Friday, December 14, 2012

Rhythms of Grace

I’ve been going through a hard time.  Work… well, it sucks.  My stress level is unreal and I’ve come to a place where I truly don’t like the work I do anymore.  I think I can like it again but right now – things are just really difficult.  Part of that is the job itself, the company.  Part of it is the wearing down from all the stress for an extended period of time so that my insides are actually being impacted.

I had 2 really rough days in a row this week.  Monday – hard day.  Tuesday – hard day.  Weds – really bad day.  Thursday – really bad morning which lead to a breakdown in a bathroom stall.

I posted on Facebook, asking for people to share hope and encouragement. 

There was an incredible outpouring of stories and sharing Scriptures.  My husband shared a fun way of showing he loves me.  A friend shared a story of being part of a medical mission to extract a critically ill missionary from a third world country who has since recovered and returned to work.  Friends who have been in far more difficult, personal circumstances in the past months shared the blessings they have received from family and friends.  Friends shared stories of unexpected good news received, unexpected financial help given. 

And my spirits began to lift.

I started reading the Scripture verses people were leaving in their comments and one really spoke to me, left me weeping in my desk (with my door shut, thankfully), and led to a good prayer session with God.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I decided to read more of the verses in the chapter.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Then I opted to read a different translation (The Message).

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Gain the natural flow of love

Be filled with and flow with God’s unending, indescribable grace, love, and mercy.

Come to me. I will give you rest.

I know God is with me.  I also know that He intends for me to be where I am.  I don’t like it – like the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years, knowing there were promises of a better life, having to trust God that this difficult path was where they had to tread.  I know God is with me.  God is with me when the work load overwhelms, when the demands are unfair and unreasonable.  I find great comfort in knowing God is here, in my office.

I’m missing that part about “learning the unforced rhythms of grace” these days.  My heart is heavy and love doesn’t flow anymore.  I have actions that are without feeling.  I’m doing the right thing because I know it’s the right thing and it brings joy and comfort and help to others – but nothing to me.


And immediately after I wrote this, a friend showed up to pick something up from me and gave me a gift.  She had just been in a store and saw this ornament and thought of me. 

An angel.  A love angel.

Then, Friday morning, a friend called to ask if I was at work and could I meet her at the front door.  She had picked up scones at Lulu’s Bakery and brought me 2.  And they were delicious.  And they brought a smile to my face.  And they were still a little warm. 

A different kind of love angel.

I’m going through something difficult right now.  And it hasn’t been easy and it’s changing me in ways I don’t like.  It’s been going on for a long time – steadily getting more and more difficult.  But there are positive things coming out of it.

While I mourn the time I don’t have with my kids because of my commitments, I value the special relationship they get to build with Jeff because he is such an involved and hands-on parent.

While I am stressed about my work load and the expectations, I know that God intends for me to be here at this time.

A lot of the changes that have happened at work have had a negative impact.  But one of the changes had led to a positive impact on how my supervisor manages our department and her direct reports. 

I’m not afraid to reach out when it becomes too much and I get hugs and support and love from my friends in ways I can’t express.  From the gifts my friends have randomly brought to me to the words of affirmation and support in a Bible study group the other night… hard times show us who we can count on in life.

I don't know where this path is going to lead me.  I don't know when it will get better or if it will get better.  I don't know if I am meant to continue on this path or if another path will open up that I am being prepared for.

I don't have to know because I have faith.



C. Beth said...

I love the little things that people do for little gifts God gives us, reminding us he's thinking about us.

And I'm glad you ask for encouragement. That's usually all we have to do--ask.

Mrs4444 said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been going through a rough time at work. Honestly, it surprises me that you even have a supervisor, as you strike me as the kind of person who should be running the show. :)