After my alarm goes off each morning, there is but a flicker of time before I’m fully conscious, aware of my surroundings, my current predicament, and the condition of my soul. It is the absolute slightest moment of Zen – where my thoughts are untroubled, undisturbed, and unburdened.
It is the moment before I recall what’s going on in my world. As a child, it was the split second before the rise of exhilaration after remembering it was my birthday, Christmas, the first day of school, or some other exciting event that I looked forward to.
There have not been too many exciting days like that for me anymore. Most mornings had been routine – spending time with God, reviewing my schedule for the day, rousing my family, and getting the household off to work and school.
When the schools moved to virtual learning in mid-March, mornings were not as hectic. I adjusted to a new routine and we continued with life, trying to adjust to our new normal of sheltering in place.
And then came April Fools’ Day. In an instant, my normal and predictable mornings had changed. There were no pranks or tricks this year.
You see, March 31st was the last day I communicated with my brother.
When I woke up on April 1st and remembered that he was sedated, and on a ventilator, my heart dropped. I was hopeful that it was only temporary, and his condition would improve. For the next eleven days, right after I woke up and that initial moment passed, I fought off the uneasy feeling that came immediately after remembering. Each day I would hope and pray that this would be the day he woke up and my nightmare would end.
What I remember after rising for the day can influence the tone for my mood, my disposition, and my demeanor. The thoughts I choose to focus my mind on have such a huge influence on my mental well-being and can also affect my interactions with those around me, possibly impacting them as well.
In the morning I usually remember what was on my mind before I went to sleep the night before. I think of all the concerns that had been fighting for my attention throughout the previous day. I recall the worries and fears that I have been battling to overcome, so I can somehow get to a place of peace.
April 13th was the first day in years that I woke up without an alarm. Once I realized why, the memory was too heavy to bear. I chose to go back to sleep instead of being aware of my reality. The next day was only slightly better. And each day after that only a sliver of the pain seemed to be peeled away.
Slowly my mornings have improved with time. I’ve still had to fight past the instantaneous feeling of uncertainty that hits each morning when I remember that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. But then I make the choice to trust God with my day and push forward with my schedule and responsibilities.
It takes strength to press ahead and do what must be done – some days I have enough, and other days I could use some help, and who better to help me than God? (this blog is a greater reminder)
Having strength doesn’t mean everything will turn out fine. I was reminded of this last week – on a day that was lining up to be one of the better ones that I had experienced in quite a while. A half-day at work, followed by some medical appointments with my daughters, and quick visit with extended family before heading home for dinner and a family movie on Netflix.
But we never got to the movie. A tornado and flash flood warning streamed across my phone. I didn’t think twice about it as we always prayed over our home during major storms and hurricanes. My concern grew as the rain and wind grew stronger, and I said another prayer. And then another as the thunder and lightning continuously cracked across the sky.
An hour later we were devastated by the destruction of our property as a result of the storm.
Strength is the ability to steadfastly trust God during the figurative and literal storms in our lives, and after the storm while we deal with the pain, devastation, and regrets left in its trail.
The next morning, I didn’t get my flash moment. The whirling generator woke me up and immediately reminded of my current plight. The next thought was entirely my choice.
Today’s Play Prediction scripture provides the reassurance that hope is always the right decision. I’m able to avoid being consumed by everything coming at me, because each morning God has a new dose of compassion and mercy waiting for me.
If I keep my mind focused on this, I can make it through today. I’m not thinking about tomorrow – I’ll wait until the next morning when I have my new allocation to get me through another day.
Our minds are the control center for our entire being. Such a powerful entity with the ability to influence our present and future.
I must continually choose what to remember. The scripture I shared in last week’s blog stays on my mind. I guess God wanted me to share it again.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
In addition to everything else already going on, He’s working this out too. Although there is much to remedy, countless tasks to complete, and the full picture of restoration is unclear, I know God is the most amazing multi-tasker and strategizer – and He has everything under control.
Remember this when God wakes you up tomorrow morning and you become fully aware of your life’s condition. And then wisely choose how to respond to the first thought that hits your mind. Choose Him.
What is occupying your mind when you wake up in the morning? Are you able to focus and set your day in order? Or is there a constant battle in your mind about the difficult situations in your life?
Remember today’s Play Prediction – God’s compassion and mercy are a daily gift to you. Don’t waste it by taking on life’s problems by yourself. His faithfulness is overflowing, be sure to get your share each morning.
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
Follow Destined 4 the Dub for the Inspiration each week as we journey through the highs and lows of life!