New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
The internal terror was a continual presence. This lie tried to convince me I wasn’t capable of doing anything. It tried to immobilize me. But the Triune God gave me the desire and strength to push through the pain.
Change caused more stress. The terror felt like my body would explode.
I created a routine, a safe place for me.
Then we had to move.
The owners of the home we were renting told us they were selling the house. Therefore, we bought a home in Gresham ten miles from our rental. A new routine, new roads, new stores, children in a new school district. Change! Change! Change!
With the added expense of owning a home, Joe encouraged me to help add to our household income.
I loved being a stay-at-home mom, with freedom to attend Bible studies, meet with friends for coffee, lunch, etc.; mainly do what I wanted to do when I felt good enough to do it. Not having the stress of outside responsibilities helped me control my routine. The thought of an outside job was scary; add the continual internal terror and it brought panic.
Joe continued to press me to find a job because our finances were so tight. Being the submissive wife, I kept saying “NO.” Then I came home one day and spotted in my chair a newspaper opened to the classified section, a dark circle drawn around an ad. Little did I know as I picked up the paper how this would be the beginning of a huge change in my life …
(I tell the whole story of God’s orchestration of this change in “Meet Wanda.” If you’ve not read this story click here God’s Orchestration )
In surrender to God, I taught kindergarten at a local preschool. I walked into the office one morning, picking up some papers, when the principal called me into her office.
A mother stood just inside the door. As soon as she saw me, she yelled,
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY SON?!
I looked at her, not sure how to respond. The child was the most difficult child I had worked with. Temper tantrums. Screaming. Standing on top of desks. Hitting other children. Each time I would grab him, sit him in my lap and wrap my arms around him so he couldn’t move. All the while he was kicking my legs trying to get away from me.
As I held him, I told him, “I love you. You are such a special little boy. I am SO glad you are in my class.” I repeated these short sentences over and over until he calmed down. I could feel his little body melt into my arms.
Now, standing in front of his mother, I wasn’t sure what she wanted to hear. Before I could speak, she stopped me,
“I don’t know what you are doing, but our son is a different child since he has been in your class. He listens. He obeys. He is the child we dreamed of having.”
She walked over to me, gave me a big hug and walked out the door. I stood there dumbfounded.
I actually skipped down to my class room.
One day in the middle of class, a little boy began seizing and fell on the floor. I ran over to him laid him out straight while screaming at my aide to call an ambulance. I could hear her running down the hall screaming (911 and cell phones were not yet available). I tended to the boy while keeping the other children away from the child.
The police arrived first, then the firemen. As the firemen arrived, I heard a police officer say, “It’s okay. The teacher is epileptic and knows what to do.” I don’t know how he knew I was epileptic.
At a time when I believed I was crazy the Lord used me. He used one of my struggles to meet the need of another.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)
My CHALLENGE to you —
Grab a cup of coffee … imagine you and I are chatting.
The Triune God had gone to extra lengths to get me into that classroom (God’s Orchestration). Just because He had placed me on a very difficult path, living with internal terror, didn’t mean He wouldn’t use me to His glory.
“I have a baptism to be baptized with,
and how great is my distress until it is accomplished”
Jesus walked a difficult path throughout His life as He awaited the horrid death and abandonment by His Father. On the cross, He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the only time in the Bible that Jesus called the Father “God.” Matthew 27:46
Jesus understands what it means to suffer. Cling to Him is my story of clinging to Jesus through the toughest of times.
Sometimes It Takes a Mountain Gaither Vocal Band