I went to church late today as I was debating if I should go at all (my church is almost an hr away) or go to another church near my home so I can attend the board meeting after sundown. Board meetings happen after sunsets and usually in summer it’s late like today it’s after 8:00 p.m. and usually they end around midnight. I didn’t want to leave my babies without food that long. But I had to go anyway as I was texted to help out with the treasury stuff as I’m also an assistant treasurer. Going late became a lot late as there was construction on the way and Lord, I made a mistake of not getting my car’s a/c fixed as it was over 100 F & mine was the only car on the road, with the windows rolled down… Poor Shanthi almost got baked in the car.

The reason I didn’t get my a/c fixed was, no I wasn’t lazy (but good guess tho) as I love driving; I had a scientific reason. Around July 2011, I developed asthma like breathing disorder. No clue what triggers it, but my observation was that usually humidity, any hint of fresh cut grass smell, perfumes of any kind, cold weather and my lungs seize up and I wheeze and pant and struggle to breathe. So I’m dependent on steroids to breathe and when we had the over 100 degree weather during the last half of July, my lexus’ a/c broke. I promptly went to my mechanic but he was out on vacation and the other guys don’t know me very well and I was hesitant to leave my boy with them. So I decided I’ll brave the weather and if it gets worse I’ll use my other car. So during this time I realized that my breathing was actually got better in spite of humidity. Of course, I recorded my observations and sure enough I saw a correlation and I don’t know what it means but I am thinking probably the car’s a/c was actually promoting my breathing problem. So I decided to not get a/c fixed till my problem goes away and also I don’t perspire that much so it’s no big deal, but it was unbearable today.

As I was walking in, the church was singing “it is well with my soul” and it just overwhelmed me with so much emotion and my eyes welled up. I love this song, but the story of Spafford, the poet who penned these words, I love even more. In case you aren’t familiar with his story: he was a wealthy Chicago lawyer and he had everything at one point, a wife, four daughters and a son and first he loses his son then his wealth. He arranges a vacation for his family to go to Europe and the ship sinks and all his daughters perish except his wife. With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving wife, Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, when sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul.

What is it about churches that once you enter the sanctuary a whole load of weight just flies away like a helium balloon ? I sat in the back row with this young man who was visiting. He was passionate for Christ. He was “amening” so loudly I was smiling in my head. Apparently he was from N. Dakota and I’m not holding it against him, but you know they are sweeter & gentler than Philadelphians. Yep, we are known for brotherly love, but only in title.

I could have sworn that my pastor read my blog “If God Be With Us”. Nobody, as far as I know, knows that I blog. So I’m thinking it’s God talking to me. Again. The day after I posted that blog, the first thing I see is the message, “Talk about your blessing more than you talk about your burden”. It made me feel so ashamed and so small. I seriously need to rethink my priorities. While what I am going through is painful, it is equally true that my life is full of blessings. I keep focusing on what I’ve lost and what I haven’t got instead of focusing on what He actually did and doing for me.

Today’s sermon was just about that. Counting the blessings. My life may be sadder than some people, but it is better than most of the others. Why do I keep going “Bonjour Tristesse” every single day ?

New beginnings and fresh starts.

Our God is a God of second chances…. Make it multiple chances in my case. He gave me a lot of chances and I’m sure He will give me more as and when I continue to f$%# up. My journey may be bumpy and my road may be full of potholes (and I’m pretty sure these potholes are made by yours truly), but God has given me a vehicle with Him as the driver, which is made for these types of journeys and to withstand the potholes.

Our journeys are full of courage, doubts, thankfulness, insecurities, fears, love, weaknesses, anxieties, sadness, etc.  And God understands all these. Remember “Jesus wept” John 11:35.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. “ Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11

I guess what I am trying to say is that Fresh Start is a conscious choice. I probably need to unglue myself and take that step out of that proverbial boat and start walking towards Jesus and trust in Him, that He will still the raging storm around me and that, He will straighten my paths. I need to plant more seeds of love and remove the bitterness; let go of my sadness and make room for happiness; accept God’s grace in my situation and let go of the baggage and accept new joys and welcome wonderment and learning curves and embrace different seasons and adventure they bring.

Someone said that when a door is closed, we continue to stare at that door and not be aware that God has opened another one.

More importantly trust God that everything has a time and place and to remember that God said “trust my timing”. God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” Ephesians 3:20

I’m human (I’ve doubts as to that) and I’ll probably continue to be a narcissist and think about my pain and my sadness and continue to blog about it. Sometimes we need reminders and mile markers to see how far we have come in our journey. But God is building me up and so He will continue to walk with me and remind me what I need to hold on to.

It will do well with my soul if I continue to remember “…He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5