“You do have strep throat, I can put you on an prescription or give you a shot?”
I knew an antibiotic prescription would take a while to get in my system and do it’s job”How soon does the shot start working?”
I was exhausted I sat in the stale white exam room weighing my options. I had only just recovered from the stomach flu and now strep? My body was worn out and my brain was barely holding onto all the daily activities I had to do. I’d only been working two jobs for the better part of a month. I could not afford to take any time off.
“I’ll take the shot.”
The doctor looked at me, surprised. “Most people prefer the prescription.”
“I just want to get it over.” I slurred.
When the nurse came back with the needle, she asked me if I’d ever had one of these before. Something triggered in my brain. The peanut butter shot? My sister had one, and they called it the peanut butter shot because it was thick, and had to be pushed in slowly. It was supposed to hurt. Bad.
“Well, it hurts a bit.”
She pulled the back of my pants down so she could get to the designated spot. I braced myself as the nurse prepped my skin and poked me. I felt the pinch and sting turn to a burning as she slowly depressed the medicine through the syringe into my blood stream.
Lesson 3 Ask for Help
For so long I thought the true mark of strength was proving I could do it all on my own. Being a single mom, I felt it was my responsibility to fill both roles of both parents at all times and in all places.
It’s a trick I got hooked into, as so many of us do, thinking we must do it all alone. As we allow others to help us, we actually get many benefits, we allow a flow to come into our life of give and receive. A flow is what we want, a flow of money, and flow of growth, a flow of love. Asking for help humbles has and prepares us for better and greater blessings to come into out lives.
Even knowing all this, and that, in reality, it takes true strength to stop and ask for help, I still have a hard time actually doing it. Letting go of that pride and control is a hard and scary thing to do, especially after having been deprived of control over my life during my abusive marriage.
I had no choice but to ask for help as I was working two jobs Help getting my son to and from school, help getting him to speech therapy, help taking care of daily tasks. I was so worried I would be taking advantage of other peoples plans and time, that they would see myself and my son as an extra burden, and. since I had to rely on them so heavily on a daily basis, that I would burn them out of ever wanting to help me again.
What I found is there are many people out there who are more than willing help, and giving others the opportunity to serve blesses their lives as well as mine. Most importantly, I learned asking for and receiving help reduced stress, worry, and concern in my hectic life and it was perfectly okay during this temporary hardship in my life. That it is a blessing for us to be given circumstances to learn humility and that we all experience this ‘humble leason’ at one time or another in this life.
Lesson 4 Find the Positive
Day after day I felt like a drone. Up and ready for job one, then to job two, do homework with my son, feed him dinner, bathe him and put him to bed, get ready for the next day, put myself to bed.
And yet, through all that, I was so greatly blessed. It seems in our darkest hour is when God hovers over us the most orchestrating our lives on a daily basis to help us learn and grow and make it.
I began working my second job end of November, as this point I had one of those guys in my life, you know, the boyfriend I had dated for six months, we broke up (which was heart breaking) and still tried to ‘be friends’ we were texting everyday, spending time together, and talking on the phone, he said he wasn’t dating any other girls at all, I told him I was gonna still date other guys, it became hard and full of negative feelings for both of us, I felt he reeled me in and out of his life at his convince and I’m sure he felt similarly. Finally we had enough. We cut things off between us completely and for good the beginning of December. I was devastated.
This is where Job 2 became a huge blessing. We had many of the same friends and while this group of friends (including the ex boyfriend) were going to holiday parties and activities, I was ‘stuck’ working two jobs. At first I thought this was unfair and I yearned to go out and be social with these people, then I learned it was really a blessing in disguise, giving me needed time to heal, spend time with my son, and ponder my life and my direction.
After the holidays I was blessed with a new man unexpectedly and blessedly walking into my life, the debts I had were being paid off, I had strengthened my relationship with my son and grown even closer to God.
It wasn’t just automatic, I remember in the beginning purposefully choosing my thoughts, I remember as thoughts of despair crept into my head, I consciously replaced those with thoughts of finding the positive, of seeing my life with a different perspective. And I was blessed for it.
I was lead by The Lord through what could have been months of pain and misery, and I chose to make them months of learning and growth. Which they were. During this time I got to do things I had always wanted to do, but never had. I got to go snowboarding, I got to sing in the church choir, I got to run my first half marathon and I began a relationship which I love, honor and cherish with a man whom I love, honor and cherish.
I know making the effort to ‘find the good’ is what created the good during this time in my life. I know I am a co-creator with God in creating the life I want for myself and my son. I know we all have the gift, blessing, and ability to each do this in our own individual lives.
I was in a hard period of my life, and despite that, I felt the peace and happiness and joy as I concentrated on what I did want and focused on finding the silver linings in my then dull and grey world, rather than dwelling on the sadness, woe is me attitude and grief.
It is a practice I do and will continue to use, I’m not perfect at it, I forget to find the good sometimes, and I continue to do it anyway, practicing until it becomes second nature in my life. It is a practice all of us can do. And I urge you to remember it and to try it. Write about it, share it with others and see what blessings ensue.