Taking A Look Back

So…I have been a little stressed about life and my finances.  While, I am far from poor and not where I hoped to be at this point in my life, there are a lot of good things happening in my life.  This past weekend, I lost sight of those good things.  I am certain we have all reached a point in life where we look back on our life plans and think, “man, I haven’t done nearly what I thought I’d have done at this point in my life”.  That was me just a few days ago.  But then a simple act happened that hit me right in the face.

We had a relatively quiet and restful three-day weekend.  I started getting a little tense on Saturday after getting up and paying some bills online.  I’d just gotten paid on Friday and by Saturday the amount in my account started shrinking fast.  Still, my love and I, decided to drive out to a small historic town to have lunch and to just enjoy the day.  It was nice but still I was focused on my finances like, “wow, I work hard and just like that my hard earned dollars are out the window.” Sunday, our son had a football game so we drove out to enjoy that as well.  By Monday, I was still trying to get it together and we decided to get our weekly shopping done. While out, we somehow ended up in the neighborhood I lived in prior to graduating college.

My old neighborhood served its purpose.  My friend, who owned the home where I lived, at the time, was taking a job three hours north and needed to sell.  I was in school and didn’t want to quit.  With no other options, my friend suggested public housing.  I wasn’t ready to live there and didn’t plan to stay long.  The first time my name came up, I turned down the housing.  But with time running out, the house being on the market and could be sold at any point, I swallowed my pride and accepted when I was offered housing a second time.

My son and I moved in.  I worked super hard, finished school, found a teaching position and got out of dodge withing three years.  The neighborhood is now being demolished.  On Monday, seeing nearly all of the buildings gone, humbled me with the quickness.  I sat there in the car, looking around at my old neighborhood thinking about where I’d come from and all that I had accomplished in fifteen years.  I was reminded that I have no reasons to be stressed or worried about my life or finances.  Living in public housing, seriously wondering where our next meal was going to come from and praying I could just hold out long enough to finish school was my reality back then.  If I could just finish school, I knew I could make a better life for me and my boy.  I’ve come a very long way and God has been there for every up and every down.  Somehow, we always had food.  The lights never went off.  I had gas to get to and from school.  The rent was paid every month and I never had to borrow a dime from anyone.  We were faced with situations I thought we’d never survive and we had outcomes that I know for a fact were not of my hand.

Needless to say, that simple drive changed my perspective within a matter of seconds.  It never hurts to take a moment to look back over your life and in doing so, focus on the number of times you should have been down and counted out.  Those days when you knew you were being careless and shouldn’t have survived the night.  God kept you for a reason.  Don’t lose sight of that.

A brighter day…;)

Chapter Four – Transcendence

God is Able by Priscilla Shirer

Transcendence means the quality or state of being transcendent.

Transcendent means going beyond the limits of ordinary experience, :far better or greater than what is usual.  “…exceeding abundantly beyond…”

When I began reading chapter four it reminded me of the time I began to study the bible with a group of friends back in 2001.  My goal was to reaffirm my faith and trust in God and to be baptized again.  I had been baptized as a child but truly studying the bible for myself and understanding how to apply God’s word for my life as an adult was a game changer.  After my baptism, my life did change for the better.  I felt more at peace, I had more clarity, more structure and discipline.  For about five years I was on this amazing high.

I don’t know about you but I can always look back over my life and remember the exact thing or situation that changed the path I was on.  My amazing high started to take some hits.  I struggled with situations and people in my life that began to negatively impact me.  All those old familiar feelings began to set in; anger, frustration, doubt, a lack of self-worth.  And so…there I was searching for that amazing high again.  I figured if I found it once…I could find it again.  I don’t think I ever doubted that God could help me to find it again, I think I lost sight of God’s ability to do it.

Transcendence…exceeding abundantly beyond

Chapter four helped me to realize that I was not seeing the bigger picture.  I am praying but not opening my mind to God’s ability to move beyond what I ask or desire.  God has the ability to transcend beyond my beyond.  Just because I’m not seeing these out of the ordinary things happening in my daily life right now doesn’t mean that they won’t.  It doesn’t mean that God can’t.  He may simply be choosing to go beyond my expectation and at a time that is best for me to receive it.  I really enjoyed chapter four.  It opened my eyes to the true greatness of God and His ability to love us beyond what we could ever think up or imagine. Amazing…

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