From my journal and Jesus Calling devotional:
February 25th-Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.Ever get an answer to prayer that you didn’t like?
I’m not talking about praying, asking for something and it doesn’t happen. I mean praying, asking for something, getting it, and not liking it because it isn’t the exact thing you asked for?
It’s like asking for Jordache jeans and getting Wranglers. Nothing against either of these companies or their products, just using this because it is a memory I think most of us ladies out there can relate to. Remember Jordache? Oh, so do I. Never did get a pair. Got Vidal Sassoon, got Gloria Vanderbuilt, but never got the Jordache. Those other jeans were just as nice, and they had a name on them but I was still disappointed.
Ever treat God’s gifts the same way?
Ok. Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m big enough to admit it.
Recently my husband and I decided that I would get a part time job. It’s been a year since the move and before we came here I had a part time job so we figured I’d get one here to. Just a little something to help with the fact that my growing children think I’m a human ATM machine sometimes.
I started putting in applications all over town. I went to all my favorite places that I liked to shop or hang out in and applied. AC Moore, Barnes n Noble, Lifeway Christian Book Store, even considered Starbucks. Surely God would see that I love Barnes n Noble and would make a great employee right? I mean he knows me and knows what I like. It’s the perfect job for me.
After a few weeks of not hearing from any of the places I applied to. I started to apply at other places that I thought were not so perfect for me. Target, Kroger, and yes, Walmart. Now I’m not saying that I’m above working at these places. But at 40, I had thought when I got a job it would be a fun relaxing sort of job someplace where I have an interest in. Something that fits my personality.
And guess what? The only place that hired me was Walmart. So now I work nights (5:30-11) in the Deli Department at Walmart. It’s a good job. It pays well. The people are nice. But it is NOT where I want to be. It does not fit my personality. It is also a stressful job at times and I do NOT handle stressful jobs well. I literally said to God: “Really?” “You think that slicing meat, frying chicken, mopping floors and washing Everest sized piles of greasy dishes is me?” “And let’s not forget that it is physically demanding, exhausting because of the hours, and I come home smelling like fried grease and meat, with bruises, cuts and burns on my hands and arms.”
Oh boy I'm unhappy. A stomp my feet, crying, bad mood, temper tantrum kind of unhappy. Just like when everyone else was wearing Jordache and I was wearing Wranglers.
Then of course the guilt sets in. He did answer my prayer didn’t he? I asked for a job and he gave me one. And He truly did orchestrate it. The circumstances of that day when I got the call could have only been arranged by God. There are people who need jobs and I have one. I shouldn’t be complaining.
And that’s the thing. I understand being able to look around my messy home and say “thank you” because I have a home that can get messy. Or looking at my children sleeping and being thankful for them. Or even looking out my window and being in awe of nature and my surroundings and being thankful that I saw a cardinal. I get it. I really do.
But how do I remember to be thankful when I stink, literally, at night when I come home. Or when I fall asleep in the afternoon and feel bad that my son is watching cartoons instead of doing something constructive. I'm not around in the evenings on the weekends so I miss out on doing things with my family. Some days my husband is asleep when I come home and I am asleep when he leaves in the morning. I went to orientation for this job two days before I left for the She Speaks conference. Two days before what I thought was going to be a step towards publication.
How do I thank Him for something I don’t understand? I really thought I was going in the right direction with writing. And even if I am still going in the right direction with it, this job is preventing me from putting in the time needed. The idea that I may have been wrong all this time trying to write hurts in a way that I’m not sure I can put into words.
How do I thank Him for something I’m angry about?
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m not sure I can.
And it breaks my heart that I feel that way.