If ever there was a day that Ashton Kutcher was missing, it was Friday, October 14th.
Things that should have been easy, weren’t. Things that I thought were done, needed to be undone or redone. Oh, and everyone needed everything today. On top of that, residue from the rough week before was cluttering my mind and weighing on my shoulders. I felt like I was in a world championship for weightlifting, but I had no clue how I’d gotten there because I was still in the lightweight category. Like how do I lift 500 pounds when I only signed up for 50?! (Ya feel me?)
Ashton Kutcher had pulled one over on me, because he was supposed to pop around the corner and say his line. I just knew it was coming. “You just got punk’d!”
Needless to say, by 10 a.m. (sans Ashton Kutcher), I was a sobbing mess…pile of tissues, snotty nose, ugly-cry…mess. I wanted to go shut myself in a closet, or better yet, just quit for the day (or year).
And then the phone rang, because you know…it was just that day where the phone rings every time you can barely contain your sobbing.
I answered in my most controlled nasal voice, “Central Contractors, this is Chelsea.”
I heard a familiar voice. Relief swept over me, but quickly left when I heard her say, “Wait. You’re not okay. You’re not having a good day, are you?”
*Long pause to keep from sobbing*….and here comes the river. Yep, I’m pretty sure there was a legit river running down my face. “I’m fine. I’m fine. I, uh, I just left the sliding glass door open so the guys could get in to install the washer and dryer. Just wanted you to know.”
“You’re not fine. I’m coming down there. I’m bringing Tevana with me. Have you ever tried Tevana? Once you do, you’ll never drink anything else.”
“No, I’m fine. Really…I have tea.” (While crying and trying to convince myself).
“I’ll be down in a minute.”
I didn’t want anyone seeing me like this—a total mess and losing it over a stressful two weeks. I was already trying to keep quiet so the guys in the back office wouldn’t hear me. Get it together, Chelsea. You’re being dramatic.
…And queue the river. I guess the rebel in me just wanted to cry because I said not to.
I heard the door open and in walked an angel (at least that’s what I think). She didn’t back away when she saw my ugly cry face. She didn’t put the tea down and take off. She stayed. She showed me how to brew a cup of Teavana in this nifty little machine. She had me smell her favorite flavor (Peach Bellini), as she measured out the perfect amount. We talked about the tea that blossoms and the everyday problems that seem overwhelming. It was probably a little more than five minutes, but it changed my entire day.
Sometimes it’s just the fact that you know someone else understands what you’re going through. They show up and listen, and genuinely care. They’re not afraid to enter into your mess. In fact, they come with bravery and a desire to bring some sunshine. And they do. Suddenly, your weight feels lighter.
I’m still trying to decide if it was the tea, the conversation, or the hugs from heaven that gave me the strength to keep going Friday. I think it was a combination of all three, but what I do know is this: God knows exactly what I need. I didn’t believe it for quite a few hours that day (come to think of it, many days). My problems seemed really big, and my ability to handle them seemed much smaller than normal.
I cried out to God, “Can you just send someone to help?” He did, but it was not in the way I expected. I later explained to Him (since He doesn’t actually know what I mean ;) that I needed someone to help me do the work. God answered my prayer according to my real need. I didn’t want that, because it meant someone would see my crazy. But God sent her anyway. He knows what I need.
And I want to remind you, sweet soul, in case you need reminding in the chaos:
“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus…” Philippians 4:19
When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, He shared this prayer with them: “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11). If I’m honest, what I really want is enough strength so that I don’t have to keep asking for help. I’m independent and stubborn, and I hate admitting that I’m weak. So when I come to that point of asking for help and sobbing like a baby, it destroys me. But God knows it’s what I need, because it leads me to what I need most—Him.
Sometimes daily bread looks like an office manager down the road with a stash of Teavana and hugs and silent prayers on your behalf. Sometimes daily bread looks like a bouquet of flowers, a note from a friend, or the devotional you read in the morning.
God shows up in many ways, but He always shows up; and, it’s always exactly what we need.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread…He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna…that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Psalm 37:25, Deuteronomy 8:3