I am so excited to introduce you to a dear friend of mine…Merri Gamble! Merri has graciously accepted to join the team at AGoodTired as a guest writer…this is something that you should be very excited about! She is bringing something new and very needed to AGoodTired : the perspective and wisdom that comes from a woman who has followed Jesus for decades throughout an adventurous and demanding life. As a 30-something, this is the kind of woman that I want to listen to and glean from…and after reading her sweet and humble words, I’m sure you will feel the same. Enjoy!
God has a way of interfering in our lives that can sometimes be uncomfortable. I am quite uncomfortable right now. Then again, I usually am. You see, I was not one of those brought up to “believe in myself.” But that is completely beside the point. Right now, I just want to share a little of God’s goodness in a crazy life. Maybe you can relate. If not, then hopefully you will be encouraged to look a little harder for God’s loving intervention in your own life! It’s there! 🙂
I was sitting at our little table in our little house in the very little town of Oshkosh, Nebraska (not to be confused with Oshkosh, Wisconsin) and feeling very alone. So what does a lonely soul do at a time like this? Why, go on Facebook, of course! So, I did that very thing. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?…but a blog called “A Good Tired” and the title of the post was “The Secret Needs Of Lonely People.” BINGO! God sent this just to me! I’m sure of it! I devoured every word. Oh, how wonderful it felt to know someone else understands my ever constant struggle. Then I realized, “Hey! I know this person!” Well, I know her a little. Mostly my kids know her. Anyway, I decided I would send her a message thanking her for the post. I spent literally hours writing my message. Yes, hours! First off, I had the time. Second, I question my words constantly. There’s just something about seeing my thoughts in print that doesn’t set well with me. Well, Allen walked in the door. I was out of time so I quickly hit the “send” button. I wanted to welcome my husband – the only friendly face within 1,300 miles! And I realized I hadn’t even thought about supper yet! So I needed to get busy! Or at least look like it. 😉 (When you have so little to do, it’s rather embarrassing when you forget to do something.)
A little later that evening, I realized that what I thought was a private message was actually a public comment that would be posted for all to see! My heart sank. Like I said, I question my words constantly! I re-read my “comment” and felt like I was complaining about my situation, so I contacted Lauren and asked that she remove the comment. The thought of others reading something I had written kind of turned my stomach.
So what on earth am I doing here now!?!?!?
To be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure myself. But I believe there is a purpose in it. Lauren and I went back and forth just a little and the next thing I knew she had asked me to “guest post” on her blog. I was shocked, flattered, humbled, and scared to death! I spent the night tossing and turning, both in my bed and in my head. I prayed and prayed and searched the Scriptures. Throughout my prayers and reading I was reminded of past prayers. And being the fallen creature that I am, I of course had to argue, “This is not what I meant. This is not at all the answer I was looking for.” But I finally had to admit this was indeed the answer to years of prayer and came to the conclusion that this was one of God’s uncomfortable interferences in my plan.
Just as soon as I had accepted the invitation, fear and panic set in. What was I thinking!!! I simply cannot do this! Every time I start to write I also start to question everything I’ve written! Oh, I can talk and ramble on, but I am not an educated person by the world’s standards. My thoughts run all over the place and are constantly jumping track. I simply, positively, DO NOT have what it takes to go through with this!
Whoa! Hold on! “…DO NOT have what it takes???” Yes! Without Christ there is no truer statement.
All my life God has been putting things before me that I am simply not capable of handling without Him: When I was young I hated school…except for that cute swimmer I was dating. 😉 Then, I had to wait 7 long years to marry that cute swimmer. Then, God blessed us with 2 wonderful children, and the responsibility of raising them was overwhelming at times, but I have to say that letting them go to face the world as grown-ups was even harder! (btw, they were and still are a continuous source of joy!) Then there are all of our many moves and having to start over again…and again…and again. Right now, we are in the middle of yet another move. Only this time there is a lot of traveling by plane going on in the midst of all the packing. Oh, and did I mention that I hate to fly? Yep, life is just one exciting, seemingly impossible adventure after another.
But my most difficult adventure came 2 years ago this fall when I brought my 87-year-old mother with Alzheimer’s home to live with me. She could no longer walk and needed around-the-clock care. She did not know who I was anymore and she fought my help. I was in a new town with no network of friends or even acquaintances. Never before in my life have I had to live moment by moment. My strength and energy were pretty much gone after about the first 48 hours, but I still had to do what needed to be done. Most of the time it was just me and Mom – no one else around to help. But God provided everything needed. Not necessarily what I wanted or when I wanted it, but what I needed right when I needed it most.
My mother was only in my care for 2 months before the Lord took her home. I treasure every single moment of it. The good and the bad. The night before she died she took my hand, drew it up to her lips, kissed it gently and said, “I love you”…twice! I would have missed that incredible blessing it I had not accepted the daunting task of taking her in and caring for her.
I never see God’s hand more clearly than when He sets me up with what appears to be an impossible task. (And to this little scaredy-cat, that’s most of life.) But in some ways I am also most calm when I know things are completely out of my hands. I guess it’s just knowing God for Who He is and that He will “never leave me, nor forsake me.” But I have to constantly remind myself of that Truth.
Take a good look around you. What do you see? Chances are, you have more to do than time to do it. There are loved ones you are concerned about. And tasks that feel insurmountable and overwhelming. Now look in your heart. Is Christ there? Then you are not alone! You have the most powerful Helper you can possibly have! Now, take another look around, only this time ask Christ to filter what you see through His eyes!
Oh…and btw…I am still very uncomfortable seeing my thoughts in print, but if anything I’ve written encourages even just one person in the Lord, then it’s worth it. 😉
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