Lately, things seem to have been piling up. I’ve got a stack of submissions to review, several books on deck to publish, and all sorts of little fires to put out here and there. I’ve had my own five WIPs on the back burner for so long that they have turned to ash, but I still feel optimistic that one day I will get it all done. The day-to-day routine has had me running here and there to accommodate my daughter’s sports schedule and my own attempts at trying to do something healthy each day. By the time I sit down for a marathon working session, I’m already exhausted…and, of course, daunted by the mounting pile of crap that I know I need to get done. So, how do I continue without pulling out all of my ever-graying hair? The answer is simple, I pray.
If I do nothing else, I always make time to talk to God and tell Him that I’m thankful for His intervention in the challenges I face. I ask Him for protection, provision, and promotion each day so that I can receive His guidance on which path He wants me to take. He’s always very clear with His provision and protection, but the promotion part is kind of tricky. Bear in mind, I’m not asking Him to promote me in a marketing sense. The promotion I seek is to be brought up through the ranks in His army. I’m looking to be shown where my strengths lie and where I might focus my energies to reach the next level that He has for me. So, promotion seemed like the most accurate term to capture what I am asking for.
Over the years, He has shown me that there are priorities in my mind that simply are NOT priorities in His. The more I let go of the things I once placed at high priority, the more I tend to get done and the more ground I tend to be able to cover. It’s only when I work doggedly on my own “pet projects” that I find myself spinning my wheels rather ineffectually and becoming so exhausted that I can’t focus on anything at all. At that point, I start feeling all of the anxiety and depression that He has delivered me from trying to creep back into my consciousness. And I know that He didn’t do all of this work on me to have me fall back into that pit.
For example, in my thirties, I became focused on having a big family. I became pregnant at age thirty and very early on, lost the baby. So, we tried again and one year later, we were blessed with our daughter. I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for this child and all I could think about was having about a hundred more of her. We tried again and again to have more children, but I suffered four more miscarriages over the next few years. I was devastated. I had jumped off of the career track I was on and was hoping to be one of those stay-at-home supermoms that we see in the magazines. But this was not God’s plan for me. This was my plan. A plan evidently concocted to make up for all of the shortcomings I believed I had at the time. I didn’t see myself as anything good or useful, so I figured I would be able to have babies and be a good mom and all would be redeemed. But, instead, the whole experience left me more broken than I had been before. My marriage suffered and we eventually divorced. And it has been just my daughter and I for years now. But…in truth, now I don’t know why I ever wanted more than that. There has been nothing more healing and more fulfilling than being a mother to this wonderful girl.
My plans were much bigger (in my mind) and possibly lacking in depth. And they were likely designed to keep me from having genuine engagement in the lives of those I loved. I think back now and I know that I’m not the type of person who could have given the kind of support and focus I would have felt appropriate to more than one child at a time. When I became a mother, I was not yet fully healed from all of the trauma of my own childhood and early adulthood. I was still struggling to find my worth and I was in no way ready to help a child find theirs. It would not have been fair to my daughter or to any other children for me to have a whole gaggle of kids at that point in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I would have tried my hardest to make it work and I would have given everything I had to trying to nurture those babies, but I believe that my truer calling was to be my daughter’s mother, cheerleader, confidant, supporter, and guide. And in doing so, I found so much more potential in myself than I had ever imagined was there.
The experience of being a mother has injected more fire into every other area of my life and it has allowed me to step up when I needed to step up. Through God’s guidance, I found that promoting my own interests above His never really gets me over the hump. When I move forward with His momentum, things fall into place much more easily and the lessons are learned with a bit less pain and fatigue. So, how do I do it? Only by the grace of God.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
~Psalm 33:11 NIV~
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting through life’s trials can be extremely difficult. There is pain on every side and more often than not, we stumble through the phases of grief until we end up on the brighter side of things.
By sharing the story of my divorce and the seven years that followed, I hope to encourage you to hang on and see each challenge as just another milestone that needs to be passed in order to find your healing.
My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.