore. I, however, don’t want to change jobs again. Second, I’m living paycheck to paycheck. All my bills are overdue, and it’s a job in itself just trying to stay above water mentally! By the time my day ends, I’m so mentally and physically drained I can’t even sleep. Also, each work day just seems more painful to get through. I don’t have any more mental space to process anything else. By the time the weekend comes, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I barely have the energy to do housework. By the time Sunday evening comes around, I’m crying inside. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through another week! I don’t even know if I will have enough money to make it until payday once everything clears my account.
Until one day I came to the realization that I can’t feel God’s presence because I eliminated Him from my life. The worst it got the less and less time I spent reading my Bible, praying, and giving my concerns to God. I got so wrapped up in my troubles, my worries, my situation, I didn’t know how to let anyone in, even God!
God always works in the background, but it is up to us to put him front and center stage of our lives every day! I wasn’t doing that. It is still a work in progress. I can catch myself faster and faster each time those dark moments come because I am aware! Those moments still come and more intense than I would like.
On October 28, 2015 I made a same day appointment to see my doctor because I’ve been having chest pains off and on for two days now. By the time I went, my blood pressure was 209/147 and my EKG was abnormal. I was transported to the ER where blood work and another EKG was done. My blood work was fine but my EKG came back abnormal. I was sent home with a referral to see a cardiologist for a stress test.
On November 5th I went for the stress test, but my blood pressure was high again and my EKG was still abnormal. The cardiologist didn’t want me to do the stress test. She ordered an angiogram to check the blood flow of my heart and working in the medical field I knew what that meant.
I automatically start thinking the worst. I have clogged artery. I’m going to have to have a stent or bypass surgery.
I go from thinking the worst to feeling guilty because these are preventable problems. I know better. I should have been eating healthier, exercising more, doing more! By the time I got home I was an emotional wreck!
I didn’t know how I was going to tell my parents. I had to get myself together before my son arrived home from school. I decided the only way I’m going to do this is by giving my problems to God!
I’m not going to worry because I don’t even know the results yet. I put on some uplifting music and started preparing dinner. By the time I went to bed, I felt grateful that God gave me the strength to deal with this today! Tomorrow is Friday, and I have the weekend to breathe a little.
On Friday Nov 6th, I find out that the pharmacy I’m presently working at was closing down and we are to report back to the main pharmacy on Monday. So I tell myself at least I still have a job. It’s nothing to stress about. My son takes his SATs on Saturday November 7th and his 17th birthday is November 11th. I am too blessed to be stressed! On Sunday November 8th, my husband and I made dinner to celebrate and try to get the week started off on a positive note. Monday is a little stressful being at the main pharmacy but I made it. On Tuesday Nov 10th, work was so busy I barely had a moment to eat, but it’s fine with me. Tomorrow is my son’s birthday, and I have a few things to pick-up on my way home. As soon as I clocked out and just about to walk out the door, my boss calls me in the office.
He tells me they are cutting my hours to part time effective immediately, and I can only do 4 more hours this week. My heart dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe they would wait for the last minute to tell me. Why not tell me on Friday when we found out we were to report to the main pharmacy on Monday. I told them that tomorrow is my son’s birthday. The boss said, take tomorrow off and just do four hours on Thursday. Then my boss goes on to say you can use this time to do so much such as: go to the gym, this could be a positive thing, and just work on you. The whole time he was talking to me I was thinking: this is my son’s senior year in high school, I have so much to pay for, tomorrow is his birthday, I have my car, rent, insurance, the holiday season is right around the corner, and I have no idea what is going on with my heart until Nov 19th!
On my way home my mind was all over the place! I thank God for protecting me and everyone on the road with me because I was mentally not there! I spoke with my husband and of course he had a million and one questions! I just listened because I was not in the mood to argue. After dinner I had a checklist of things I had to do in my head for my son’s birthday tomorrow. I, however, made it through the night and my son had a wonderful 17th birthday.
On Wednesday November 12th, I went into work trying to stay positive. Part time is better than no time. Well that didn’t last long. I was called in the owner’s office to find out that they were letting me go. I had to sign a separation agreement and was given $1000 a month for 6 months. I didn’t know what to say. I just signed and left. I didn’t know what to do. I had never been through anything like this before. I sat in my car around the corner and cried. I asked God, “Why?”
I’ve tried not to worry and to stay positive. The more I try not to worry, the more things kept happening. I prayed and tried to settle down before driving home. Now I have to tell my husband some more bad news, and it’s just not a good time!
My husband took the news as expected, but I was okay. I had applied for a job months ago and my test date was next week. I had prepared and even went on Lynda.com to brush up on some software I haven’t used in a while. Tuesday November 17th came. I’m prepared and left a little early to make sure I gave myself time to get there. Something, however, kept telling me to look at that email one more time. As I’m waiting for the car to warm up I read the email I printed out and the test date was Monday November 16th not Tuesday November 17th. Before I could even process whatever emotion was about to come over me, my husband pulled up behind me. I got out the car, and he immediately asked me “What’s wrong?” I showed him the paper. He saw the look on my face and said, “Come on let’s go in the house.” I couldn’t even feel anything. My mind went straight to my angiogram on November 19th, and I couldn’t stress even about this!
Wednesday November 18th, the day before my angiogram was the scariest day I can remember. Everyone was calling to show their support but by midday I was terrified. I couldn’t even tell my husband how afraid I was. I thought the following: “ I believe in God! So why am I afraid?” I felt guilty for feeling afraid. I didn’t go to sleep until after 3 am. When my alarm went off at 6 am, I was already up and so afraid I was numb.
My appointment was at 9 am. After all the nurses, techs, doctors, and pokes, my heart was functioning fine. I had no clogged arteries. I was so happy! All the other disappointments didn’t matter because God answered my prayers for the one thing that counted the most! As long as I have good health, I have another chance to get it right and to do what I was created to do!
I’m still trying to process everything that happened the past three weeks. I’m taking it in a little at a time because as grateful as I am it’s still too much all at once. In retrospect, I know God has been working in the background through it all. I see His hand at work protecting me from things that never even made it to shore. Whatever God wants me to learn from all this, I want to make certain I get it! I don’t want to have to go through these same painful lessons again!
Thus far I discovered that God works in my life during these difficult moments to teach me to trust and rely solely on Him. Not to take my problems to him when I’m already stressed out and He’s my last resort, but because I trust Him to be my first choice–with the joys and troubles of life!
Thus far I discovered that God works in my life during these difficult moments to teach me to trust and rely solely on Him. God waited for me to take my problems to Him knowing He was my last resort. He came through for me. He wants me to trust Him to be my first choice with both the joys and troubles of life.
Why is it important to draw close to God in the good times and the bad? How can your testimony make a difference in the lives of others? Why share your testimony? How can others benefit from hearing your testimony and how God works in your life?
I pray and hope my testimony gives you the courage to trust God in all things whether you feel His presence or not–know that God loves you!