A little over a year ago, I admitted in my post Enough of This Whole School Thing, that I dropped out of high school my junior year. My life patterns back then were anything but wholesome, unfortunately.
My mom had told me during that rocky season that if I was going to drop out of school, I needed to find a job. So I did – at a local pancake house.
That started a career for me that I really enjoyed. I found the restaurant business fascinating, and ended up doing quite well at it.
However once I met my current husband, working weekends and holidays (busy times for restaurants) were tough on our relationship. At the time, I was working at a steakhouse in Seattle. I shared my wanting to try something new with a co-worker who directed me to a law firm who was looking for a receptionist. Somehow I got hired, and I began a new career. Eventually I was promoted to legal secretary doing medical malpractice defense litigation.
While I enjoyed my job, I started noticing that it was very easy for my mind to start telling me that I was experiencing some of the same health issues of the cases my attorneys were working on.
Yes – I’m feeling those same things going on in my stomach!
I wonder if that’s why my headaches seem to get worse, especially at nighttime?
Could the issues I’m having with my legs be telling me I’m dealing with the same thing that the last plaintiff was having trouble with?
On and on it went. And I wasn’t alone. Me and my co-worker friends would often sit and talk about how we were sure we had the same things the lawsuits had been talking about.
Since inviting Jesus into my life as Lord and Savior in my mid-30’s, I have found it much easier to push my mind back to where it needs to be. But there are still days…
A couple years ago, I had placed way too much on my plate. I was working full-time, my husband and I were co-leading a small group, and then I began writing my own intensive Bible study on the book of James – teaching it at the same time with a small group of ladies.
What on earth had I been thinking?
I went through many sleepless nights. I’d lay there and stress about whether I was going to be able to stay on top of everything.
Then one morning I woke up and actually felt rested – I had slept all through the night!
My excitement, however, quickly turned to a type of fear as I noticed that my urine looked like it had blood in it.
The thoughts came flooding back to when we were getting our special needs son Jeffrey ready to move to Arizona for college and my health started falling apart (This Old Bod’). My doctor had warned me at that time that if I ever noticed any blood in my urine that I needed to call the doctor immediately.
I recalled the stress I’d been going through then, and started correlating it with the stress I was going through now. Why had I allowed myself to be put back in a position like this? I don’t want anymore surgery!
It was right during that same time period that we were going through the book of Colossians at a prayer meeting. And, of course, God used that time to speak to me yet again.
He reminded me that my primary focus was to be on His purposes (3:2); that I needed to remember that whatever I’m doing was to be for Him and not people (3:23); and that I should be fulfilling it with faithfulness (4:17).
In other words, like the song Fill Me Up, says, “You provide the fire, I’ll provide the sacrifice.” My thoughts had once again strayed away from my God who always provided me the fire and strength I needed. Instead I’d been trying to do it by myself.
Of course I didn’t immediately call my doctor that morning when I discovered what I thought was blood in my urine – instead I decided to wait one more day. And you know what? The next day everything was back to normal. I then remembered that the previous day I had roasted a bunch of carrots, beets and sweet potatoes – and had eaten a ton of them. (You do get what I’m saying, right?)
Ha – no wonder! My mind had been veering off in the wrong direction again.