Day 24: Listen for Instructions

Have you ever felt that nothing you are doing
is making any difference?
Perhaps you have felt that you are doing everything
you know to do,
and yet the results have turned out
far below your expectations?  
Or, what if you are in the place 
where nothing makes sense
and there seems to be nowhere
to turn for any answer?
You are not alone, because I would have had to choose
“All of the Above”
if this were a multiple choice quiz,
about how to live with a 
Chronic Illness.

 I remember the days when my husband was in college,
and we had an 11 month old son
to care for.
God had just given us an incredible miracle
by opening up a low-rent apartment
where there had previously been
no vacancy in sight.

And I was grateful, truly I was.
But how could we pay even that small rent
when my husband could find no job
that would accommodate his school schedule?
And, with every ounce of my being, 
I wanted to stay home to care for our son.
He wasn’t even weaned yet.

But I knew the answer that God was trying to give
to me.

It’s not a pretty word when we are fighting
against it.
Not when we think that we know what is best.
I wrestled with God over this question,
and fought with Him about
leaving my son with a caregiver
that was not me or my husband.
But He didn’t change His direction,
just to meet my wish.
In fact, His instruction to me grew more clear
with every passing day.
And, I finally gave up the fight, and took the jobs 
that were offered to me.
I tried to hide my tears as I answered the phones,
typed out the letters,
and managed the files,
for companies that had no idea of my inner struggle.
The years passed, and my husband finally 
earned his degree,
and took up a position as Children’s Pastor,
while I returned home to care for our
son, now 3 years old.
We played, and we worked together,
and we took long hikes in the woods,
chasing spiders and leaves,
and little-boy-wonders.
And my heart tucked away the years that I felt
had been eaten by the locust while
I had earned the income
for our family.

Until the day that I gave birth to our precious second son.
As I counted the months that had transpired
between my leaving the workplace,
until the day of that birth,
I realized that they were the exact amount of time
that I had been at work, away from
our first son.
God had indeed given back the time,
of my obedience to Him
without my realizing it.
Sometimes I think we feel that obedience to God
means perfection in this life,
and in so doing, we miss the blessing
that God is trying to show us,
that would flow full like the river.
But what if we truly listened to His voice,
and surrendered our choices,
to hear His instruction,
unfettered by our own demands?
Perhaps, we would see that the choices
set before us
are in the hands of the ONE
who truly has our best in mind,
the only ONE who knows what is right
for me and for you,
here today in this path of His choosing.

This is Day 24 in the #Write31Days Challenge.
I am so honored to walk this path with you
here in #31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness.
If want to catch up on any missed posts,

4 thoughts on “Day 24: Listen for Instructions

  1. Dear Bettie, what a wonderful story of redemption and grace given to you as your heart chose the challenging path of obedience to God's will! How hard and painful a choice it must have been to leave your infant son in the care of another, while your own heart was torn in the service of others. But oh how lovely to see how God opened your eyes to the birth of a new son also birthing fresh blessings for you!
    I have been in your shoes here: “And my heart tucked away the years that I felt had been eaten by the locust” while I waited to see how God was going to restore the years that the locusts had eaten, words that were given to me as portent and promise. My mind envisaged a complete physical healing and restoration of joy. What was I actually given? An invitation to years of wandering in wilderness, walking a dark soul night pathway and meeting with my Saviour powerfully there. Now He has unexpectedly restored my creativity and given me a writing ministry beyond my wildest dreams! Keep listening, sweet friend. It is always worth the sacrifice it takes. Blessings and hugs. xoxo


  2. Dear Joy, I am so glad that our God is so good to honor our willingness to surrender even when we are slow to follow Him. And I am glad that you understand the depth of that surrender to Him in the hard places too. Because of your obedience to trust Him there, I have been encouraged to keep trusting Him in my places of sacrifice too. I know that HIS Faithfulness in the past has become a sort of beacon to help me here, but so has the support of my friends who are walking this similar path now. –Blessings and Hugs to you, my friend! xoxo


  3. Such a beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness even when the way was not what you would have chosen, Bettie. It's so hard sometimes to surrender our will to His, isn't it? I was just feeling discouraged that I'm feeling so sluggish and fog is taking over my brain at times. But God is still good, right? May we rest in His goodness and His plans for us! Blessings and hugs to you!


  4. Trudy, I am sorry that you are feeling the fog and sluggishness now! But I am glad that God hears our prayers, as you are daily in my thoughts & prayers! Sometimes it feels that good cannot possibly be coming, but you are so right, that He wants us to rest in HIS goodness and plans! Hugs and Blessings to you my friend!


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