Do you often find yourself frustrated and worn out trying to solve every problem on your own? We think we’ve got all the bases covered and then, poof – something out of the blue tries to put a monkey wrench in the works. What then? Do we yell and scream? Cuss out the cat, the dog, the kids, or the spouse?
As a single parent and the child of an alcoholic father, I have felt the need to control situations probably more so than I need to. Perhaps, like me, you’ve felt you have to “do it all” and found yourself crumbling under the mountain of to-do lists. In the past, I chalked it all up to “being responsible” but I think there is more to it than that. No matter how much I may think I have things under control, inevitably something happens to let me know that I am not. What’s good about this is that no matter what happens, all I have to do is give it to God and He will step in and make things right. Somehow. God’s grace is an amazing thing and when we start to expect it and look for it in our lives, more of it seems to show up. To give you an example, allow me to share a situation that happened this week and see what you think.
About a month ago, I purchased airline tickets online for my mom, my son, and myself. My mom’s tickets were purchased on a different airlines since she would be flying from another city. I filled out the credit card information, selected seating, and even put in a request for elderly assistance. My mom was adamant that we get the flight paid for quickly since she was getting a good price. When I submitted the information, I am quite sure I received a confirmation message because I remember uttering a sigh of relief.
Fast forward to this week, my mom was asking questions about her ticket.
“Let me see if I ever got an email from the airlines confirming your flight,” I said as I perused my inbox.
“Nope, nothing. I don’t see anything from them. I don’t remember whether I put my email address on your ticket or not,” I said.
A few hours later, I’m taking a nap, and my cell phone starts going off. It was my mom.
“I just called the airlines and they said my ticket was cancelled. I called my bank and they have no record of the ticket being purchased either,” she said in a frenzied tone of voice.
“Ok, Ma, calm down. Let me call the airlines and see what happened.”
Sure enough, the agent tells me there was one ticket in the system but it was put on hold and then the system cancelled it out. This certainly seemed bizarre to me. There was no way I had put that ticket on hold, as adamant as my mom was to get the fare.
“Is there any way I can get repurchase the ticket?” I asked.
“Not at that price,” replied the agent. “That price is no longer in the system.”
Not knowing what else to do, I asked to speak to a supervisor.
“Hold please, while I get one for you,”.
It was quite a while before someone came back on the line but I did have time to send up a prayer.
“Lord, please show us your favor in this situation. Thank you so much.”
When the supervisor finally came on the line she said her name was Miss Sophie. Funny, that is my mom’s name too.
To make a long story short, the supervisor agreed to repurchase the ticket for us at the exact same fare, with better seats and with no additional fees for phone service.
I hung up the phone.
“Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord!” I exclaimed.
I have to admit. This is quite a change of behavior from years past. I would let someone else’s upset become my upset. Now I have learned I don’t have to take on emotionally or energetically someone else’s problem. I don’t have to fix everything by myself. Here are some simple steps I use to help keep from losing my cool when something unexpected happens.
1. Take a deep breath and pause before responding.
2. Maintain my composure by keeping my voice low and slow.
3. Reassure the other person everything is going to be fine.
4. Pray! Ask God for wisdom and direction.
5. Take time to step back and think logically about a solution.
6. Take the necessary action steps without apprehension about what could happen.
7. Relax and give the outcome to God. Trust Him to handle it after I’ve done my part.
We all have unexpected events show up in our lives. The key is to not let them throw us of kilter for very long. If we get really good at it, perhaps there will come a day when they won’t throw us off kilter at all!
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