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Last night I read a scripture that I've read many times before:
"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart" Psalm 37:4
I didn't think any new thoughts on the verse, but somehow, I felt more deeply impacted by the verse than I have previously. Priscilla Schirer, in her book about Jonah that I've been reading, asks the question of if you have a messed up "want-to" and I've been thinking about this. Because the truth is I do have a messed up "want-to". I want to do what I want to do, my desires don't always line up with God's. I've been so unhappy and frustrated in my job, I've struggled to overcome this feeling that comes to me frequently that says I hate my job. Sure I have plenty to be unahppy about but the bottom line is that this is where I'm at for now and being a hater never helps anything, and there are some good things about my job. So every day I've been trying and trying to remind myself that God is in control of the universe and that He has at least allowed me to be here, to remind myself of what is good about my job, and to try to see how I can be of help or encouragement to the people with whom I come in contact every day. But it's been a huge struggle; it feels every day like I'm trying to go up a waterfall that is torrentially coming down upon me. So last night I started praying that God would change my "want-to"; I started asking Him to teach me how to delight in Him and that the desires of my heart would come into alignment with His desires for me.
Rcubes works in a correctional institution as do I. She's indicated previously at various times that there is more to situations than we can see in the natural, she's spoken about spiritual warfare. I've got to tell you that spiritual warfare is not one of my favorite topics. I've mentioned before that previously in my life I was involved in an unhealthy "charismatic" church many years ago and that I, wrongly, threw out much good theology and practice right along with all the bad. So, due to prior abuses, I've shied away from the whole topic of spiritual warefare. But scripture is very clear that there is an unseen realm, and that this realm affects the realm we can see. It's also clear that Believers are involved in a spiritual battle. In Ephesians 6:11-13 it talks about the armor of God and I felt a desire to pray through that yesterday morning and, metaphorically speaking, to put on that armor. I prayed God's protection over me, and for Him to send his mighty warrior angels to protect me and asked that He would grant me His favor in the day.
Yesterday was a typical day at work. One thing after another went wrong, I was pulled a bunch of different directions. Started the day with an RN with a bad attitude who, when I pulled her aside to let her know that the attitude isn't acceptable, ended up bursting into tears and telling me about how I have it out for her. Had auditors criticizing our paperwork. Had a new medical records clerk actually ask me while I was training her if I expect her to remember the training I was providing to her. Had the psychiatrist ask to speak to me due to serious meical and psychological concerns about one of our detainees, and was without any kind of guidlines on how to respond in the sitution, I had to think and pray and go with what seemed best to me. The assistant warden came into medical records and decided that we are not organized the way he thinks best and wanted us to change everything - right them. We couldn't find the medical record for a detainee transferred over from our building next door but they said they did not have it (it was finally found that they did). The list goes on and on, but I'm sure you get the point.
But somehow, in the midst of all of this, I didn't feel all frazzeled like I usually do every day. I didn't hear the words in my head I hate my job. I had a phone conversation with my new boss where we actually laughed and joked together and I felt like we were in it together, where I liked her. Near the end of the day when I was following up on a problem with two security lieutenants one of them commented on how I'm smiling more then I usually do and seem happier and the other emphatically affirmed the comment (I always go out of my way to be nice to these guys and they recognize that, but I'm never personal with any of them, so it surprised me that they even think about how I feel). When I got home last night John commented on how it's so good to have the old me back, that he's happy to see me not being so super stressed by my work.
I know this sounds so small, but this is not how I have felt for the past 14 months, and espcially not for the past 2 months since they've brought in this woman to be my boss.
Maybe it's somthing transitory, maybe not; time will tell. Is my experience related to asking God to enable me and teach me to delight in Him and to change my "want-to?" Is my experience related to focusing on the armor described in Ephesians 6:11-13 and praying my way though it yesterday morning and praying for His protection and favor? Or, is it just a coincidence?