Last Thursday was a difficult day. I found myself faced with a dilemma that I had to experience alone. My husband was out of town and I was off of work, preparing myself to start a new job. With transitioning employment, preparing to move, working as a counseling intern, and serving in ministry… I definitely have a lot on my plate. Which normally I wouldn’t mind if it came with some sauce and a side of mac & cheese! However, this was DEFINITELY NOT the case!
I was having a great day, initially. I woke up, took my time getting ready, took care of some things for school and was about to head out to see a house that I found. Although we found a new place to live, I could sense that we were not too comfortable with the one we chose. Well, my husband wasn’t and that caused concern for me. After all, we both have to be comfortable, safe, and happy where we are. Living in New Orleans, doesn’t always afford us the ability to check off everything on our list. Compromise here is inevitable.
Back to my day…
As I was heading out the door, I knew I had everything in my hand. My keys, my purse, my phone, my Chic-Fil-A Lemonade. All was well, until. WAIT! I forgot to set the alarm. I head back to the door only to find that I was missing my keys and the DOOR.WAS.LOCKED. Trying to think quickly on my toes, I realized I had nothing. No help. Hubby gone. Spare key in the house. Landlord not answering the phone (which didn’t matter because he didn’t have a spare key). So I call my husband in a panic. “Call Pop-A-Lock” he says. To make a long story short. I did. They came. They refused to open the door. I couldn’t prove I was the resident and they wanted a letter from my husband saying it was okay to let me in. Not only that, they wanted him to fax it! My husband was not in a position to do this and therefore people, I was stuck. LOCKED OUT. For about 3 hours I was outside in the heat. New Orleans Heat! My phone was also dying and by the time I was able to finally get Pop-A-Lock to open the door, after calling several times and speaking with a manager, I had 4% left and was exhausted. Not to mention I still had to go see this house, finish a paper for a final and attend our Creative Night for the worship team at church. I did not want to do any of it. I was tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, and felt completely alone.
Needless to say, I got it all done. My homework, saw the house, and with everything in me I headed to Church. AND THEN…As I got out of my car…VOILA! LOCKED OUT, AGAIN!…The keys fell between my seats and the sensor wasn’t detected so I couldn’t open my door. I had already wanted to stay home, now I’m going through the same situation as before and I am just tired. I was ready to call Roadside Assistance and just go home. I had already told my worship leader I was on my way. I would have just made up an excuse, told her I had a rough day and went back home. That, however, was NOT what God had planned. AND, more importantly, it was NOT what I CHOSE to do. The beautiful thing in all of this is that God gives us a choice and the choice to stay, participate and live in “community” with your church and fellow believers, is easier when you are LOCKED IN.
My day was horrible. Well, it felt that way at least. But I’m so glad that I have built a community around me, filled with people that can encourage me when I have days just like this one. People who are willing to give big hugs and encouraging words. People that can change my circumstance by reminding me that I can overcome, it’s not the worst, and God is still faithful regardless of what I go through. And all of this just comes from their presence. Two hours with these individuals and everything I experienced that day was gone. The message was great, the fellowship even better. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB) says, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”. I am usually the encourager, but when I needed comfort, instead of running to be alone (because I am an introvert at heart), I not only remembered my duty to my team and the importance of being present to learn and grow with them, I knew that I just needed to be filled. Because of my obedience to the Lord and my leadership, God met me where I was and gave me EXACTLY what I needed…because He knows best.
Where are you in your walk? Do you have community around you? Do you have people you can confide in, rely on, or fellowship with regardless of what your day looks like? Can you still bring yourself to worship God with your peers and be filled in spite of your struggles? If you are Locked out, it’s time to get LOCKED IN. Find community. If you struggle with this, then pray them in. God will do for you because He did it for me.