Accepting That Which I Cannot Change

serenity-prayerThis week has been one of acceptance.  Acceptance that when God wants to soak his earth he’s going to do it and there is nothing that I can do about it.  Acceptance that the roof is going to continue to collapse until I am able to get it fixed and acceptance that God is taking care of business.  As my husband has run around trying to figure out what we are going to do; I contemplate that there is nothing really to be upset about.  There is nothing that we can, at this minute, do about it.  Everything we can do about it we have already done.  Now is the time for patience and faith.  I must be good with that because I know that I feel better than I have felt in years.  What an amazing feeling when you let go and let God.

The rains have been torrential this week, with water flooding the streets and raising the Flint River above her banks, breaching roadways all around the city.  I came home the other day, during one of these unforgiving rainfalls to hear the sound of, what I first thought, was the shower running.  The only problem was that the shower was happening in the middle of my kitchen.  Water was flowing so fast that the spaghetti pan, I first put down, was filling up every two to three minutes.  Fortunately for me, my husband arrived home within ten minutes and was able to locate a large tote that we use for camping, so I would not have to be dumping the brown water that was cascading from our ceiling every couple of minutes.  As we examined our ceilings in the various rooms that have been affected by this continued disrepair we could see water dripping from the light fixtures in both the kitchen and the bathroom.  That’s an unsettling feeling.

We can only imagine how much more our poor abode can take, before she gives up her will to stand.  I know the structure part is, for the most part sound; but what about the health risks we may be facing as mold is most likely taking up residence within the walls.  As one that is allergic to penicillin, which is made of mold; I feel I have to be aware of what the affects could be.  I have armed myself with some industrial strength bleach, ready to strike should I see any evidence.  It may not cure the problem, but it will, at the very least, make me feel better about the creepy situation.

Next Tuesday is the last day for the bank to answer the show cause demand from the Ingham County Circuit Court.  Time has been clicking by, at a pace I expected, and no word as of yet.  The following Wednesday they are required to be in court.  Although we know that the money will not be forthcoming on that day, at least we will be one step closer to getting this situation under control.   Some days it’s hard to stand fast on your faith when you see something being destroyed and there is nothing you can do to help; but then again, that’s where acceptance comes in.  I have found that by accepting things as they are takes a lot of stress off of a being.  The mind can be an evil thing in times of distress, conjuring up all types of false analogies and fear.  The “what if’s” can suffocate you.

I don’t care about the “what if’s” anymore.  I have too much evidence in my life that shows me the miracles that have happened within my life.  I am not willing to waste my time on worrying when, if I choose to acknowledge it, I have made it through every trial in my life and I am still here, living and breathing.  All those obstacles that were so insurmountable became manageable; maybe not in the way I would have envisioned, but we made it through.  I have come to realize that miracles are not always recognizable when they are happening; and only the passage of time really brings them to light, if ever, depending on the mind of those receiving the silent blessings.

I think back over the years, at times when a utility would get shut off because the money just wasn’t there to pay it.  I remember finding myself agonizing over our financial situation and fearing the loss of something that, although nice to have, wasn’t really necessary to our survival.  I mean seriously, our ancestors didn’t have electricity, gas, phones and such.  Was it really worth agonizing over when, in a few days, we had figured it out and were restored?

It is agonizing at times to live paycheck to paycheck; especially when you are self-employed and it can be a lengthy time in between paychecks, depending on the economy.   Many have faulted my husband and me for not getting out there and getting, in their words, “a real job”.  It almost sounds as if we are going to a tropical island, laying on the beach and lollygagging, not truly working, at our “self-employed” bliss.  Those are the moments when I just have to smile and think, “a real job”; one of those things where you bust your butt for thirty years, where the government takes almost 50% of your income and when you hit retirement, they tell you “too bad, so sad”, all those things we promised you are not affordable; sorry.  The social security that you have paid into for years may be non-existent.  You may not agree with my philosophy, and that’s fine; but I would rather do what I’m doing.  I work hard at the work I do, as does my husband.  We are proud of our accomplishments, and although we are never going to be the Bill Gates of our professions, we are at least happy in what we do.  We do not go begrudgingly into an office for forty hours a week and hate our jobs.  There is a reason that we have been led in this direction in our lives and there is a reason that we have survived the economic downfall of the past five years by still maintaining our “self-employment” and I will continue to follow that path that has been put before me.  If I truly have faith in God and what he is doing in my life then I have to assume that he’s the one that put me on this self-employment path in the first place.

What some don’t realize is that when this path was put in front of me, it was after trying for a year and a half to get a job; through hundreds of hours searching and submitting resumes.  People who have masters’ degrees were not able to find employment; what were my chances at 52 and only possessing an associate’s degree?  I gave it a better than “good old college try” and it proved to be fruitless; so I chose to pick one of my skills and go with it.

Acceptance has not come easy to me; but I can honestly say that the past-year-and-a-half has given me a better perspective on the meaning of the serenity prayer.  I have found that by being acceptant of those things that I cannot change, has brought me a peace of mind that I haven’t been in touch with in my life, ever, that I can remember.  I fight when I must (change the things you can) but I try to be very aware of when acceptance is needed.  It may be reached after a flood of tears or as quickly as a blink of an eye, but it comes and it is calming.

Our old roof will get fixed, eventually.  Our lives will find normalcy; whatever that is.  We are defined by God, and I am accepting that more and more in my life every day.  The change is coming within and that will change all of my tomorrows to what God’s vision of my life is to be.  To resist that would be to waste a precious gift that I was personally given and I cannot accept that.



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2 Responses to Accepting That Which I Cannot Change

  1. Good post Sheryl. Thanks for the reminder. It is hard looking at the corruption everyday and then coming back to solid ground…but we must do it. There is more here than meets the eye and sometimes when we feel that we are all alone in this battle we need the reminder that we are not.
    2 Kings 6:16-18
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

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