I have returned to the United States to care for my father whose health has slipped substantially since I have been living in France. The day after I arrived at his house, he fell after passing out in the tub. He is too heavy for me to pick up so I had to devise a rig to move his body toward the bed, then flip him over until he could regain his footing. It was difficult, to say the least, not just physically but emotionally.
He will be 96-years-old this year. This should explain everything!
My dog has not left my side since I got back. He follows me everywhere, wary that I’ll leave again. He’s sweet and loving, overwhelmingly affectionate. A dear animal, indeed. I will never leave him again, I hope.
“So, what now,” I’ve asked myself. Here I am. I’ve stepped back in time to what I thought I had escaped. It’s difficult to be here. I want to move on.
I know the answer to my question, however — do whatever is in front of me to do. DO THE NEXT THING (Elizabeth Elliot). What’s in front of me to do is cleaning a filthy house and serving an old, dying man. Too, writing. That’s all I can do here so, by logical extension, this is what God has for me to do. If He wanted differently, He’d make those changes. Since this has not happened, I’m assuming I’m in His will.
I’m determined to do the next thing with the best attitude I can muster. I pray to grow into some sort of satisfaction, not merely resign myself to this fate. Like Paul, I want to praise Him in this prison of a life.
I do believe that things that are waited for, such as a release from these duties, will be doubly sweet when it finally happens. I have had some good news here, mostly financial, which bodes well for a bigger future. I can see how my circumstances COULD be aligning, though I am not sure for what.
Please pray for me. Pray that I write beautifully, not just adequately or clearly. Pray that some of the things I’ve sent out are published. I write under a pseudonym, so you’ll never know what I’ve written, but it still means a lot to me, not only that it’s published, but that it represents my very best. I think God calls Christians to excellence. In everything. To push for that next rung, always. Yes, this reflects my personality, but I see the pressure for excellence in the scriptures as well.
Having said this, I don’t understand the role of the Spirit in my pursuit of excellence. Do I write as well as I can and then pray for an extra boost … or does He help all along … or is spiritual help something that comes only when my own abilities are flagging? Since what I write is not explicitly spiritual or Christian — I write on politics, international stuff, society, culture, etc. — I do wonder if it merits the Spirit’s intervention. I think it does, but I’m not sure how it works, practically. So, without a good sense of how to tap into divine power, I ask for His guidance and enlightenment and then buckle down to work.
I think this is right.
I often pray for “shut doors,” so I don’t make any more mistakes. I want shut doors in relationships, writing, buying property, publishing, agenting and everything else. So far, He’s abundantly answered this prayer — I have experienced almost exclusively shut doors. I also want open doors, for a path to open up which goes in a direction of His choosing. Perhaps I’m on that path. If so, it doesn’t “feel” like much of a path. I have heard that God usually leads one step at a time, that I’m not entitled to know what’s two or more steps ahead, but only the next step.
If so, I pray for that step, that I take it confidently and sure-footedly so I can move into a new stage of life. Please, please soon!