Monday, October 02, 2006

Getting my attention

Oh no! The dreaded back pain is back. You know the one... the deep, consistent, lower back pain that radiates into your hips and thighs and makes anything other than lying perfectly still on a heating pad unthinkable. It started yesterday in church, of all places. I obviously wasn't in the midst of any heavy lifting or contortionist movements, so why then?

It lasted all day yesterday, all through the night (despite sleeping on the heating pad set to HIGH), and it's out in full force this morning. During my prayer time this morning I didn't specifically ask God why my back was hurting now, especially now that I have so much to do, but He told me anyway. It's because I have "so much to do" or so I think.

I'm beginning Week 2 of a 40 Days of Purpose at my church (based, of course, on Rick Warren's book, A Purpose-Driven Life). One of the things I committed to was spending the next 40 days focused on God, removing from my plate all that I could that wasn't absolutely essential to my daily living. I did remove a lot of things, but apparently not enough. God showed me this morning how some of my old habits, driven by long-standing fears, are creeping back into my day, without me even being aware of them. The biggest of these is my financial fears... being single and self-employed I often worry about getting sick... losing a big client... changes in the industry... being underbid by a competitor... the list goes on. It's just so hard for me to let go of this fear and have faith that God will provide all that I need.

God is really working with me on this, and I am beginning to see some progress. I've restructured my debt, eliminated a lot of unnecessary expenses, developed a new budget, started focusing more on savings, and perhaps most importantly, made some drastic changes in my perception of how much I actually "need" to earn. The more I focus on what's really important in my life, things that are NOT material, I realize that I don't need to earn anywhere near as much money as I once thought I did, which has helped reduce my financial stress level quite a bit.

But apparently God's not done with me yet on this one. He made it clear to me this morning that if I'm not going to "slow down and be still" on my own, He'll help me out a bit... voila! He got my attention. I'd be in a lot less pain if I'd gotten the message before the back ache, but you know what? This is one time that I can honestly say that I'm thankful for the pain... Really! It's a very tangible reminder to me that this is a very important lesson that I need to learn, and that God is right there with me to make sure that I "get it"! Needless to say, He's got my attention and my "plate" for the next few weeks just got a whole lot lighter.

So, what about you? Is there a lesson God's trying to teach you? Is there a nagging pain, frustration, problem that crops up just when you least want to deal with it? Perhaps God's talking to you through that situation. Does He have your attention?


Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Bless your heart. I'm glad you're hearing the message and hope that your back pain is gone soon.

You'll be in my prayers daily.

And, yes, I get those messages, too....always when I need them most. : )

Mary said...

Sorry about your back pain, Syd. Here's hoping this weekend can be another one of rest for you.

Mary said...

Syd - hope you're feeling better. I have a couple more scarves to send you from folks in my knitting group. I'll put them in tomorrow's mail.

Annie said...

I never thought of what is happening in my life as God trying to tell me something, I am not into churches at all, but God is a different matter, I know he is around. Just don't know how to fix the problem he is trying to get me too.