I have found myself questioning so much about my purpose lately, and while I am still questioning many things, I do know this.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Ruth. In the book of Ruth is where I first heard of the word, “gleaning.” In the book of Ruth I was truly able to see the lineage of Christ and how if God can use the DNA that included a prostitute, then He could use me . . . . a once drunk, thief, liar, and hooche.
Las week I stopped receiving child support that I had been receiving for about five months. It’s the longest time period I have ever gotten child support in 22 years from my oldest daughter’s father. I grew to count on it after it didn’t stop after a few weeks. This past week I spent it before I got it and not all on things we needed. Because of that careless behavior, I overdrew our banking account, something that has not happened in a very long time. Items were returned that could be returned, but the credit still hasn’t shown on the account. So because of my negligence, my family suffered. We made it through a tough week and prepared the last meats we had yesterday. There were no snacks. Milk was gone on Saturday. Finished the bread this morning. The kids refused to eat anything other than what their sensory allows them to actually swallow and if you have a child on the Autism Spectrum you know they like to eat the same thing every day cooked the exact same way . . . so they went hungry. Oh there was food cooked and available, but it was refused. That’s a tough one for a mom who tries to make sure her kids have something they can eat at every meal. to say the least it was a miserable week/weekend. But then this morning I was able to go to the bank and use the crafting money I received over the weekend to bring my account up to a zero balance and still have enough to pick up a few groceries.
And then it happened . . . my brain started working and I thought, “Oh my gosh, my son has 5th grade graduation tonight, what is he supposed to wear?!” My heart sank as his teacher responded, “Sunday best! No shorts, t-shirts, or flip flops.” Um, that’s all Christopher wears. He won’t even wear his normal size clothing. He wears MEN’S size clothing so it won’t interfere with his sensory issues. On the way to Walmart I prayed and asked the Lord to go before me and help me find pants with elastic and a shirt with a collar that was soft and that I wouldn’t have to spend all of what little I had left on clothes that will likely only be worn one time. While I could find no pants with elastic all the way around and without buttons(didn’t have time to go into Pensacola) I did find a pair of husky pants with adjustable waste so I can work it that there IS elastic on the inside! The price was higher than I anticipated, but it was okay. I then began looking for a shirt. The shirt in the boy department would fit him, but I knew he wouldn’t wear it so I went to the men’s dept. There on a rack of regular polo shirts were the cotton soft polo type shirts in a gorgeous teal color . . . man’s size small AND marked down to $5! I could not believe it. God, once again, even in my negligence, had paved a way for my son to look nice.
On that short ride home (all of two minutes), is when the word, “gleaning” came back to my mind and that word purpose that has left me feeling defeated and like a failure. And in that moment, it seemed I got it. “Do what I tell you to do.” God calls us to work. And that doesn’t always mean in the work force either. Adam and Eve first worked in the garden. The scriptures refer to those that don’t provide for their families infidel. So we work (with whatever gift and calling the Lord has put upon our lives). The Bible often refers to the ants and we are instructed to, “be like the ants” and then there are the references to those that are lazy. These are verses that I take to heart but have also often caused me grief in feelings of being a failure, so this morning when the word, “gleaning” kept coming to mind it was as if the Lord was showing me my purpose. “Work in the manner you have been gifted. Do what I tell you to do.” And the amazing part is, I am doing that. I also am learning to realize that just because the Lord’s definition for my work is different than someone else’s work, doesn’t mean I am not working. It’s like that bondage of worry over what someone THINKS I should be doing is being lifted because of that one word, “gleaning.” Now I know that definition for gleaning has nothing to do with crafts and wood working, but it does have to do with provisions being met. And because of that step of obedience I took months ago when I started making pallet Christmas trees, flags and signs . . .
And the comforting part is, this afternoon . . . another flag is being picked up and I have another project that will be complete this week. And those jobs combined with what was delivered over the weekend totals more than the check I would have received last week for child support.
In my failure, God provided.
I have no clue if any of this makes sense today. I have pinched nerves piercing my neck and am fighting a migraine, but these words kept playing and jumping in my head and I just needed to share them.
Thank you, Lord, for meeting the needs of my family. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for grace. Thank you for not holding back on provisions because of my negligence. Thank you for your unending love. Thank you for letting what we had stretch. Thank you that I don’t have to drive my van every day and use gas that would have been an added stress/expense. Thank you that your plans are by far greater than my plans. Thank you for a new day. Amen.