Life Lessons I’ve Been Learning

This is a follow up post to yesterday’s blog Coble Family Update.

Yesterday I wrote about all the happenings in our lives as of late.  Since God never does anything without a reason, I thought it was only appropriate to follow up with a post about what God has been doing in my life through all these trials.  I just want to say, though, that while I think it is important to allow God to work in our lives through difficulties, at the same time, we have to let ourselves feel the pain and stress of the trials.  The lessons don’t make life all better, but they do provide strength to get through the circumstance.

Just last week Brandon and I had a very frustrating experience with a local business from whom we were buying a used washer.  First, they showed us a used washer that needed a few repairs.  When I went in the next day to pay for it, they had already sold it to someone else and told me that it ended up not actually needing repairs (just a side note, if your husband sense that a company is disreputable, it is probably a good idea to go with your husbands gut, sometimes women don’t have fool proof intuition).  Then, when I went ahead and purchased another washer, they failed to deliver it on the appointed day.  On this particular day, a friend we were visiting with mentioned that he actually had an extra washer and was looking to give it away.  That sounded perfect to us, especially since this company hadn’t delivered our washer yet.  So we loaded the washer into our car, and Brandon called the company the next day to ask for a refund.  The store owner got very angry at Brandon and chewed him out when he politely pushed the issue, pointing out that they had failed to deliver the issue.  Later that day, another disgruntled customer apparently posted on Craigslist about what a terrible company these people were, and the store owner called Brandon back and chewed him out again, accusing him of being the one to post these “lies” in a public forum.  She even said that she was going to call the cops on him for his slanderous remarks.  Of course Brandon hadn’t been the one to do this.

Finally, they delivered the washer.  When they left me with a washer I didn’t need, a charge for a washer I didn’t need, and some wounded pride from being treated so rudely, I was fuming.  And after they had treated us so poorly, I felt very justified in my anger.  The fact that I was still dealing with two broken cars didn’t lift my spirits any.

After eating a bit of chocolate, I did the next most natural thing to relieve my stress, I went to Facebook to complain about my woes.  But when I got on Facebook, before I could post, I read about some of the trials going on in another friend’s life.  She and her husband were faced with the very likely possibility of loosing their unborn baby.  When I read this, all the anger and resentment I felt towards this company,  all the stress over our broken vehicles melted away, and all I could do was cry.  No, having a string of expensive items breaking wasn’t fun or an easy trial to endure, especially on a college student’s budget.  But it was nothing compared to the pain some other people were experiencing, not just my friends, but many other people in the world.  My trials were over material stuff, not a life.  Wow, talk about bringing life back into perspective.  I repented for my anger towards this company and resolved to be more thankful for the many blessings I had in my life that I was overlooking.

Life was good again.  By now, we had purchased a new car, I at least had a working washer, and I had found a place where I could get my glasses fixed.

Then, a few days later, Brandon sent me a message that he had been laid off from his job.

This felt like too much.  The other problems had been frustrating, but fairly easily remedied.  But this… well, everyone knows how tough the job market is, and it is already stressful being a college student trying to support a family.

As the dust has been settling, and Brandon and I are picking up and moving forward, I realize how easily I have allowed circumstances to ruin my attitude.  When I have a “normal” bad day, such as a cranky baby, dealing with more cranky children at work, a late fee on a bill I forgot to mail, a misplaced grocery list, and a messy house, I collapse at the end of the day and think “I really hope tomorrow goes better”.  But really, that’s been a good day.  I realize how I have allowed little things in my life to ruin my attitude way too quickly.  There are much bigger and much more worse things to be annoyed and frustrated by.  If I have a car working, if I have a job, if I have food on your table and a roof over my head, if my husband still loves me, if God loves me and is taking care of me, then it’s a good day.  And when I don’t have a working car, and I don’t have a job, it is still a good day because ultimately God is on the throne working things out, watching out for me, and providing.

I’m learning to keep my trials in perspective so that they don’t ruin my attitude when I really have so many things to be thankful for.

I just want to share this song with you really quick.  On the day that Brandon got laid off, when I went to pick him up from school, this song was playing on the radio.  The song is “Always” by Kristian Stanfill. Here is the link to the song.  Part of the lyrics go “My help is on it’s way.”  I don’t know what else God has in store for us in the next coming days.  I confess I feel a bit anxious thinking about what else could happen.  But I feel hopeful that as God has been working out the other problems in our life, He will continue to work things out in the future.  He is on His way.

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