Well, Irene has blown herself right up the coast, and once she passed through our town, I knew nothing else of the damages the rest of the Eastern Seaboard experienced because of us being without power-- until, last night, in a Chinese Restaurant which had a TV playing the horrible news of the latest devastation wreaked by that deluge bearing wench; I got to see the pictures of what this soggy storm had done to states like NJ and Vermont.
As I watched a fresh tidal wave of flooding through the streets of Patterson NJ last night, it was all I could do not to drop to my knees there in the restaurant and thank God for blessing us with a mere 5 days without power, water, internet or telephone....and with only three inches of water on the bottom floor of our home. Not only did He limit the damages for us: He made sure we had "Rising Water" flood insurance...a type of rider which is rare --and for which SO many people are kicking themselves this week for not carrying. Now it's true that we've not yet begun to be able to get started with the real work of cleanup...hopefully that will begin later today...but it has at least gotten in the works.
Tonight I've harbored less than commendable attitudes and feelings. I was just talking to someone on Facebook and found myself spewing self pity and bitterness right and left. And I think this has become a bit of an ugly trend in me....as I think back on other conversations of late. Lord, if there's one thing I've never wanted to be, it's bitter. But how easily this weed grows. A little discontent; A little worry; A little questioning; A little self pity; A little ego; A little fear...All mixed together and out comes: bitterness.
I hate everything that this speaks about me. And I will, you can be sure, asking God to deal with this in me.
Today I had a really really difficult MRI. The position I had to lie in was excruciating. It made me realize that not only is my right shoulder "gone"- destroyed by PA (Psoriatic Arthritis)...but my left is also. And the MRI was to confirm that my left elbow, too, is gone. I'm due imminently to have a right shoulder replacement. And will likely have arthroscopic surgery on my elbow to tide me over until I'm old enough for a replacement (that particular artificial joint does not last too long, so they won't do it on someone as "young" as I). I'm usually really tough about dealing with pain...but this MRI was so bad that it drove me to tears.
And those tears, combined with a basement full of soggy, molding sheet rock and belongings and also some marital issues...got me started on a downhill slide...straight into bitterness. I'm feeling sorry for myself. And worrying about my rather bleak future. And I need to CUT IT OUT RIGHT NOW. I have to look at my blessings. And I have to work on being grateful; not resentful--trusting, rather than fearful. These are not easy things to foster (trust and gratitude) when things are falling apart, are they? But I'm finding that they are critical. Not only for my well being before God; but for maintaining relationships with people.
There are two or three people who I've counted amongst my "good friends" -- who have suddenly become scarce. And I do know why. I've been way too needy; too focused on my own needs and pain. The fact is: when we are needy--God is the resource to whom to go--not your friends. Because with friends, the harder we cling, the further they will withdraw. God, on the other hand, invites us to cling--and to cling hard to Him. This is an incredible thing. Have you ever thought about it? God has never said to anyone, "Hey buck up; Stop being so needy. Have a go at things on your own."
NO! He tells us, "You are wretched, needy and blind" and he wants us to realize it; to know it and to hold fast and tight to him. How awesome this is!! God will never ever reject us for needing him too much. He says "Come to Me all you who labor and are burdened."
So, from now on...when I'm feeling weak, inadequate, poor, and incapable of meeting my own needs (which is all the time)...I'm not leaning on my friends--I'm running for my Daddy.
GIRL, WHO'S YOUR DADDY???