Have you ever had “one of those days?” You know, those days where everything just seems to go wrong and you just want to be left alone to crawl back into bed. If you’re like me, then you probably have. While it seems I’ve been getting a week’s supply of “those days,” I’m glad to know that there’s someone I can turn to talk it all out. Along with God, last night I had a deep conversation with my grandma. It was a much needed, right-on-time conversation that came after I had a long day of unexpectedness.
Starting the night before, I had planned to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep. That didn’t happen! I never made it to snooze land. Instead, I stayed up all night tossing and turning trying my hardest to go to sleep. Back and forth I went from studying my bible, to watching Netflix, to burying myself under the covers in hopes of falling asleep. Still, nothing happened. So, after pulling an all-nighter, I finally got out of bed at sunrise to get my day started. With a semi-busy day full of appointments, errands and meetings, I planned to get out the house early. Unfortunately, my day didn’t go the way I had intended it. My plans were made one way and things turned out completely different.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
Having been awake all morning, I still managed to get out of the house later than anticipated. Now stuck trying to get through the commute of bumper to bumper traffic, I prayed that I would get to my first appointment on time and in one piece. Thankfully, I did. Without a minute to lose, I arrived on time at the car dealership where I was getting my car serviced. I handed my keys to a technician and went inside to the service representative to go over all the things that was wrong with my car. After quickly signing the paperwork, I was told I’d be able to pick up the rental I’d previously reserved. However, when I got over to the rental department, instead of things being smooth sailing, I was hit with waves of information about how I couldn’t rent the car as planned due to the company’s new policy: they only take major credit cards. Bummer!
Since neither of my payment methods were acceptable (debit credit card / cash), I was unable to get the car and had no way of getting around. In that moment, I was disappointed. Why wasn’t this told to me over the phone when I booked the car? With a pouty face and a slight hint of irritation at the sign of my plans going awry, I tried to make other arrangements to get back home. I called my godparents, who lived nearby, thinking my godfather would be able to come and pick me up. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t work out either for he already had a previously scheduled appointment of his own. With no other options available, I had to take an Uber home. That encounter didn’t go so well either.
After all that drama, I finally made it home safe and sound. I was overheated from the weather and the drive home, irritated at the debacles that occurred in one morning and I was exhausted to say the least. I fed my dog, fixed myself a bowl of cereal and went upstairs to my room. Since I had no car to run my errands, the goal in mind was to try to take a quick nap before my first meeting. Unfortunately, a nap wasn’t what the doctor ordered. With so many thoughts swirling around in my mind making it impossible to relax, I tossed and turned again trying my hardest to fall asleep.
Just as the day before when I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with everything, I decided to pick up my bible, read the Word of God and took all my burdens to Him in prayer. Once I finished reading and saying my prayer, I was able to fall asleep. After a quick nap, I woke up to a missed call from the service agent at the dealership. Upon returning his call, I was hit with news I did not want to hear: the cost of fixing my car and that it wasn’t covered under warranty. Double bummer!! As I dropped my head in despair, I told the agent I would need some time to think about my options. We agreed he’d call me back within an hour. Lord, what am I going to do now?
I was saddened by this news. With the money I had in savings, my plan was to self-publish and market my memoir. Now with this car issue, I was going to have take from that fund and put it towards the repairs. Feeling the weight of money troubles weighing down on me, I cried out to the Lord, “I know You gave me this dream because it honors You, and I know what you started in me, You’ll see it through, but Lord, with issues pulling my finances in different ways, I have no idea how things are going to work out.” Although my plans had changed, as I stated Monday in the previous post titled, “When In Doubt, Read The Word,” it’s through reading the word of God, and recalling all other times I thought things weren’t going to work out, that I’m reminded the true essence of faith.
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)
God already wrote the story of my life. He already saw and knew exactly when things were going to happen for nothing happens unexpectedly! Everything is planned. Keeping this in mind, regardless of my current circumstances, I know that I must have faith that He’ll ensure everything gets done according to His plan, not my own. After prayer, when the service rep called back, I asked a ton of questions before giving the instructions to proceed with fixing the car. We hung up and I said another prayer releasing it all to God. Then, I slowly drifted into a nice, deep slumber before my next appointment.
