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That Road is Paved with What?

I have all these good intentions. And as many intentions as I have, I have just as many excuses why I’m not doing them now.

I’m going to keep my house clean…

…after we move.

I’m going to get up and exercise…

…when I’m not so tired.

I’m going to eat better…

…once I’m done working and have time to cook.

I’m going to schedule in consistent quiet times, as well as consistent writing time…

…once my life gets a little less crazy.

I quit my job. Technically I’m still on-call, so I can pick up hours if I want to, but I’m done with the crazy overnight schedule that was killing me. That right there was supposed to solve most of my problems. Being tired, eating junk food because it was convenient, never having the energy to exercise. Yep. No more work. Problem solved.

Except, not so much.

I had all sorts of great plans for the weekend after I was done working. I hadn’t had a Saturday morning at home in six months, and I was looking forward to sleeping in, making a big breakfast, and spending the day doing something productive, like relaxing.

It started out pretty much as planned. I slept in, made a big breakfast, and…

Backstory: We had gone to the zoo for a friend’s birthday party the day before. No big deal, we go to the zoo all the time. Except that for whatever reason, this time it triggered a reaction in my son that, although not officially diagnosed, is probably asthma. He’s had times before where he’s had trouble breathing, like when he’s been exercising a lot or around a lot of animals, but usually it goes away and he’s fine after a little while. So the previous evening when he was a little short of breath, I didn’t think much of it.

Only this time it didn’t get better.

Late Saturday morning when he was still wheezing and having trouble breathing, I called our family doctor, and she suggested taking him in to the hospital (we have a really good children’s ER not far from our house). Well, to make a REALLY long day short, my husband took him in and spent the rest of the day there, and then I switched places with him in the evening and spent that night and all of the next day with him in the hospital.

Well, that ordeal over with, certainly my life could get back to “normal” and I could begin accomplishing things, right?

The next weekend we traveled out of town for a wedding in which everyone in my family was involved. My husband was an usher, my oldest son was a junior groomsman, my next son was a ringbearer, my daughter was the flower girl, and I got to be in charge of handing out programs and helping out the little people.

That was this past weekend. So. Now THAT’S done, surely I can be getting on with all these other things.

Except that we’re moving this weekend, and my house is only about 1/3 packed.

Okay. Now that I’m done making excuses, I can talk about what I’ve learned through these past couple of weeks.

Yes, of course there’s a moral to this story!

First, and most obvious, is there’s always an excuse. There’s always a reason to put it off, to not do what I’ve committed to do. I’m still a work in progress, but I have managed to set aside quiet times to do my Bible study nearly every day. I have, for the most part, cooked my meals instead of eating convenient fast food or junk food, and I’ve exercised, like, twice. So, little by little, I’m making progress toward the goals I’ve set for myself.

Now, on to the more obscure things I’ve learned.

I was talking to a good friend the other day, a proud atheist. We talked about his life, and that he’s constantly stressed and often depressed. Now, normally I’m pretty kind and not very abrasive with my faith, but in this particular conversation, I told my friend that it’s obvious why he’s depressed–he has no hope. He even said he believes life is essentially meaningless, and I told him that unless he has something to live for, some reason to believe that his life is pointing toward something, then it is depressing.

As I was talking with him, and then later as I was processing the conversation, I realized just how much of God’s peace I take for granted. 

Even as I sat with my son in the hospital, watching him wheeze every breath and have drugs pumped into him from an IV, I felt no real worry or fear. I know he is in God’s hands, and that God will take care of him. And if, at some point, something happens to him, I know without a doubt that I’ll see him again.  

As I work to pack up my house, I am reminded just how blessed I am. There is nothing that I need, and more than a few of my wants have been provided for. I don’t worry if I’ll be able to feed or clothe my family, because again, I’ve taken for granted God’s promise that not even a sparrow falls without His knowledge.

And in my writing career, even though I’m not where I’d like to be, and I haven’t put in the time that I promised myself I would, I know that God has a plan for the gift He has given me.

