Circumstances Change

It had been a week. One of those where nothing goes the exact way you had planned it. My life seems to carry this theme actually…“circumstances change”. My mom, who has passed away, used to say those two words often. I can remember her saying them when I was 16 and thinking, ‘Yeah, I understand.” I look back now and shake my head. The half had yet to be told of the circumstances that wouldn’t fall according to plan. But this week…this week was special.

I’ll begin with last Wednesday; I woke up with a sore throat. Nothing horrible, just an aggravating little scratchy feeling that actually went away as I got up and started moving. The sore throat wasn’t the only thing that went away. By the end of the day my voice was gone. I was lucky to even get a good whisper out, then add a fever with all its aches and pains, a horrible headache and two of the most beautiful little girls around, and you do not have a good time. Fortunately, my best friend is a saint and delivered medicine and picked up my girls for the evening so I could rest.

The week went on, but my voice did not feel the need to return. I felt OK, just frustrated. Talking is what I do. I’m a social worker and we talk it out and we fix it, but with no voice, I didn’t fix much. Mothering a 4 and a 2 year old with no voice with stairs in your house turned out swell. By Saturday I was sick, frustrated with no voice, sore from climbing stairs to talk to my children, who were now at this point also sick. So, I take them to the doctor, pick up their medicine, and rock babies for the rest of the day. The rest of the weekend I rested with the girls at their Dad’s. But Monday brought work around, and my voice isn’t right, and my throat feels weird, and I’m a social worker…somewhat stressed.

By Wednesday night, church time, I’m exhausted. I wanted to sit down and roll a ball with my children, but I didn’t have a good reason to not go to church. I wanted to be a good example for my children and it’s what us Christians do, we go to church. So, I fed the children, found the shoes of my 2 year old, put them on her feet to only lose them in the 5 seconds it takes to get to church from my house. She winds up wearing shoes that absolutely don’t match her clothes or the time of the year, and we walk in to church. I’m determined to receive something out of this service. My children leave me to sit with someone else, because that someone else is way cooler than me.

But, I take a deep breath….it’s church time…it’ll all going to be OK. I didn’t feel like being there, I actually felt like pulling a blanket over my head and hiding until….next year. But I had made the right decision; certainly God had a divine word for all of my effort. Song service began and I felt odd. I’m on the Praise Team, but as I mentioned, my throat is weird right now and I can’t sing. So I’m out of my setting and kinda feeling useless, but I pray..’God you know my heart’ and I wait for the Word. A guest speaker takes the pulpit, and that’s fine. Not preferable for the divine Word of God I’m wanting to receive, but I’ve heard him before and I’m needing something, so I wait. And as any young Pentecostal preacher, he’s excited, and he has such a sincere heart. He had no idea what my circumstances were, but he addresses the congregation and says… “If you aren’t happy and excited to be in the house of the Lord tonight, then you shouldn’t even be here.”

What? Really?

I sat there and shook my head….this is what I pushed so hard for. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t excited. I was there because I was supposed to be there. There wasn’t a great sin in my life, there wasn’t a great specific burden that held me captive. I just wasn’t excited. I was tired of the day to day trials that sometime seem to overwhelm me. I was there. Not because I was happy that night, but because I made a commitment to myself and my church to be there when I could. Because the Word of God says ‘Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.’ So I didn’t. I was in church, and now that I’m here, you’re going to tell me that I shouldn’t be if I’m not excited about it. Really?

So I sat there and attempted to listen, but honestly couldn’t move passed my lack of excitement. The only reason I had stayed at that point was because my children were in class with the lady who was much cooler than me. At the end of the service my pastor stood and said that he felt the need to share a word with the church. I thought…maybe this is it…and his great word was…’You’re blessed. I feel that God would have me tell this church that you are blessed.”

Well that wasn’t it. That wasn’t the word I was looking for.

I gathered my children, took a call from a best friend, who I cried to about my wonderful day, got back in the house…spotted the shoes that disappeared off my child’s feet…and started my daily chores. I was thinking about church, and my weird feeling throat, and I felt frustrated all over again. So I took a deep breath and stood there. My 2 year old came up to me and wrapped her little arms around my legs and asked… ‘Mama, what’s wrong?’ I couldn’t help the tears that came to my eyes and I told her, ‘Mama just doesn’t feel too good baby.’ And right there my little girl stopped and prayed for me. ‘Jesus, please touch my mama and help her to feel better…in Jesus name..Amen.’ And the tears fell then, I picked her up and I hugged that baby, and the only words that came to my mind were…I am so blessed.

It’s amazing how Jesus chooses to talk to us. I had planned on receiving a great word from the message at church, but I didn’t get it. Instead God planted the seed while I was there and brought it into fruition, through my baby.

No doubt you should be excited when you go to church. We are serving a great God, who deserves all our praise and honor. There are times when I am excited to be in His house, and happy and grateful to have the opportunity to freely worship Him. But the reality is that some days…..some days, I don’t feel like it. Does that mean that I stay home and cry about it? No. For me, on those days, I push myself to go anyway, because whether I feel like it or not…God still deserves my faithfulness. And whether I feel like it or not, I am still blessed.

Feelings are fickle, they’re tricky. It wasn’t too long ago that I felt absolutely broken, damaged. I felt useless and discarded, but that wasn’t true at all. The God of all creation formed me and molded me in His image. He adores me and I am the apple of His eye, but my circumstances had changed, and life became mean for a little while. My feelings became hurt. I’ve learned to not listen to my feelings. It’s hard, and I pray a lot. But my feelings are subject to change. I’m learning to lean on the truth of God’s Word. Today I’m not upset a bit about the preacher. He meant well, and I even agree with him to a degree. But, when circumstances change, and they will, when I’m not happy….when I’m ill even…I’m going to go to church. And when the preacher doesn’t say something to fix me, and he doesn’t make me feel happy that I came, I’ll go back to church again…and I’ll keep going…until my feelings line up with my actions…and it causes my circumstances to change.



Author: Britney Wilkes

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Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. If there was a favorite this would be it !!!
    Much needed .,

  2. Okay, I know I heard this in person, but I don’t remember reading it. The last two months have been a bit of a blur…

    But this is beautiful! I’m so proud of you!! And now it’s time for church 🙂

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