This past week was a struggle for me. It was the kind of week where you just want to crawl right into bed and sleep through until Monday rolled around once more.
A handful of things just didn’t go the way I wanted, and added a lot more stress to an already stressful week. It started off normal. I woke up, went on a run (after not running the previous week, because I pulled a muscle), and went about my daily routine. I had a game plan to clean up my house. It was a bit messy after the weekend, and I wanted to relieve some stress before I went to work. Unfortunately, my boss decided to schedule me as the main closer this week, six days in a row, and I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. I figured cleaning would help ease my mind.
I started with my living room, picking up garbage, folding blankets, grabbing dishes to bring into the kitchen. I decided to put Alexa in her kennel before I started cleaning because she would have proved a distraction. After finishing in the living room, I headed for the dining area, straightening chairs, grabbing junk mail and throwing them away. Once done, I started in the kitchen. Dishes were the first thing needed to be done because I couldn’t really clean unless they were put away. I emptied the dishwasher, and the started rinsing the dirty dishes piled on the counter.
I picked up a glass cup, rinsing it and adding soap. Everything happened so fast. Apparently, as I stuck my hand into the open cup, I applied just enough pressure to crack the glass. I didn’t notice the pain at first, but I did notice the sight of blood. I had sliced my hand open, and the blood didn’t stop flowing. For a few seconds, I stared at it, before my brain kicked into gear and I made a dash for the paper towels so I could apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
I scrambled around the house trying to figure out if I need stitches or if I could just clean it. To make this long story, short, I eventually went to my best friend whose mom knew how to deal with lacerations. For a moment, I wasn’t too worried about the cut, but then I realized that I worked the next five days closing at Starbucks and my heart sank. Closing the store meant I had to clean almost everything. I dreaded working. I couldn’t get my hand wet because it was still an open cut, bleeding profusely, and I definitely didn’t want it to get infected.
Trying to work with one hand was tough for the first couple days. The first two days I had to stay in a position where my right hand didn’t have to do a lot of cleaning. I was stuck cashing and handing drinks out. Cue, angry, mean, unappreciative customer. It was the third day of my closing streak, and I was exhausted. This customer rolls in around 9:30, a half hour before closing, asking for the world. There was so much going on that I didn’t catch one request that she made. No whip cream on her drink.
When she came up to the window, my shift supervisor cashed her out and handed one drink to her. There was whip on one of them, and she told me that she didn’t want whip. There was nothing nice about her statement. I smiled and took her drink back, went and took the whip off and handed it to her. She gave me a nasty look and said there was still whip on there. Wanting to get her out of line, I took the drink back again and remade her drink entirely.
She stared at the drink, before grumbling under her breath and driving off. I was at my breaking point when she left. And I still had a few customers in line. I went to cash the next customer, trying to put my bravest face on, but the pressure was too much. I could feel my eyes brimming with tears, my face getting warm. I didn’t want to embarrass myself or my co-worker, so I stepped into the back trying to control my frustration that triggered my tears.
Dealing with the angry customer wouldn’t have been so bad any other day, but that day, with my dominant hand being out of commission, and the ridiculous schedule I was tied to, I cracked. I’m not normally one to shed tears, so going to the back and trying to stop them became a mission I was going to complete. When my shift supervisor voiced his concern, I tried to laugh it off at first, but it came out as a choked chuckle. When I could’t keep up the front, I expressed my discontent and frustration. This job was getting to be too much. There was so much going on with the job itself, and having an injured hand didn’t help much either. My shift understood. The job was taxing, and it only took one customer to ruin the day.
That day was hard, and I prayed that it wouldn’t be continuous the rest of the week I had to close. But even with the struggle that I had to face, I was reminded of the song “Even When it Hurts” by Hillsong United. The gist of the song is about praising God in the good and the bad. And this week was absolutely horrible.
This part of the song rang true to me the whole week:
“Even when my strength is lost
I’ll praise You
Even when I have no song
I’ll praise You
Even when it’s hard to find the words
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise
Even when the fight seems lost
I’ll praise You
Even when it hurts like hell
I’ll praise You
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”
Yeah, this week was hard. But the great thing about it, is Jesus still reigns. He knows the pain, He knows the hardships, He knows the trials, but still we praise Him. Ultimately, my struggles was necessary to open my eyes and see that I couldn’t do everything without Jesus. My stressful days drew me to Him. My strength came from Him, and Him alone. I found my peace in Jesus.
This week’s lesson was giving everything to Him, to praise Jesus even in the hardest of times. Whatever trials or mishaps that I face, He is with me. By the time the weekend came, I felt a lot better. My work week ended with a much needed glass of wine, great friends to hang and chat with, and praising Jesus.
PSA: You should definitely listen to Hillsong United. Their songs are awesome. Here’s a link to the song: