Good morning. It is Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Yesterday I wrote about celebrations and anniversaries. Special dates that mark special events in our lives.
Dates mark milestones, successes, even struggles.
This past Saturday was an anniversary of sorts for me. This past Saturday was the first Saturday in October, and it was a year ago, on the first Saturday in October 2020, that I woke up and knew things were not right.
It was hard to articulate then, much less a year later, but I want to try. I woke up that Saturday morning with a feeling of dread and doom. I do not use those words lightly. In fact, if I could find stronger words, I would use them.
It was not a typically panic attack; I have had those. It was not anxiety; I have suffered through many moments of anxiety. This was something different.
I had this sense of foreboding and a restlessness that, again, is hard to describe.
I felt very apprehensive. As if my life was surrounded by some sinister force. I felt as though all the love and light that had been a part of me, was suddenly gone.
It was such a dreadful feeling that I literally felt like I was crawling out of my own skin.
Nothing I tried worked. Praying. Walking. I went for a drive. I paced and paced. I could not eat all day long. And the feeling never eased. I begged God to help me. And yet, He remained silent. It was almost as if He had abandoned me. It was such a frightful experience.
I wondered if I had started grieving the soon loss of Wendell. He had already lived close to a year past the time a local oncologist gave him 2 months to live. WHAT WAS THIS?!?
I called my mom late Saturday evening and asked her to pray for me. I slept okay that night but woke up Sunday to the same situation.
Sunday, I went through the same thing. Wave after wave of dread and doom. Hopelessness and unspeakable feelings of loss and distress.
By Monday I was back at work and back behind the mic but could not even read a 2-minute stock market report without crying.
My boss called me into his office and asked, “what can we do to help you?” What do you need?” I told him I was not even sure what was going on, but perhaps I should take a few days off and try to get into my doctor. He agreed that I needed to take some time off.
I ended up taking the rest of the week off. My doctor put me on an anti-depressant. By that weekend, I reached out to my GM and told him I was feeling much better, but he suggested taking a couple more days off, so I agreed.
On Thursday, October 15, 2020, I texted him and said I was ready to get back to work and would be returning on Monday. He asked if I could come in and talk with him first. So, I headed to town.
What happened next made my head spin. I will not go into detail but will say I was let go. I had almost 28 years with this company. I was good at my job. I loved what I did!
I was asked to clean out my desk and hand in my key. I was told that my absences were causing the company too much stress. What? I wanted to scream “you don’t know stress until you are taking care of a dying man, while trying to balance life.”
But there I was. Two weeks of medical insurance, a brand new mortgage and a dying spouse.
I was devastated.
Now to the good part of this story 😊
About 4 or 5 days into that horrible experience, I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me to start writing Bible promises. I found a journal that had been gifted to me 3 or 4 years prior and began writing. I discovered that while I was writing, I felt no dread; no doom; no anxiety. I felt calm and peaceful, as long as I was writing.
At the end of October, about 2 weeks after being let go, I was in my living room having my morning worship. Just God and me. I was crying out to Him all of my hurt and disappointment and frankly, anger. Suddenly I heard Him speak. “What if you could know this was My will for your life and not your employer’s?” I answered immediately, “Then I would be okay with it Lord.” And I meant it. Why would I not be okay with it, IF it was His plan?
Suddenly I had a peace come over me that is also hard to explain. But the Bible talks about a peace that passes all understanding.
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NKJV
My life began to change. I began kneeling beside my bed each morning to pray. I have always prayed. Prayed while making breakfast. Pray while driving. Pray in the stairwell. Pray in my bed. But I had never, as an adult, knelt beside my bed and began each morning in prayer.
I began to have a Bible study in my home with a girlfriend; again, something I had never done.
I kept journaling, something I had never done.
Also, while reading “Step to a Personal Revival” by Helmut Haubeil I realized the importance of asking God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Mr. Haubeil quoted Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” NKJV
The words “Holy Spirit” jumped off the page at me! I had never read that!
I was very familiar with Matthew 7:11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
I had asked God for good things all my life including winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. But never had I asked for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I knelt next to my bed and asked God for the gift of His Holy Spirit. I then asked the Holy Spirit to help me conquer my struggle with addiction. I want to say it was an almost immediate response. In fact looking back I would say it was immediate.
My craving and desire for alcohol was gone! My craving and desire for marijuana was gone! These were things I had struggled with and fought for over 40 years! I had tried on my own to quit. My own will power. My own strength. But I was not very successful. Oh, I would be successful for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, even a year or two, but the struggle was daily and sometimes multiple times a day.
I read somewhere that the hardest fight you will ever deal with is the struggle in your mind. I was so tired of fighting. And just like that, is was over.
John 8:36 says “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Perhaps I am taking that verse a bit out of context, but it is true. When you have been set free from sin, you are truly free. When the Holy Spirit loosens the chains that bind you and casts them to the ground, you are free!
When Jesus died on a cross for your sins and mine, it allowed us to be free from the penalty of sin, IF we choose to accept His gift.
Back then, at the end of October 2020, I did not know what my future held. Here I was, 57 years old, how was I going to find a job that suited me? I had started work in radio at the age of 28. I did not want to do anything else. I KNEW I would retire from radio, when I was ready to retire, but here I was with so many unknowns.
But God had a plan! “Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4 NKJV
The only thing I had going for me was my strong faith and trust in God. And that was enough!
To make a long story shorter ;0) I started working at Better Life Television on February 15 of this year, 2021.
I have learned so much!! I am now editor for Simple Truths. I direct Catching the Light, Better Life Today and Stories of Faith. I am Producing my own show titled “Women in the Word”, and I begin each day, writing here on Facebook. I even started a Twitter account for Better Life and I post there. I have my own blog now: ladyjway.com and I look back on the last 12 months of my life and I think WOW!!! Look what you have done Abba! Look at where you have brought me! Look at how much you love and care about me!
Philippians 4:19 NKJV “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
He closed the door on radio but He opened the door to something so much better. A life where I am free from my struggle with addiction. A life where I have learned new things and am doing new things. A life where I can write about His goodness daily in a public format. I love Him so much!
I still do not know what that whole dreadful thing was that happened to me back in early October 2020. But I know God had a plan for me all along!
Wendell passed away on January 2, 2021. We had shared close to 36 years together. I had two little boys when we met, and he and I went onto have a girl and a boy. Those 4 children made us grandparents 14 times 😊 Seven by blood and 7 by, what I like to call, “love and circumstance”.
God will take care of us. The key is to put your life in His hands every morning. Tell Him you trust Him and love Him. Tell Him you know that His ways are better than your ways. And when you do not understand and you are hurt and anger and confused, go to Him. He can handle it. He can take it.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV