God Isn’t Late

God Isn't Late
Each week a flash-mob of writers gather and exercise their writing muscles by writing for five minutes of a prompt that Lisa-Jo Baker chooses. We write for five minutes and then hit ‘publish’ without overthinking or editing. Join us! This week’s Five-Minute Friday prompt? Begin

Tomorrow a new school year will begin. I don’t feel ready. I’ve only been home since 3:30 this morning and so many questions hang in the air—the answers just out of reach like a sun-kissed sheet flapping on the clothesline when your arms already hold more than you can carry.

Fortunately, students won’t arrive on campus until August 11—so I have time to deep clean my classroom (it probably has a fine red dust coating everything), make lesson plans and prepare syllabi for the classes I’ll have in just over a week.

If I’ve learned anything this summer, it’s this: life doesn’t move according to my whims and specifications. When I see someone I love hurting, I want to run them to the doctor and get things fixed. But life—and the medical community—doesn’t operate that way.

The helpless feelings from when my husband first received his cancer diagnosis 12 years ago keep resurfacing as I try to help my friend navigate and negotiate the health care labyrinth. In between each frantic phone call and disappointing dialogue with yet another right hand that doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, I remember to breath.

The summer has gone its own crazy direction—like a kite in the wind—and I feel like I’ve been running along below, trying to keep up. I didn’t meet my exercise goals for the summer, and my time with God has consisted of a prayer journal and the ‘verse of the day’ from my Bible app.

But those verses always seem hand picked for ME. Each one has provided the bright light and beauty that pour in at unexpected times as I travel through what seems like a dark tunnel. The words of God truly are a lamp that keeps my journey from utter darkness.

Just this morning, I pondered a verse from 2 Peter 3:9. “God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness…He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” These words shine into my tunnel and illuminate my fears and my need for control for what they are—a lack of trust.

My job is not to change people, the medical insurance industry, the level of care for a friend because ‘I know them better than a doctor does’. My job is to do my part while breathing in the Word and breathing out love.

I trust. He works. I wait. His timing is perfect. (click to tweet)

And so although I feel inadequately prepared to begin a new school year—to focus on my students and all that they need, I know it’s all a matter of trust. I set aside my emotions of fear (what if my friend never gets the help they need?), of blame (why didn’t I see my friend’s need sooner?) and control (there’s a difference between advocacy and being obnoxious and rude).

Do I trust the creator of the universe and his timing? I must. For without Him, I know I would never have the strength to begin.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • “without Him, I know I would never have the strength to begin.” So true! <3

    Visiting from FMF — Sarah Jo
    Sarah Jo recently posted…Finish – and Begin AgainMy Profile

  • Anita-this blesses me! We can’t fix everything and the fear of being ready for a new school year is so real. I am starting to get that feeling myself and I have a little more time then you-school starts Aug. 26 but have to be ready by Aug. 21. I pray that all of your beginnings are touched by the Hand of God that you will feel His grace in the fears that overwhelm you. Blessings my friend!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday-BeginMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words, Mary! I appreciate all prayers for new beginnings and the touch of God’s hand. Sometimes, he uses people like you to do the hugging and encouraging :). I’ll be praying for you and your new school year, as well. I deeply admire anyone who can teach elementary school. The worst day of my life was the day I subbed in an elementary classroom (ok, that may be just a bit dramatic).

  • It’s so hard to sit back and wait, isn’t it? I have the most terrible time of it, but I’m learning!

    Anita, I’ll be praying for you. After a brief spell teaching in South Africa, I have serious respect for teachers. I’ll pray for strength, patience, and courage as you prepare for a new year and welcome a new group of students into your classroom.
    Jen @ Growing in Faith recently posted…Five Minute Friday: BeginMy Profile

    • Thank you for your prayers, Jennifer! I look forward to the new school year (especially now that I’ve settled in my mind that MY timeline isn’t important–His is!).

  • “My job is to do my part while breathing in the Word and breathing out love.” Yes! Waiting is always a challenge.

    Like you, I long for control and, even more so, predictability. I usually feel as though I can handle a trial as long as I know how it’ll turn out. But of course we often don’t know, and I think the Lord uses that to keep us trusting Him. I know that it’s far better for Him to be in control than for me to do it, but the flesh fights that every step of the way.

    Stopping by from FMF.
    Melissa recently posted…A New BeginningMy Profile

    • Isn’t that the truth? Thinking we can handle trials as long as we know the outcome! How crazy is that? Thank you for stopping by.

  • This is like a deep breath with a long exhale. God really is in control and we just need to follow His leading. It’s hard to see others suffer in a way we have, but our experience can be what comforts them the most. Bless you for being that friend through this difficult time.
    Amy Tilson recently posted…Begin with BaconMy Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Amy :). I’m ever grateful that I have a heavenly Father who knows just what I need, and just when I need it.

  • Anita, praying for you today and through the next week as you prepare for your students and as you continue to help your friend. All of them are blessed indeed to have you in their lives. Grateful for the strength God gives you to minister to others so well. Much love!
    Holly Barrett recently posted…BeginMy Profile

    • Thank you, dear friend! May God be with you and all of your kiddos, too, as they prepare for school and for adulthood!

  • I can’t believe your summer is over already! I bet it’s been one of the crazier ones. I love this post–it’s very relatable to me, too. I love you!
    Laura Melchor recently posted…The First ResidencyMy Profile

    • Yep–summer is over! The monsoons have arrived and it’s rained on and off all weekend. I love it. Yes, it’s been a crazy summer :). I love you, too!

  • Love reading your posts, Anita! And every time I’m here I can’t help but think I’ve met you somewhere before. Do you get that a lot? A familiar face, maybe? Might I ask what state you’re in? (I didn’t look too hard for that)
    Jennifer Frisbie recently posted…All About Me (link-up for Declare Conf)My Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jennifer :). I live in Arizona, but I’ve also lived in MT, WA, OR, NC, NV, NE and WVA ;). The craziest and most common comment I get from random people is, “I love your hair!” I don’t get it–my hair is crazy and they usually tell me this at odd times (for example when I’m perched on a narrow cliff above the trail leading into the Grand Canyon so a mule train can go by).