A few months ago, I was headed to teach a class. Loaded down with materials, snacks, drinks. Push the button and one of the elevator doors opens. Get in. Start my ascent. Elevator stops. I am a cool person under pressure so I think, "This will just be a second." As time goes on, I realize I could at least set my heavy bags down. After a few more minutes, I decided to take a seat on the floor.
Eventually, I start doing a survival guide thought checklist. I had seen enough movies to know that elevators can plunge ... but I was only about 1 floor off the ground so even if it fell, I'd be fine. I had drinks and snacks. I had a phone and once it was 8 o'clock, I could call my office and tell them the situation (that was only about 10 more minutes). I had a book I could read. I even thought about how I could use my cup to pee in if I had to. And if it got too hot, I could always take off my shirt ... I worried how long it would take to get it back on if the doors opened up though. But I had a plan of action.
I enjoyed a few peaceful moments before someone from the building yells, "Is anyone in this elevator?" And I shouted back. She F R E A K E D out! She started running around like an idiot, calling 911, calling the maintenance people, calling everyone in the building. She checked on me like every 10 seconds in this panicked voice. I kept assuring her I was fine! (Later I realized she was acting like she would have had SHE been in the elevator ... apparently I wasn't acting appropriately as I wasn't freaked out.)
Time passed and the door finally opened. I gathered my things (I didn't need the pee cup or to remove my top). When she asked how I was so calm, I told her I have 5 kids and that was the first time I'd been by myself in forever. I was enjoying the time alone.
But the truth is ... I was calm partly because of my action plan. But mostly, a long time ago I gave my steps over to God. It would be natural to think, "I got in the wrong elevator". And there were many times when I questioned if I was on the right "elevator" of life. I would feel overwhelmed that I couldn't possibly handle the challenge He set before me.
For example, here are just some of the times I felt I was on the wrong elevator: adopting 2 special needs children at once (newborn and toddler) as a brand new parent; losing a child; losing a baby; business went under; had to sell our home; taking in 2 more children with special needs; losing more than half of our church; etc etc.
But somewhere along the way, I started to trust that when I said, "Please order my steps" that He did. God gave me a line to a song I wrote which says, "You have a purpose for my life and You are shaping me, Lord." And I started to 'get it'. I started to act as if I knew, TRULY Believed that God has a purpose for ME. That He is shaping me in a particular shape.
So as I face a health challenge currently, as I face more surgeries for Zoe, as we still struggle with the economy (Dan's business is tied to real estate), as I figure out how to start and run an orphanage in China ... I get my action plan together. I KNOW I'm on the right elevator.
What about you? Are YOU on the ride of your life?