Are you listening to God? So many times we pray to God for answers. And we keep praying. Then we pray some more. “God why are you not answering my prayers?” We pray some more…. Get frustrated, get angry, pray again… It is a cycle many of us are all to familiar with.
This is my story and inspiration to you. My health has been poor for a while as many of you know. Being a diabetic and having Rheumatoid Arthritis has taken its toll on me, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have struggled to maintain a normal life, maintain and continue to grow our business, take care of Ed and the house, and also talking care of others before taking care of myself. I have become exhausted to the point that my doctor told me I needed to take time off from everything to get myself healthy again. My doctor has been good, however the answer to everything has been to add another medication to fix the problem. Currently I am on 8 different meds, several vitamins my body is low on, and two different insulins. My weight is out of control and I struggle daily to do things most people take for granite, things like walking without pain, standing up without pain, bending over to pick something up without pain or dizziness, etc… my day is overwhelmingly a challenge.
I knew the doctor was right, however with everything going on I just couldn’t see how I could take time off from work, our company is just the two of us, my husband and I, and I do the sales and marketing for the company, a company that does marketing and advertising via Internet Radio and website ads, a company that has been around since 2000, helping small business owners promote their business affordably. If I take time off, how can we survive, how can the company survive? My business needed me, the organization I volunteer for needed me, my husband needed me and to take a sabbatical would mean letting everyone down.
The stress was building, and the finances were not supporting the needs of the company or the household. My husband was stressed out, you see, he is in Renal Failure and has been on dialysis for 6 years, there is only so much he can do. So I really needed to be healthy for all our sakes. When I talked to him about what the doctor said, he said he looked up at me and saw my spirit dying in my eyes, that’s the moment he decided we needed to downsize the company and move into a smaller office, one that he could run by himself while I took the rest of the year off to get healthy again.
This was the last week in September, and that started the chain of events of us packing eight years worth of stuff collected at the office. The search for a smaller office that we could use to record in and finding help for the move. And telling a good friend who had been using one of the offices that he needed to move his stuff out by the end of Sunday. A friend of ours had office space available and he said we could work out a deal. Step one accomplished, a place to set up a recording studio. Now to put out a request for help to make the move.
We are almost packed up by the weekend of the second week when the bad news hits, this was Friday night. Due to issues the friend had with his investors, he said he was canceling our lease because he didn’t know if he was going to keep the complex. What are we going to do now? Finding a office space on short notice that we could afford to get into was impossible. Emotions were running high from the stress and sheer exhaustion, nerves were raw and patience thin. We wanted to be out by the end of the weekend to cut back on what we would have to pay for rent, our financial situation was stretched to the max. I went to the office on Saturday, meeting the kids there to pack up and move what we could. My request for help, went unanswered, my son’s request went unanswered… no one we knew was willing to come out to help. I was so stressed at the burden I was putting on my son and daughter in law, taking away from their family time, just to help us clean out the office. And Ed was hustling to get a storage unit to store stuff in so we could start moving.
That day was long and stressful as boxes and equipment were loaded up and hauled to storage or to the house. The kids worked hard that day without complaint. All my son said was “It’s all good mom, we got this” We managed to acquire a trailer and a person who use to work for us stopped by to drop off his sales book and jumped in to help move without any hesitation. This was a true blessing, he had no idea we were moving, so once we explained, he said “What do you need me to do?” That is a prayer answered, someone to help my son lift the heavy stuff. After several hours, multiple loads and a lot of blood, sweat and a few tears we called it a day, with plans to finish it on Sunday
Sunday morning is here all to early and we agreed to meet at the office after the kids got out of church and had lunch. Ed was worried about me, and ask me to let the kids finish the move. I was exhausted and hurting in every inch of my body but determined to help with the rest of the move. So I got dressed and headed down to the office around noon to get what was left separated in garage sale items and storage items. The day had began
