I Have A New Attitude!
I have a confession; I always say that even a Pastor’s wife can get depressed, what I should have said was especially this Pastor’s wife. I have been struggling these past few months with questions. Questions that all start with why. Why did my mother get sick? Why did my Father in law get cancer, and why did God call him to heaven so soon? Why do bad things happen in our world? And most important to me is,
WHY would anyone care what I have to say on any of these issues?
I have heard similar questions from many in my husband’s congregation; so I know that I am not alone in these thoughts. As my husband said in his sermon a few weeks ago, “You’ve thought that–I’ve thought that–there’s no sense denying it. We all want to know,
WHY God can allow such terrible, terrible things to happen to such a great nation and to such good people.”
I have hit these walls of doubt and worry before. When my business failed, when I hurt my shoulder and needed surgery, and when I lost my father. The good news for myself and for all of you as you struggle with similar concerns is that Jesus knew firsthand that I would have these questions. He knew we would have these questions, so he left us a message of hope in John 16:33
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
He believed in God’s plan, even though it led Him to the cross, and we need to find the confidence in God’s plan for our lives too; even if it takes us to our cross. While I was in the middle of all my pain and doubt in the past, God sent me a scripture that has been my mantra it’s, Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I typed that verse out and hung it on my wall, I wrote it in my check book, I put it in my prayers each day. Declaring God’s words and asking Him to fulfill them for me. To do this, I needed to have a completely different posture with a completely different attitude. Knowing my troubles were real; but with this newly changed attitude I no longer had to feel hopeless. As I prayed for hope, a wonderful thing happened, I found that I had hope, and little by little He gave me a new purpose. The next part was to stop asking
“Why” and start asking what God would like me to do.
But here I am again with new questions, and just like the lost Israelites who would forget the parting of the Red Sea, and the manna that fell each day, I am right back where I was all those years ago when I had lost my hope. Asking what can I do for my mother, so that she feels loved and strong? How can I be a comfort to my mother-in-law and husband in their time of loss? And most importantly, how can I feel hope and share that with others again?
Here is the answer God gave me to share, are you listening, are you ready for it?
Change your attitude Vickie, get back to trusting me, listen to my words and remember that I am a faithful God that loves you and wants the best for you. Sometimes what I want for you has nothing to do with what you want for you, or your family, or your comfort, not even your country.
“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And “I know the plans I have for you,”
The hardest part about this change of attitude is acceptance. Acceptance that God knows all my worries, and that He will be there with me even if my worst fears are a part of His plan for me. If you are in the thick of issues, and worries, change your attitude, pray what do you have planned for me Lord, and what can I do today right now to be open to your desires for my life. If you do these things you will see your hope come back. I listened, I changed my attitude, and I am back!