There are many times in my life where I feel overwhelmed. I am currently in one of those seasons. Much of it has to do with the changes going on around me. I have jokingly thought, I need to plan a midlife crises because that is how overwhelmed I have been feeling. It seems that change surrounds me on all fronts, and that the only stability I have comes from God.
It is hard not to be overwhelmed with a husband, three kids, two grandchildren, an elderly mom that needs care, siblings that are in their own crises, extended family problems, work during a busy time of the year while still in the midst of major changes, and trying to pursue my own interests and hobbies. Sometimes I am not in the midst of the crises or problem due to my own schedule but due to my love for these people I am impacted.
And while I would love to have a pity party about my life and how overwhelmed I feel, God also has overwhelmed me lately. The blessings that I have the opportunity to see while I am in the midst of my own trials is what fuels me to keep going. They remind me of my advise to others to get outside themselves and serve so that their perspective on life will change.
So I thought I would share some overwhelming things that God has done lately in the lives of those around me.
I had a mom who was in need of formula. She had went to the WIC office but the computers were down and they could not print out the vouchers. The weather was coming in and the likelihood that the mother would be able to get back to the WIC office was slim. I left her in the emergency pantry but there was only one container of formula. It was liquid and might get her through a day and a half, but again the winter storms were coming and I was concerned she would be without formula for the baby. I was out of gift cards that I would typically use in this situation, so she went back to her apartment. A few minutes later a woman comes in and says “I haven’t been able to give for a while, but I just felt that there was someone who needs something, you will know who it is for, and hands me cash. God always has perfect timing and had sent her when the mom had been told she couldn’t get her vouchers.
About a month and a half ago, God answered prayers in another real way. I had a mother who was needing a new car seat. Her baby had been in the carrier, but he was growing quick and she wanted to get him a convertible car seat. We had been working on our Christmas wish lists and she decided that she wanted to put that on his list. She told me to add it, then went outside to check the mail. There was an almost new convertible car seat outside the door.
Around the same time another mom had been working on loosing weight and decided she would really like a bike. We received several new bikes donated from a local vendor. She started riding it back and forth to work and won the weight loss contest at her work. That donation not only improved her self-esteem, helped her live a healthy life style and set a great example for her son, she saved money in her budget not needing gas.
A child needed a coat. A small local day care has a coat drive and calls to meet the need. Again, I didn’t let them know the need. The director had already left a message on my phone when the mom asked. It was a God thing.
A mom needed help with her rent. I received a phone call that God had told this person that he needed to give a specific amount for a resident need. It covered her shortfall.
I learned about a movie “Girl Rising” that I really wanted the residents to see. Tickets were on sale but the movie was the same week. I had decided whatever it took, I wanted as many of them to go as could. I received a phone call from a business man (and that whole story is another overwhelming God thing) who wanted to do a random act of kindness. He paid for the tickets, a dedicated youth group came and watched the kids, and the moms, kids, and volunteers were fed!
Over the past two years we have remodeled our entire building inside. Fifteen apartments, a laundry room, a library, two large common areas, a play room, a playground. Now this one we asked for, but what we asked for and what we received was overwhelming!
At work I get to see regular blessings that just overwhelm me with God’s generosity. I have a lot of these stories, where a parent or child says “Jackie I would sure like to have….” or “Jackie I need….” And God always overwhelms me with the tangible answer to that request. Yes, He uses people, churches and businesses to do it, but since I am not asking, and He is just providing, I know that it is Him.
Seeing these single parents succeed, overcoming barriers that most people would quit because, overwhelms me. I love when He answers so quickly after the mom presents the need, because this allows me to say without a doubt “It is a God thing. He is just showing you how much He loves you.” I know some of the parents may not believe, but it is a seed planted and sometimes that is all I am called to do. So today I will praise God for overwhelming me.