If you close your eyes and imagine a thirty day calendar, I can tell you the numerical dates of each day for the next three months. My mind eats, sleeps and breaths a calendar while making sure that everything is accounted for on the appropriate date. Attention must be paid so no balls are dropped.
Being a single parent who works three jobs (I love saying that because I consider none of the three actual work), a calendar has become part of my DNA. It is also somewhat of a security blanket. My mind is consumed with schedules for church, family time, drop offs and pick ups for sports and social events for my daughter, meetings, and the occasional doctor’s appointment for her or a random hair appointment for myself.
There is so very little room for deviating from my calendar because something.
On this particularly cloudy and overcast day, my schedule was packed. But, I was feeling blessed because I was relying on someone else to take my youngest for a sports physical at her Pediatrician’s office in Ruston. I really do not think that I have missed more than a hand full of doctor’s appointments since both children have been born, so mommy guilt was not rearing it’s ugly head.
Just as I was finishing a meeting in Grant Parish I was notified that my blessing had backed out of their commitment. The blessing no longer felt like a blessing. I now had to rush back to Natchitoches, keep a hair appointment that had already been moved a time or two, make the doctor’s appointment and get the child back before Volleyball practice started.
On the ride to Ruston, as my daughter fell asleep, it gave me time to pray and seek God about my stress. Yes, it was partially self-induced, I was mostly angry at myself for allowing me to rely on someone who has not always been the pillar of consistency. Was I trying to do too much? Would I ever have good hair? Would I ever make it to a gym again? Am I a bad mother? How does a single mom with multiple children handle life?
I was truly feeling like a poor planner who could not rely on anyone other than herself. This was going to be an epic pity party once I found the time to enjoy it.
During that drive, I literally prayed that God would send me a sign that I was going to be okay and that all of the tiny tasks set before me in this life would get accomplished. This was more like a desperate plea from an emotionally stressed woman who was questioning her role in life. I just needed a sign. One small sign. Or, a burning bush.
When the appointment was over I felt a slight burden being lifted. Life was looking up and the sun was beginning to peek through the clouds. It was truly becoming a beautiful day.
As we were leaving the clinic I spoke to a few of the patients sitting outside waiting on their group transportation. One particular lady with a fragile smile caught my eye. She kept staring at me so I simply said, “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”
She quickly replied, “Come here, I need to tell you something.” I obeyed and headed in her direction.
She went on to say, “Beauty is everywhere you look if you slow down to notice it.” I agreed with her and was just starting to move on when she asked me if I had a twin. Perplexed at her question and with a puzzled look, I verified that I was not a twin.
With so much intention and wisdom in her eyes she firmly said, “So that means you came into this world alone and you are equipped to handle anything that comes your way all by yourself, you don’t need anyone else.”
On any other regular day that I had not freshly prayed for a burning bush sign, I would have merely appreciated her wit and moved on. This was so much more than wittiness. This was my burning bush. This precious woman had no idea how much my soul needed these words. God was letting me know that his grace was sufficient for me and always there for me. God didn’t send me a burning bush that day. He sent a woman full of strength, knowledge and confidence to know that God always shows up on time. He is never late.
I am still realizing that the more I rely on my calendar and my own strength, that I am not allowing any room for trusting that my Savior will take care of my concerns and meet my needs as they arise.
“So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. – Isaiah 41:10