Are you praying? Or Stressing? Most of the time, I do pretty well with optimism. If there were a group that was too optimistic, I would be a member. But there are times when I feel overwhelmed. One of those times is when I can’t instantly fix a situation. Then, I get a little stressed.
Many years ago, while living on a barrier island in a mobile home, my house was hit by a hurricane. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t cover older mobile homes on barrier islands for a good reason; they would lose money, so all of the repairs would be coming out of my pocket.
After the hurricane, I returned home and was relieved when I didn’t see any outward damage so I made my way inside and discovered the power was out. Remembering that I kept a box of candles in my bedroom closet, I was on my way to fetch them when I unexpectedly tripped on an eight-inch tall mound in the middle of my living room that should not have been there. The floor had mounded up under the carpet.
At first, I couldn’t figure out how the water got into the house but I soon found out. The next day, after a typical Florida afternoon rainstorm breezed through, water began pouring in through my dining room chandelier and we discovered that the house had a split straight down the roof seam and water had poured in leaving huge gaping holes in the floors. I tried over a hump because when particleboard gets wet it swells into a big hump and then crumbles into a big hole.
At the time, I was disabled and a full-time caretaker for my grandson who is on the autism spectrum. This meant that my income was minimal, daily living consumed all of it, and savings was not an option. When the bills and basic grocery shopping needs were taken care of there was nothing left, so I had no idea how I would pay for the repairs, and, needless to say, I was stressed. I had no idea what I was going to do and thinking about the problem was the catalyst for an enormous amount of stress stirring up inside of me. My thoughts were like a hamster on a wheel. I just kept thinking, over and over, What am I gonna do? I can’t leave it, it will get worse. What am I gonna do? I can’t leave it, it will get worse. What am I gonna do? I can’t leave it, it will get worse. On and on and on.
For me, making a plan to solve a problem is a stress reliever. Normally, if a problem comes up, I just make a plan and fix the problem. But, I couldn’t make a plan to fix this problem because the resources were just not available. It was out of my control.
I needed God to make a way because, without His help, there was no way. And if God wanted me to take care of this little boy, I needed help.
After allowing this particular hamster to run on its wheel far longer than I should have, I realized that I needed to put up my shield of faith. I needed to do as Barney Fife says and, ‘NIP IT. YOU GOTTA NIP IT. YOU GOTTA NIP IT IN THE BUD.’
So, I stopped what I was doing (laundry, happy to stop) and I prayed, and I remembered that GOD promised that if I seek His kingdom first, all these needs will be provided. In spite of that, I still wanted Him to comfort me. I NEEDED HIM to comfort me. I was a little more than desperate for it, actually. Then, suddenly, I remembered a story from the previous week.
One night, while I was asleep, I felt a message playing over and over in my spirit: The confirmation for Zee’s funding is a yes. The confirmation for Zee’s funding is a yes. Over and over, the same message kept coming to me, nagging – if you will, like a record on repeat. I knew that I was supposed to get up and message Zee with the message but I was still super tired and didn’t have the energy to bring myself to wake up.
Try as I might to continue sleeping, the message wouldn’t go away. It kept playing over and over until, eventually, I realized that the message wasn’t going to go away until I sent it. So, finally, at 6 am, I willed myself out of my cacoon and sent the message:
Zee, God said, Confirmation for the funding is a yes.
Along with a question,
Is this something you’re praying about?
His reply was instant, ‘Sister, the Holy Spirit had me out of bed at 4:45 am to pray about this very thing.‘
I realized that the very moment he got out of bed was probably the same moment that the message started playing over in my heart. As soon as Zee asked God for comfort, God sent it.
Later that day, we were both blown away when, out of nowhere, someone messaged Zee with the answer to his prayers. Zee had his funding.
The really cool part was that Zee sought God for comfort and help, and God sent Zee confirmation, in advance, so that Zee would know that it was God Who did it all.
Remembering this story reminded me that I could ask God for comfort. It reminded me that I have a Comforter, and not seeking Him for comfort was beyond silly.
ASK AND RECEIVE. SEEK AND FIND. KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED.”
You will call to Me and come to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares The Lord. (Jeremiah 29)
Realizing that I have a GREAT GOD who has never let me down, Warrior Me said to Buttercup Me, ‘Suck it up, Buttercup. You know that God’s got a plan.’ If I know that God will work it out, then there is no need to stay in a mess of emotions. So, I stopped thinking about the thoughts that were increasing my stress and simply asked God to please send me confirmation that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and to confirm that the place that I am in is all a part of His plan. As long as I know I’m following Him, I know it will all be okay.
That night I had a vision. I saw words written on my hallway wall. The words were about 12 inches high and looked like wooden decor hung on the wall in my hallway.
Seeing the vision woke me right up but I couldn’t remember what they said. So I prayed, God, if that was you, please send the message again. I fell back to sleep and had the same vision again but this time I remembered it. The words on my wall said:
The next day, while making dinner, I had an epiphany and suddenly understood why the words were on the hallway wall; I was in a place of transition and I was almost through.
Two days later, Kathleen Moore-Elliot, who knew nothing of my struggles, my dream, or my interpretation; sends me a message that says, ‘I’ve been thinking about you for a few days. I feel there is a transition going on. You are in a place of transition.‘
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Her message confirmed the interpretation: I am in a place of transition but headed toward double. So, not only was God graciously giving me double, God sent double confirmation that double was coming. Pretty cool.
I originally posted this on October 4, 2018.
Update: Fifteen months later.
When I wrote all of this, I had no extra money, no way to borrow money, and it was guaranteed another hurricane would be coming before I could fix the damage. My anxiety was overwhelming.
But God said that a double blessing was coming my way, AND IT DID! But before it got better, it got worse. Much worse.
After this post, I lost everything that I owned, and it looked like the opposite of doubly blessed. But, like Lot, everything that I went through led me to my double blessing! As promised, God gave me back double EVERYTHING!
In the end, I have a beautiful completely renovated ranch on four acres in the most beautiful spot imaginable. My home is beautiful. Its location is absolute heaven and every relationship in my life is so much better than it ever was. The view is amazing. I have a more than a doubly better vehicle. I have a beautiful fifth wheel (waaaaay better than the one I had before). And every possession that I own, furniture included, is doubly better than it was before. PLUS, He doubled my income!! Literally, EVERYTHING in my life, including my relationships, is doubly blessed and so am I.
God used everything that I went through to help me inside and out. Nothing in my life is the same, including me. It’s so much better than I could ever have imagined, and it was all God. He literally just forced me to leave my home and everything behind and sent me to a place where He had everything prepared and waiting for me. He did it all. I did nothing to make any of it happen. It was all just offered to me out of the blue from the most unlikely source imaginable. When I needed it, it was there. It was all just given to me without any searching or making it happen on my part.
When I was under attack, the comfort God gave me was priceless, and the double blessing is amazing. He who promised is faithful. I literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death but on the other side was the table prepared before me in the presence of my enemies, exactly as He promised.
“I myself said,
“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
and give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’“
I thought you would call me ‘Father’
and not turn away from following me.
Hang in There
If you’re struggling with things that are out of your control, ask God for comfort – and expect an answer. He cares for you. He has a beautiful inheritance waiting for you. As you’ll see in the next chapter, the key to ‘life and that more abundantly‘ – in every area – is following Him.
‘Then, all your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their prosperity.‘
NEXT CHAPTER: A miraculous lesson on faith from God.
Featured image by: “Double Rainbow Found” by Viewminder is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0