Two hours later, I woke up just in time to get ready for my first meeting. I was a tad bit excited because it happened to be a meeting with representatives from the grad school I’m interested in attending. Having previously sat in on a video conference call and been in constant email communication with representatives, I was excited for this particular meeting was going to talk about financing my degree and how their financial aid department could help me. Needless to say, when the hour hit, I was all ready to go. I logged onto the online classroom and waited for our meeting to begin. Five minutes went by and yet no one had logged on for the meeting. Ten minutes went by and it still hadn’t started. Thirty minutes had gone by and I finally got the picture that they weren’t showing up for the meeting. I was devastated! How could they not show up for our scheduled meeting? I checked my email and there were no notifications that it had been cancelled. So, what happened?
Unfortunately, I had no time to unpack the emotions I was feeling for I had another scheduled meeting to attend. At my next meeting, I tried my best to muddle through my emotional state. Talking with the team of ladies who are helping me through the process of publishing my book didn’t help at all. Unfortunately, with all that had gone wrong that day and feeling the pressure of being behind schedule, I was feeling down in the dumps. After hearing them stress about the timeline, upcoming meetings and events that are planned, I felt completely drained. I needed this meeting to end. More importantly, I needed a day do-over!
After all of the events of the day, I desperately needed a hug from my grandma. So, I walked over to her room and laid my head on her chest. Without question, she began rubbing and patting my back and simply said, “It’s going to be okay. God has you!” After laying there for awhile, I got up as she asked me what’s wrong. I began telling her about my day, but it wasn’t until I got to the part about grad school that I started to cry. Apparently, I was more hurt by their possible rejection than I thought. As tears poured out my eyes and into my swollen right hand, I listened at the soft spoken wisdom of my grandmother.
“All things in God’s time. It may not be the right time yet. You’re doing too much and God may just want you to focus on that one thing right now. Get the book completely done, then you can start something else. You may be able to do all those other things after you finish. Don’t try to do too many things at once. Just finish this part first and watch how God works. Besides, your health is more important and you can’t put too much pressure on yourself. Grad school requires a lot of studying. You’ll need time to dedicate to that. Who knows, God may have it work out where what He wants you to do, He’ll give it to you without having that degree that you want. Now, I know I’m right because I’m grandma!”
As I listened to her words while crying in my hands, I couldn’t help but to agree with her sentiments. She was right!! Everything in due time. In my heart, I felt comfort in what she was telling me. I wiped away my tears and felt peace wrap its arms around me. In that moment, I was reminded to focus solely on The Lord. This was truly a special conversation that happened at the right time.
“You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” (Hebrews 3:13 NLT)
As always, I share my journey in hopes that it encourages you just as much as it encourages me. Please learn something from my life’s experiences. Many times, Christians in the church make others feel bad about their life’s struggles and about struggling with keeping faith. I’ve learned that faith and having a strong spiritual connection with God requires brokenness, a willing heart to admit it, and daily motivation and action towards strengthening it. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m encouraged to openly confess my struggles. I’m not perfect! While I do study the word every single day and stay in constant prayer with God, I have bad days just like anyone else. It’s in those bad days when I have to work extra hard at keeping the faith that all things will work out for the good of those that love the Lord, though I may need a minute to cry.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)
Regardless of those pesky human emotions, my faith does not waiver and neither should yours. God has brought each of us through so much already. I know that days like yesterday are just little stepping stones along the river of destiny. They are simply tests or pop quizzes that arise to see how I’ll respond and if I’m ready to pass on to the next level. Everything happens for a reason. In any event, we must all keep our faith and know that The Lord is on our side. He wants to see us win! He wants to see us happy and doing well! He wants to give us peace and joy! It’s up to us to diligently seek Him everyday, no matter what may come our way.
“This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’” (Jeremiah 6:16 NLT)
I pray my testimony is of some encouragement to you. The enemy’s job may be to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but it’s our job to turn to our Creator and let Him fight the battles for us. Though the burdens may be heavy and you may have a bad day, you cannot let it ruin you. Don’t allow what happened yesterday to determine your today. You may have to cry and get a hug from somebody you love like I did, or you may need to take a nap. The key is to pray, read the word of God and do what you need to do to get yourself back to a happy, peaceful place with God. Take your matters to the King (Jesus Christ) and let Him handle the rest. Your sanity is worth more than anything life can throw at you. Stay encouraged and prayed up! In Jesus name, Amen!
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @christofs70