In times of confusion, when I don’t know what the next step is or what’s the right answer, I have these urges. My mind, my body, my bank account, all telling me things to do.
When I don’t know which direction to turn, I feel the urge to make things happen. I get really anxious and begin this mental chess game, moving all the pieces around. I want to knock down doors. I want to take things into my own hands.
Then there are times when I feel uncertain and I have the urge to run and hide, to pretend all is fine. I stick my head in the sand, zone out, or distract myself with something completely off topic.
And sometimes when I don’t know what to do, I will just about listen to anyone that sounds confident and follow their advice.
But I have learned that my urges are generally wrong and not meant to be followed. My urges want the quick fix and comfort. I’m learning that these feelings of fear and anxiety and need for control are all cues to seek God. I’m learning to not jump when my urges say to or my fear says BOO!
Meno is a beautiful Greek word that was given to me at the beginning of 2020. It means to abide, to be held and kept, to wait, to endure and to be present while doing so.
This word along with verses from James chapter 1 bring direction for me in times of confusion and uncertainty.
In times of chaos and unknowing, I am choosing to meno. I will abide. I will let patience have her perfect work. If I do not have my answer today, I will trust that God will provide tomorrow. I will live my today without fear or worry. I will drink deep. I will not run or hide. I will abide.
Enduring and waiting can be scary. One way to meno and to reaffirm our belief in God’s timing and provision is to remember a situation from our past when He provided perfectly for us. Times when He knew things we didn’t. Times when His plan was so much bigger and greater than ours.
Like a lot of people, I am in a time of unknowing and confusion right now. I don’t know how I should educate my children this next semester. I have been on furlough for months and I don’t know if I will have a position to return to or when the return might happen. I don’t know if I should stay home, go out, quarantine, shelter in place, distance. I also don’t know if my cancer will come back. If I am taking the right meds to prevent it. I don’t know if my body will ever feel normal again.
I get very overwhelmed. And then all the urges come. I have to remind myself of times in the past when I felt these same emotions and God showed up for me.
A couple years ago I was homeschooling Birdie, Myla had started public school and was doing great, and Cedar was a rambunctious two-year-old . Shane was stable and confident in his career. I was working part-time with a private Christian counseling group and loving it. It was my dream job, one I had prayed for. All was perfect and I was satisfied.
Until I wasn’t.
It was like a switch just flipped. And I was done. Nothing in me wanted to homeschool anymore. Nor did anything in Birdie want me to homeschool her anymore. I began to suffer some compassion fatigue at my job and had a difficult time engaging. Shane knew the winds of change were at the door and just held on.
Although I was done with this chapter, we all were, I had no idea what was next. I was in a funk for months. I was praying and asking, but with no clarity. It felt like I might have a mental break.
Honestly, I was trying way too hard to figure it out. Now, I can look back and see all the things I did wrong. I can see all the ways life could have been easier if I would have just trusted, if I would have just meno. After a few tumultuous months, a door finally opened.
The winds of change finally came
I heard about a new position that encompassed so many of my heart’s desires. But I immediately said no. It was full time. It was with a corporation. It wouldn’t be counseling, and I was a counselor, so shouldn’t I be counseling? But I knew, in my spirit, this was my place. So I applied and got the job!
I hadn’t worked full time in years! Now I had benefits and vacation, all the bells and whistles. I was working with a team. We all immediately meshed and had such great chemistry. It was great!
I had been at this job, which was in healthcare, about a year. I was at my office at a hospital and complained to a nurse about some weird heart palpitations. She said the clinic has a spot open, you should just go have it checked out now. I did. While there, I also mentioned to the doctor about a place in my breast I had felt. I wasn’t worried about it, but while I was there, I thought, why not.
The doctor said he would schedule me for a mammogram just to make sure everything was fine.
A week later I have an appointment at another hospital that I work at often. In fact, I had my mammogram at 9:00 and a meeting planned for 10:00 just one floor down.
The morning came, I’m in the little room, hospital gown on, selfie taken and sent to friends, let’s get this done so I can get to my meeting. Thirty minutes later I’m lying on the table and the doctor says, “Miranda, this is breast cancer”.
And everything stopped
I got up. Got dressed. Thought about keeping my meeting, but eventually cancelled it. Went outside and started making laps in the parking lot.
What do I do? Who do I call? What’s my next step? I have no idea.
After a few long laps, I thankfully remember I now work for a healthcare system. I have met lots of people this past year that do know what I should do. Thankfully I have vacation days I can now take when I have to go to chemotherapy. I have FMLA I can take when I have surgery. I have the support of not only my team, but a region of people that I have formed new relationships with.
I absolutely loved my job counseling. And I miss it. But I have no idea what I or my family would have done if I had still been working there when this diagnosis came. No way would I have been able to help others through their trauma as I was in the middle of mine. I wouldn’t have had the paid time off or medical connections that I now had.
God knew exactly how to position me for this next trial. He knew where I needed to be, the people I needed to know, and the provision I would need to cover everything.
If I will follow, He will lead
Now, in times of uncertainty, this story is an anchor for me. It reminds me, if I will follow, He will lead. God knows the plans He has for me, and for you. (Jeremiah 29:11). If we can allow it, He will provide for us.
This time, I will choose to meno. I choose to wait and abide, trusting… trusting… and trusting even more.
Thank you for spending your time with me. I hope this post encourages you. I hope my story is an example that can lead you to times in your life when God positioned you perfectly for the next chapter. Instead of affirming our worry and confusion, let’s share our memories of times when God has positioned and provided for us. I look forward to hearing your stories!
—– To God be the Glory!