Prosper the Work of My Hands
2 weekends ago, I was returning home from kayaking and had a bit of drive where I found myself crying to God, and praying adamantly to prosper the work of my hands, as I shouted almost meanly to them through my tears, frustrated at the degree to which I work, yet nothing manages to prosper, or so it has seemed.
For what seems to be a decade, now, I have felt overwhelmed. I’m not going to go into the details. I will put it to you this way. “I need a staff just to manage my ideas.” This is what I told my friend, Faye, after last week after all this came to a head.
Meaning: I have so many ideas inside my head and am so inspired that I can’t manage them all, alone. I have been overwhelmed by their enormity. The ideas keep coming, and I keep feeling inadequate to staff them all! I need help. I need a staff to bring them all to life!
Many of them are written down, many of them are in progress: my science t.v. show for kids, my ad campaign for V-8, my book ideas –most of which are written but not illustrated so they’ve halted, but the progress failure maintains its presence in my mind, my God stories – either a book or movie idea for that, maybe both! My class curricula ideas, and my school curricula ideas. The curricula ideas mount on a regular basis which are also exhausting because I cannot keep up with them in my limited time. But I try, and do what I can. Often time, mostly, however, by the time I may get around to them, the next topic is upon us (I’m a teacher). Maybe there’s more, but, oh yea, I need to get my professional horticulture certificate which I’m working towards, but have languished on that. And, I may want to get a reading endorsement too to propel my book ideas and generate more income for myself, and fun for myself and some children! And there’s my photography – what to do with all of that! I’m trying! Yes, there are more ideas with the photography, too, of which I’ve been working on a little lately, so…! Oh, then, yes, there’s my health blog. Too much to do well, I feel a lot, but I’m learning to do what I can with the time I have and to manage that well Lent is helping being off t.v. . Exercise is helping too. That’s a salvation in a lot of ways.
My friend got quite a kick out of me needing a staff to manage my thoughts and ideas, but I was not kidding! She got it, and we laughed after she mocked me, telling God, “She said she needs a staff!” How funny. What was cool about that day way this. I got relief from it, finally!
I had been at the riverside earlier that morning where I’d been running and then sat by the river for a spell praying a little bit and taking it all in, being grateful for that great morning I had had.
I got into my car afterwards, and it was Faye calling. I answered. I told her what I was up to when she asked, and she told me she was doing the same thing, but in her mind, literally recounting exactly what I’d done – taking my run over the bridge, enjoying the sunshine, going down to the river to pray, etc. “Oh yea?” I kind of said dubiously while chuckling a bit at her. She mentioned it again somehow, that yes, she was going to call me earlier in the morning to go to the river, but decided to just do it in her mind, instead. I was not sure what was going on. Was she serious?
Now, we’ve never done anything like that together, and she doesn’t even run, nor did she know that is something I’d taken up again recently, but she maintained this is what she’d done, too. I was a little perplexed. “Are you lying?” I inquired. She told me, “I don’t lie” but went on to tell me the one exception when she might, and then explained that I had been heavily on her mind and that she was going to text, but she decided to call instead. I was so glad she had. She had no idea, nor did I, how much I needed her help that morning. She was about to help reveal the “curse,” the burden I had been carrying around for many years and under which I’ve felt kind of buried, but believed it from something else, and far different from what she shared.
Meet Me In the Garden – The Revelation Revealed
We talked for some time. She asked me if I wanted to meet her in the garden next to her house to talk, and being worried about my stomach I declined, originally. But when I got home my car wanted to turn left instead of right, so I went with it, and told her I’d be right over.
After we met and got our hellos and hugs out of the way – we hadn’t seen each other since Christmas – I asked her why she was saying the things to me she was. I was concerned. . I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it resonated with what I’d been going through and praying about so strongly and the “prospering the work on my hands,” and that whole bit.
She went on to tell me that she’d asked God how He saw me the week before. Now, keep in mind, she may have had some idea about how I am because of something I shared with here earlier in the year about having so much on my plate that I didn’t want the extra burden of a weekly ministry, but she didn’t know the extent of it. Firstly, I thought it was weird why she was asking God what He thought about me, but I am her relatively new prayer and ministry partner so I guess that makes sense to some degree, and I never got back to her on that, but, anyway, I think it was apparent to her the severity of what I was feeling as I expressed my exasperation through my tears of burden.
I told her I needed her help and any insight she might provide me or help on what she was thinking and praying about because the night before, my prayer found me at the end of my rope with this way of thinking, and how I can’t live under this pressure I put on myself or I just feel because this is how I am, always feeling the need to perform and do my goals, and yet never finishing many of them, and they keep mounting, and I am often feeling the disappointing failure in myself, and how I am so overwhelmed on a regular basis. Gasp. Breath needed.