When I got to the office on Sunday our friend had gotten his stuff moved out and only our stuff was left in his room, so I started in his room moving the few items left in there that I could move. File cabinet, 2 plastic chair mats, chairs etc… putting them in our back room in the garage sale pile. Next I went into Ed’s office and started moving stuff in there as well. An hour later I needed a break so I decided to go sit down at my desk up front. Exhaustion washed all over me and the tears started to fall. It had been a long two weeks plus the thought of leaving an office that I had called my second home for 8 years was overwhelming. I shook my head trying to shake off the emotions. I didn’t want the kids to see me like this, a basket case crying and all emotional. Something nagged at me to sit there and wait on the kids. Like a voice of reasoning trying to get through the muddle of exhaustion. But of course stubborn me didn’t listen. Drying my eyes, I pushed myself up and forced myself to focus on what needed to be separated in the front office. I was on my third trip to the back room carrying an end table and several bags of things to go to the garage sale when something happened that would change everything. I set the table down and walked around and set the bags down behind the file cabinet. When I turned to go back up front my foot landed on the plastic mats and caused the mats to shift. I can’t tell you how many times my knee, foot and leg popped or how many directions it was bent in. But I know I heard it pop at least 20 times before I hit the floor. Bare in mind that this all took place in a matter of seconds. When I looked at my leg it was going in one direction and the foot was flopped over in the other direction. My first thought was I’ve broken my leg, The pain was intense and the tears were falling and I was so angry that God was allowing these bad things to happen. I beat my fist on the floor in my anger, like that was going to make a difference. Then I realized a few things:
- I was still by myself
- I didn’t have my phone
- I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and already have issues getting up and down
The next thing that hit me was how close I came to hitting the file cabinet and end table. Then the realization that my son, daughter in law and grandkids were on the way and would totally freak out if they came in and saw me lying on the floor. I had to find a way to get up in one of the chairs, How I didn’t know, especially since it was across the room. I couldn’t bend the leg at all and all I could do was scoot myself with my hands inches at a time, fighting the pain and the nausea.
What seemed like forever, was only minutes, the chairs were in front of me. Now how to get in the chair was the next problem. Shock was setting in and desperation to not be on the floor had me fighting to pull myself up. We had a Gazelle Glider sitting behind the chairs so I pushed the chair up against it for stability and started pulling myself up, I couldn’t do this pulling up again, I knew I didn’t have the strength, so I grabbed the Gazelle and pulled as hard as I could. Now I’m standing up but I can put absolutely no pressure on the leg, thank God the chair had rollers, I barely got it behind me before the good leg gave way to the stress I put on it. I fell back into the chair, and cried as the pain washed over me. I had maybe five minutes to get control of the emotions, when my grand daughter came in saying “hi grandma”. Then she stopped and looked at me and ask if I was ok. I said not really, grandma fell and hurt her leg, and ask if she would go get dad. My son came flying in and I knew from the look on his face that he already knew it wasn’t good. I never ask for help.
As you can guess, the next steps were to call my hubby and go to the hospital. Since I couldn’t get in our car due to it being to low to the ground, my son took me in his suburban and my hubby met us there. While I’m waiting, my son went back to the office and he and his wife proceeded to finish the move so we could close this chapter in our life. Now for why I told you this story. God started talking to both myself and my husband at the first of the year, placing on our hearts the need to downsize. We talked about it many times but neither of us were truly listening. My health was steadily going down hill and even though the doctor said it at every visit, I wasn’t listening to my body or my doctor. We lost several major clients, and still continued thinking that in this down trodden economy we could pull in more clients. Still not listening. Then we finally did listen about the downsizing and started the process. However I still was making plans to attend my volunteering, going to a mixer, a conference, a wedding, and a concert. Plus I was looking into some new networking groups I had been invited to. Really sounds like I was slowing down doesn’t it?
This was all the things that were keeping me exhausted and I was still making plans. Still not listening to what God was trying to tell me. The day of the fall my hubby tried to get me to stay home, my inner voice tried to get me to sit down and wait for the kids to get there, but yet again I still didn’t listen to the message God was trying to tell me. You see, God knew that I would never slow down on my own. I was dedicated to my business and wanted to keep it going. I would continue to look for ways to grow it, and I would continue to volunteer at the organization I was a part of, plus I would stretch myself to make all the commitments to the events and concert. The only change I agreed to was to downsize to cut expenses.
Boom! God landed me on my butt with a very painful and very bruised leg that would keep me down on the couch and away from everything. The only thing that would shut me down and give me reason to listen to what God was telling me. If I continued on this path I would have ended up having a heart attack or worse.
So my question to you is …Are you listening to God? Or have you been floored due to not listening? Don’t make the same mistake as I did, find a quiet place and ask God your questions and then be quiet and listen for the answer. Once you hear the answer, don’t ignore it. God won’t guide you unwisely. He does know what’s best for you and only wants to help you.
God Bless and I hope this helps you when it comes to listening to God!