Saturday, September 16, 2017

In All Things

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.            Romans 8:28

I have always loved Romans 8:28 because it was my grandpa's favorite verse.  He wrote my grandma letters when they were dating and he would always sign his name at the end and write "Romans 8:28" under his name.

As I grew into adulthood, I started to dig into the verse to find out what it looks like in real life.  Sometimes I can see exactly how God is working things together in my life, and sometimes it seems as though He dropped a few stitches while knitting events together in my day-to-day.

The week before this past one was comically bad.  It became the week of stuff breaking.  Our garage door wouldn't stay down.  Our four-year-old fridge stopped working.  I injured my back while doing my hair.  DOING MY HAIR, people.  And finally, my car tried to break down and leave me stranded a half hour from home. 

I had to just start working on each problem.  I tried solutions to get the garage door down.  Eventually it started working again.  We got a small fridge and saved the food we could.  Jared started making calls to see if we could get a refrigerator repair man out and if it could be covered under warranty.  I called the chiropractor Nolan had seen and made an appointment for my first ever adjustment.  In the meantime I took shallow breaths and tried not to move.  My brother came over to look at our van and see if he could help us fix it.  We also made an appointment to take it into the dealership to be looked at.

Life went on.  We continued to work through life with a sore back, small fridge, questionable van, and general life fatigue. 

This past week I had the privilege of seeing some of the broken pieces being put back together for my good.  Not all of them, mind you.  But enough to remind me that God knows what He is doing.

I went to see the chiropractor.  He pointed out how tense my back was.  Um, duh.  That's where I keep my stress.  And there's been a bit of stress lately.  He began to untangle whatever mess had happened when I was doing my hair.  He also suggested that I come up with a better story for how I hurt my back.  I was too tired to think creatively.

When I went back for my follow-up appointment for my back, the chiropractor told me that two of the girls who work for him were quitting due to one having a baby and the other having surgery.  He asked if I'd be interested in working for him part-time.  I haven't had an official job in 11 years, but this opportunity started taking shape as the perfect next job for me.  I prayed about it and talked to Jared, and my excitement grew to a level I haven't experienced in a while.

Yesterday we had an appointment for our van to get worked on as well as an expectation that a refrigerator repair man would be coming to our house some time between 3:00am and 11:30pm.  You know how that goes.  So Jared made arrangements to work from home.

We were able to cancel the van appointment thanks to my brother's help.  But Jared still worked from home so he could meet the fridge guy while I took kids to school.

After I dropped off my kids at their various schools, I went to a friend's house to meet her precious new baby.  Mere minutes after I got my hands on that soft tiny baby, one of the other ladies there saw a truck crash into my van as it sat parked on the street.

I didn't even get upset.  I continued to hold the baby while someone else went out to assess the damage.  I was quickly summoned out to see my crunched van.  The man who hit my car was sincerely apologetic and took full responsibility.  He actually works for a local insurance company.  My van was not driveable so he said he would start the claim and get me a rental car.  He kept apologizing, and much to my own dismay, I just wasn't upset at all.  Accidents happen.  After all the crud we have been through, this just didn't seem like a big deal.

Now you may or may not know this about me, but I hate making phone calls.  It's a part of adulting that I just haven't settled into.  Thankfully, Jared was just a few blocks away from our crunched van thanks to everything else breaking down and his arrangement to work from home for the day.  So he came over to talk to the guy who hit the van and get all the necessary info and call our insurance company.  He took care of the van incident while I went for my last chiropractor appointment, where I also made final arrangements to start working next week.

It was a crazy morning, but I just kept thinking how thankful I was that Jared was home to help me.  I truly could not have survived the day without him.  I had friends who also helped with the morning by taking pictures of the damage, offering help with my kids, and even lending me a vehicle so I could make my chiropractor appointment.

God had set up a series of dominoes the week before, knowing where they needed to fall this week.  The back injury led to my new job.  The broken van led to very enjoyable time with my brother.  The broken fridge led to Jared being there when I needed him.

It's tempting to think things like:
  • Why did my van even have to get hit?
  • What does the broken garage door have to do with anything?
  • Wasn't there an easier way to accomplish what God wanted to do?
I have to consciously steer my mind away from these questions.  I tell myself that God was doing things I don't have to fully understand.  Sometimes I fill in my own explanation, like He let enough stuff break that I would get to the point of simply laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

I'm just thankful He let me see enough connections to reinforce my trust in Him.  I understand enough to go along with what I don't understand.

I discovered something new about Romans 8:28 as I typed it in this blog post.  It doesn't say that God works all things for our good.  It says that God works IN all things for our good.  There is a huge difference.  He doesn't have to tie every single thread together.  His promise is that He is working in all things.  He's doing something in all circumstances.  I don't always see how one cause is linked to an effect, but I can always trust that God is working.  

In relationships.  In broken things.  In chaos and stress.  In schedule changes and next big opportunities.  In excitement and exhaustion.

God is working.  In all things.  For our good.


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