"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Friday, July 14, 2006


Undercover Blessings

Ever run across a blessing in disguise? I know we all have heard the story of how someone who knows someone else whose cousin’s ex-wife’s step-sister’s uncle got stuck in traffic and how he ended up missing an important flight by mere seconds only to later hear the plane crashed. It makes a great movie but I’m talking about real life—your own life. Have you ever run across an undercover blessing?

There’s a story about the Reverend Dr. John Witherspoon from when he was president of what became Princeton University. A young man came rushing into Dr. Witherspoon’s office one day. “Dr. Witherspoon, you must pray with me now,” he demanded.

“Certainly young man. What do you want to pray about?”

“I want to thank God for sparing my life. I was on my way here and as I was coming around the bend, another buggy came careening in my direction. I thought for sure it was the end but somehow the buggy made it past and I want to pray and thank the Lord for His protection.”

Dr. Witherspoon stood and came from around his desk to put an arm across the young man’s shoulders. “I would be honored to pray a prayer of thanks with you but first I believe we should thank our Father for all the protection He offers that we do not see.”

I love that story. It helps me to remember that perhaps that slow car that won’t let me make it through on the yellow light might have just saved my life. Or maybe when I can’t find my keys for the longest time (only to discover they were right where I’d left them) that maybe I’m being protected from injury or expensive damage.

Several years ago, Ian’s doctors suggested we apply for disability through SSI for Ian. We did but were turned down. At the time, I was back in school working on my elementary education degree. Nearly two years later, when I was in my last semester, we received a letter from the Social Security Department. Apparently they had turned down someone who didn’t take it kindly—so much so, they unkindly took it all the way to the Supreme Court. And the Court ruled in their favor. The Social Security Department had to go back through their files for ten years and notify everyone they had turned down that they could now reapply. If accepted, the recipient would be paid a check for the back payment they should have received. We were able to make a down payment on a house with the money Ian got (this was approved because it provided shelter for Ian). If Ian had qualified when we first applied, we never would have gotten our house.

Another time, I went through a season of feeling forgotten by God. I had been graduated from a good university with a high GPA rating. I had all sorts of references and did well with my interviews. But time and again it would come down to me and someone else, and the someone else would get the job every time. I couldn’t understand it. I wanted a full-time teaching position. I wanted it with all my heart. Wasn’t God supposed to give me the desires of my heart?

About four years after graduation, I ended up having major surgery and was not available to interview for a full time job. I had been running on stress for so long that the time at home healing was a gift. The desire for my own classroom left though I knew, financially, I needed to work. So I prayed. “Lord, I hate to interview. If You have a position for me, would You please have them call me?”

The doctor released me on a Wednesday and I got a call on Thursday. “You don’t know me, but you were recommended to me. I have a preschool teaching position opening up and wondered if you might want to interview for it.”

It was a perfect fit and I loved my work. The pay wasn’t anything like an elementary classroom teacher would make but it was enough. Then in the spring of 1999, my boss and her boss asked me to stay after a meeting. They explained that when we moved into the new building (that was nearly finished), there were only two preschool rooms. Beginning with the upcoming year, one of those rooms would house a multi-needs preschool. I was not qualified to teach that and the other preschool teacher had more seniority. They didn’t want to lose me, though, so they offered me another position as Preschool Coordinator at a different site. I would be getting a promotion and a major raise.

I thank God to this day that I didn’t say yes on the spot. “May I go home and pray about this over the weekend?” They gave me the time and in the process I learned that if I took the job, it would cost us $300 per paycheck, besides losing Ian’s SSI money. He would no longer qualify for SSI or the state insurance or Children’s Rehab Services. Phil’s insurance with the city had been in place long enough that they wouldn’t cry “preexisting” if we added Ian but the formulary didn’t cover all his medications—some of which ran over $1000 per month. I suddenly realized that it had been a blessing all along to not get the positions I thought I wanted so badly.

I learned something else in the process. When God says to delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart, He’s not talking like some cosmic sugar daddy. When I make Him my delight, my focus, my lord, He places in me the desires He has for me—to do what He wants, to fulfill the plans He has for me. I must seek Him first and His righteousness and these things will be added unto me. Make sense? It finally did with me.

Tomorrow I will share another discovery I’ve made about blessings. See you then!

Abundant blessings,
Jenny Thanks for sharing! It is a great witness! Your faith is strong and it is so nice to hear other's stories of belief. God's Blessings and Peace,
Deb Robarge
Hi, I just came across your blog accidentally, but was glad to read it. A lot of people don't realize that getting SSI is not just about the benefit check. The ability to be seen by a doctor and have prescriptions filled can be just as important.
Ah, Jenny. I just love hearing how God has worked in your life. Helps me get some perspective on mine too. Thanks for sharing.
looking forward to hearing about your other discoveries as well. I love hearing other stories from women like me.
What happened to Thursday, July 13th? I missed it! God has guided and directed you and blessed you! He's so good at that! I thank Him and Praise Him!
Thank you for sharing! Mom
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