Sometimes days start with the feeling that nothing could go wrong only to move into the territory of everything going wrong and end in the realization that everything can go wrong and I have no control over anything.
That is how today went. I might actually blame it on my breakfast. I went to Dunkin Donuts and pondered the breakfast sandwich selection. Normally I go straight for a Sausage-Egg-and-Cheese on an English muffin. It’s easy to eat and keeps me full for about 3 hours. This morning though, I was in the mood for a change. I needed something lighter, something that was as substantial but a different texture… and I chose not my regular order, but a Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese on a croissant. Perhaps I chose that particular sandwich because it reminds me of the camp I was a counselor at, which I’ve been discussing with others a bit recently. It was delicious and I felt as though the world held new possibilities just waiting to be awoken with my presence! Little did I know that the day would present obstacles that I was not intending to encounter.
After a good morning at work the second shift crew came in and for reasons I don’t feel like typing out I because agitated, feeling as many things as possible that have no evidentiary support aside from my feelings, which I well know are prone to wander into the unreasonable. I tried to focus on the positive and found myself feeling even less at ease, leaving at the time alloted and stewing over it for a few hours. After a few conversations in which I tried and failed to not have the work situation bother me, someone mentioned to me that I need to walk with the gospel of peace. This is the second time someone has mentioned this specifically in a conversation I’ve been a part of, and the first time I was engaged in the conversation merely pondering the meaning and understanding that it is something I struggle with regularly.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:13&15
I got to clean my room, putting a huge sign up on my wall to remind me that I have a goal of some sort that seems unattainable and might not be, and spent the rest of the night enjoying the company of Ginger Rogers, a wonderful and dear girl I’ve been friends with for a while and am constantly finding myself loving and praying over. She is also a dancer, hence the nick name Ginger Rogers. She recently admitted to having a problem with consistent drug abuse, and she asked at one point if I minded if she smoked up before we sat down to watch Pretty Little Liars (Toby and Spencer? I knew it!!!). She asked for my honesty, and so I said if you smell like weed I’m going to be pissed off. She didn’t do it, respecting my deep disdain for the drug. After the show she dropped me off at my place.
I walked into my room and I swear; it was like walking into a brick of Mary Jane’s finest, all up in my room. The windows are closed and the air conditioner is going, but there is a vent to the room below mine, which houses a middle-aged man who does partake in the drug that has a stench that induces vomit in me. My room reeked.
And in that moment I had a bit of clarity. The point was two-fold, one part of which I tell others on a regular basis because it’s such a strong presence in my life: I must do what I do in the best way I can, with the most Godly of purposes, to my best ability and with the correct motivations, everything else is up to God. (Of course, He is the only reason I can do anything, so please don’t misunderstand. Without His help I cannot do anything, much less correctly.) The second was a bit smack in the brain from the H.Sizzle, also known as the Holy Spirit.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (Special shout out to the wonderful woman who put together our little gifts at the women’s retreat! My verse card was labeled inspiration, and this was the verse. Both exactly what I needed.)
Sometimes, at the end of the day it feels like I just can’t win. But, God has promised that when everything, the days, nights, years, and breathes of each living being, ends… I will be a victor. And these moments, this moment when I feel that I can’t fight the right way, I’m not doing something right because I wouldn’t be feeling so hurt by what could be nothing or feeling so unappreciated because I don’t fish for compliments, or feeling so abandoned because someone doesn’t text back immediately, or feeling so attacked specifically because exactly what I want to get away from is in my home, this moment where I hit my breaking point is full of the most incredibly peaceful silence in my preciously reeling mind. Were it not for the love of my savior, Jesus Christ, I would have no place to turn to find any sort of shelter in what feels like a storm of shit. No matter what comes at me in the day, co-workers or smelly rooms or bad moods or thoughtless actions, I am still covered in the grace of my Lord. And no matter what I’ve experienced in that day, if I take a moment to look past the parts that are bothering me hardest I will find so many sweet gifts and treasures. I had a great respite with Tink earlier, getting to just chill out and watch The Office. I got to talk to her dad and encourage him and be encouraged. I got to go for a walk and get espresso and a cookie and pray. I got to put together a project that might not work, but I’ve tried and that’s all I can really do. I got to feel pretty, I got to feel loved and cared for, I got to feel protective, I got to feel anything because I’m alive. And that’s only by the grace of God.
The coolest thing is remembering the following:
- It’s ok to be a work in progress.
- I am loved. Unconditionally.
- I was blessed with a strong-smelling Pear and sandalwood candle.
- God has promised me something. (“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” – Job 23:10)
- God doesn’t back out on His promises. (“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6)
Whatever trials are happening are for my benefit, and after coming through as God’s appointed for this specific time and place and battle, I will be as gold. I will be His trophy, shining and reflecting His glory.
So I will go in to work tomorrow, not trying to complete projects but do my job well. And I will pray for my friends and for the people who I may not know in order to live according to God’s commands. And I will face the day expecting the worst and hoping to give the most Christlike reactions. And I will dare to get another Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese on a croissant, because it was seriously delicious.