Yes, it will take work. I can’t just sit back and expect words to magically appear on my pages. All the good intentions in the world don’t make up for putting in the time and effort. However, I know that I am in His hands, and that I am working toward something. I can take comfort in knowing that my life isn’t meaningless, that all I do is pointing toward a bigger picture, and that the obstacles I encounter along the way will always be used for my good.

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “That Road is Paved with What?

  1. My oldest son was 15 before I ever wrote a word, Avily. Way I look at it, you’re way ahead of the game. Chin up. We love you and know God has a perfect plan. As you so wonderfully point out, you have not just hope but assurance.

  2. Dearest Avily,

    There have been a million songs written about it and just as many sayings of how we should not worry but be happy. None have put it any wiser than the Lord though. If you but peruse a little through the bible you will find many many instances where He makes reference to the fact that He has our back. Even the Atheist has to recognize that things happen, even without mans interference. God has the whole thing worked out! Sometimes we get a little over zealous and jump in his path but…….. He just steps right over us and keeps on going at His pace, not ours. Just hang in there friend, we know you have it in you and He will make it happen when it’s time.Until then,”Just Breathe!”

  3. When I and my Husband first announced our engagement we got a bunch of kick back. I had debts, no job and no money (college student with no impending graduation or clear career choice). He had no money, was working for his parents, hadn’t even gone to college yet let alone had a clear career path. His mode of transportation for the last couple years had been a bike and hadn’t had a “formal full-time job” since he was a teen and that had been temporary. People told us we were crazy, that we weren’t ready. Not to mention the whole courtship was a bit odd and faster than some thought wise.

    But we felt God had guided us together and had specifically inspired us to get married, even to choosing the date. Did we have a clue what we were getting into, no, not really. So despite it not making sense, we went forward with it. My Mother encouraged me to get a job to help pay his way through college (she had worked most of her marriage) and hinted that I should hold off on having kids. However, getting one that would work for us in that little rural town just didn’t work out. And only a handful of months into our marriage both I and my Husband felt that God wanted us to start a family, ie have a kid. Even before I found I was pregnant, we felt inspired to move to college. There I even got my first full-time job, until morning sickness made that impossible. We had already decided that we wanted me to be at home full time with the kids… so from there one thing led to another. By then, I’m sure that we had confirmed our insanity to others.

    My Husband kept trying to “make the numbers work” on his computer, but in the end, because of choices we made, choices we felt directed to make and simple economics (which he even majored in for a while on his search for his career) the numbers just DON’T work. Yes, we got help from family and others and really struggled, fighting to balance what we felt expected of us and the resources we mustered. By the world’s logic, we were fools asking for dismal failure. I remember talking to a government official filling out a form (long story) and when I gave her a rough picture of our family and income, she stared at me, horrified. “How do you pay your bills?”

    And yet, I learned for myself that the numbers were irrelevant. Yes, we made some mistakes and have debts because of that (mostly pride and trying to “make it work” on our own), but God was the one who made it work. Somehow He pulled us through one step at a time and gave us many “just in time” miracles. What’s more, He has blessed us in abundance, from scholarships to a good internship. Then a couple years ago, my Husband graduated and God blessed him with a very good, stable job with a wonderful company.

    I know for myself that when God calls us to do something, He does indeed cover our back and qualify us for the task He’s asked of us. In the middle of it, it’s so easy to see no way out, no way for it to work and the world will do all it can to show how big of a fool you are. I assure you that I do not deserve the amount of patience He has had with me – not by a long shot. I’m even more stubborn about going my own way than my Husband. I know I can do more, do better – that I should do so. I feel very much that I fall short in so much and those around me deserve so much more. And yet God helps me through, step by step and somehow makes it work, infinitely patient and encouraging if I will just keep trying.

    He love you just as much.

  4. Hindsight is 20/20, eh? Know the feeling. Amazing all the things God does to get us through without our noticing :).

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