Go With the Flow Follow-up

Go With the Flow Follow-up


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 Several meaningful responses inspired Go with the Flow follow-up. For new readers, I’ve likened roadblocks to life surprising and unpleasant situations that impede forward progress. Sometimes, solutions require a day or two. However, most of us have experienced that adjusting to a roadblock can continue for weeks, months or longer, necessitating full concentration and wisdom as we undertake serious and painful resets to our schedules, health, finances and relationships. As the responders reiterate, the process of handling struggles involving changes quite often produces practical maturation as well as spiritual growth. Listen in:

Ruth, my roadblocks don't compare to yours, but my philosophy has always been “when I am feeling down and sorry for myself, I look around and thank God for the blessings He has already given me”. D.

That wise refrain heard from others, proves that counting one’s blessings is indeed a positive mindset.

Dear Ruth, Since I’m only 10 years younger than you, I’ve had some roadblocks too. I’ll name two. A few years ago, I had two shoulder replacements. The ones Jesus gave me worked better, but these don’t hurt. I had major back surgery in March to correct other problems, which unfortunately prevented me from going with my husband on a planned mission trip.

And to celebrate my 80th birthday, my siblings, all my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are coming from all over the world. We don’t have a week, but we’re grateful for one full day together! We can’t do everything, but some valuable things! God is SO good to us and we let God order our ways. K.

This next response provides insight on how to maneuver through an unforgiving roadblock.

I hope I can accurately regurgitate my experience of temporarily losing my driving privileges since I've been reinstated and the acuteness of loss is fortunately forgotten.

 September 2023, I had an uncanny seizure at 3:30 a.m. Prudence and my wife’s insistence had me seeing a neurologist immediately. After disclosing to the doctor what had occurred, he ordered an MRI. However, he informed me that he was obligated to report my medical problem to my employer. I was caught off guard and complained, but he was adamant about his ‘requirement by law’. 

 I told my boss the next day, and about 30 days later, I received paperwork revoking ALL driving privileges for a minimum of six months-effective immediately, and was directed to return my driver’s license immediately to a driving center.

 One of the requirements for my employment is being a licensed driver WITH a CDL (commercial driver’s license). Essentially it seemed, I just lost my brand-new job. I went to work, presented the paperwork and was told to go home with instructions to call HR. 

 A flurry of calls to this number and that one, this office, that contact, this woman, that man, “try tomorrow; call this lady; you need to speak to so and so”, etc. exponentially increasing my anxiety.

 I prayed; it felt flat. I cried; tried to pray again; then screamed, glad I was alone on the mountain so no one could hear me. Then, I ordered myself to calm down and really pray seriously about this calamity. 

 The phone rang and a kind, calm woman from HR encouraged me as she mentally held my hand, walking me thru a procedure she'd done a hundred times before, informing me that I had six weeks of FMLA, (Family and Medical Leave), then X-amount of leave to use, then leave without pay to exhaust before I would be "Considered for termination." 

 I felt a slight reprieve, but it didn't last. Juxtaposed to a "kind lady from HR" was the County Manager (brand-new & needing to prove his own worth) telling me “That he won't have work for me".

 I prayed. Yes, I prayed...concentrating on the small wins and the kind HR-encourager, attempting to maintain my trust in God, and remaining calm under my saddle. I was at war, fully aware that God was going to have His way whether I kept my job or not, so I just coached myself to look at Him. 

 Within a minute of returning my actual license and having to get in the passenger seat while my wife drove me home, anxiety returned and NEVER left. Now, not being permitted to drive, coupled with an unknown medical condition along with not knowing if my relatively new job was safe was maddening.  The ONLY source of relief was steeping myself in prayer and letting God do God-stuff, which is nearly always way, way beyond my immediate comprehension. I’m learning NOT to try to guess or project His next move, and TO REST in His comfort and timetable.

 As the weeks turned to months, my needs and desire to drive, run errands, pick up stuff, just get away, and feel emancipated, increased.  I also increased reliance on Him commensurate with the frustrations I experienced like when a ride fell through, my wife forgot or had her own errands that collided with mine. I was surprised, AND THEN FURTHER encouraged by GOD when that reliance yielded something positive—"by golly, it was working”, I would say both to her and to myself.

 As the window of time for "consideration for termination" began to close, I figured that I had two options:

1) more prayer and reliance on God’s outcomes no matter what would be best.

2) cave in, give up, be angry and STILL have His outcomes to deal with.

 As a confessor to the Christian faith, I accept that HE WILL be with me and HE is. A turn of events changed everything—a clear MRI, an unremarkable EEG and a NEW neurologist’s assessment permitted driving privileges to be reinstated five weeks earlier than the mandatory six months. Take that Goliath!!!J.

 I can add nothing to that incredible story of a walk by faith except that wounding of any kind often results in physical, mental or spiritual growth in understanding. But who would ever sign up for a wounding situation in the first place?

 Joy is one of the benefits accompanying eventual squeezing through a roadblock. As I mentioned in the last blog, my 95-year-old sister, Jane, whose retirement home went bankrupt giving residents 30-60 days to find other housing, as planned moved into the new senior building on May 1. She called me a week later to let me know that she was all settled; even family pictures were on the wall. “I am content”, she said, “And I have met several people from our other retirement home and am making new friends. Walking around the building in this country setting has been refreshing and delightful. I’m enjoying the grove of trees behind our building that can be seen from my living room.”

 “Be still and know that I am God”. Ps. 46:10 (NIV). is a verse that many go to for comfort and direction.

Jim Ward’s interpretation of this passage was, “It doesn’t necessarily mean to be quiet and not say anything, even though being quiet is often a wise, avoiding talking yourself into another problem. Basically, ‘be still’ means that we are to put our ‘swords’ down and allow God to fight our battles.”

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6

 Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isa. 26:12 NIV.

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers (and sisters) whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 (NIV)

 Since I have room left, I’ll share that I’m working on the subject—Celebration--that involves a story about a snooper’s surprise.  I’ll be looking forward to responses regarding celebrations that are stored in your memory banks.