I have often felt incapacitated by the pressure because I haven’t known in which direction to go. So many things to do, and not knowing which to do, I often would do nothing, and then that added to the pressure of feeling like I am not living up to all my potential! A total crap cycle!
In addition to this, I found it interesting that a friend of mine was praying for me a few months back and told God “she (Holly, me) doesn’t know how to (stop).” I didn’t know she knew that. Maybe I didn’t know that! I know I never stop, but I didn’t know “I didn’t know how.” Yep. I feel that for sure!! I am constantly on the go doing something, achieving something! Trying to. I am always working towards something! Little achievement though. I don’t know. I might have ADD I now think as I write this, but I can focus pretty well when I set my mind to it. What I do know is I was about to gain some understanding about myself. I was about to gain some realistic perspective of myself that would heal this insanity.
I was a bit shocked at what she told me. I mean, I had NO idea what she’d say, but I was desperate for answers and help. And, interestingly, what she told me made perfect sense, it was so simple, and proved resonate, reducing my sense of pressure, and lightening my load! What did she tell me?
“You are gifted.” That was her answer. What!? I liked how it sounded, but my my heart was still flat. I listened to try and understand what she was getting at, earnestly, while perplexed in what I was hearing. With eyes still wet, I let her continue without interruption. “You have been given many talents and abilities and you are smart.” That was it.
I am talented and Gifted! Yes, yes, yes. That’s it!? I am Gifted!! What a relief.
I was so relieved, but I wasn’t really jumping up and down. I was contemplating it’s veracity. Did it fit? It did. It made sense, but after she added the caveat. (I am reminded of telling my former love, Kevin, while in tears, frustrated, “I feel like there is so much inside of me and don’t know how to get it out.”) Now that I’ve accessed my gifts, wow! What to do with them, and how to manage them all!? A staff! HA!
I listened to her intently because it made such sense. She continued, “But with that comes a curse. If you do not live up to your gifts, there is a great burden.” It was something to that effect, completely logical! I loved it because it rang true and let me off the hook on one sense, but also kept me on it on another. But it made sense still and provided some relief to have an answer that I could work with that was really logical! I had all sort of other reasons why I was this way, each only seeming to put me down and make me ineffective, but this one gave me an out.
What it did do was give me some perspective. It got me off the roller coaster. It took off the enormous pressure and relieved me of my own sense of disappointment. Yes! Because you have so many gifts, and are smart, you feel cursed by the incredible inability to do everything right now and crumble under the enormity of it all. I laugh now because it’s so simple – the solution: prioritizing and goal seeting! Yes. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Must READ!! The pressure of not living up to every idea and thought I have that comes my way is no longer necessary. Perspective was necessary. Not every thought is meant to be achieved. Maybe it is. But, put it on the list, in your book of catalogued ideas, and press on. Yes, do that! Make a list of priorities. Do them. That’s it! Curse, be gone!. Let’s do it! Gifts, bring ‘em on! Thank you, Jesus, that my gifts and calling are irrevocable! AMEN!!
It was so simple. All this pressure is because I am gifted. What a simple, marvelous thing and pleasure to know that blissful truth of who I am. Awesome. Gone are the burdens of this gift. Just press-on toward your high calling, my dear one. Press on!
I am made this way – to do, yes, but I need to be methodical about it. It does take off a lot of the pressure though, for sure. She gave me a book to read that morning – it was so accurate, timely and needed. I am doing it to this day.
So, the good thing about all this is that although I know God is with me on a regular basis and we have a good relationship I feel, this is a good new “God story” for me to add to my vast collection. Another testimony of Him clearly showing up in my need when I really poured out my heart and asked for help, as I need Him.
I came to my end, and when I asked for help, he got me. The help came through Faye calling me, her vision about us doing our exercise together, bizarre, and then her telling me what she told me. Relief. Interesting! My prayers are being answered too about prospering the work of my hands. With this burden off my load, I can, and have been, focusing more directly on my passion, but also tending to the others, some of the others, as well. I’m focusing on my top 3 right now. What’s most important: the priorities right now: Completing my children’s book is my top priority – I will publish it myself and do the sweet little illustrations, too. My health is my other priority – strengthening and cleansing and healing my knees and body and skin. I am doing that well providing me with more interest in doing everything else too. And, I’m working more intently too on my professional horticulture certificate studies, and have really been getting into that too more it which is cool. I love plants!!
Those are my interests and my main needs to pursue to get them OFF MY PLATE!. Then, I can move on in a lot of directions more readily!! And, I will. Yah. Liberation. As Carl Jung said, “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”
So, the hand of God rests on my life, and my rest in in Him. I am very grateful to have You showing up again for me.
Thank you, Father.
Faye also had this for me. So perfect!