OK, so anyone who grew up with me knows that math was never my thing. I did indeed develop a reputation for not being able to add anything to anything and the answer be something that any other person on the planet would have come up with. As a matter of fact, just the word math and having to look at numbers on a piece of paper and know I am expected to do something with them, will cause me to instantly break out in sweat.
As a child growing up, our family moved just about every year. Each new school was at a different place in the text book. That isn’t such a big deal if you’re talking science or history, but if you’re talking math, it’s a big deal. By the time I hit third grade, I had missed being taught key pieces of information that are necessary to be able to do certain types of problems.
My third grade teacher was Mrs. Beltz. She told me to never forget her name, and I never did. She had red potted geraniums all along the classroom window sill, which she meticulously cared for. Mrs. Beltz was all about her own controlling head trip rather than taking the time to meet students where they were at to address individual needs. This was years ago (refraining from inserting the word “many” and certainly avoiding using a number), so it was not an issue of class room size and not having the time. Mrs. Beltz would make me miss lunch and recess to finish math problems. I can still see the chalk board filled with numbers that I was supposed to be doing something with, but I had no clue as to what. What I was seeing, I had never seen before and no one was explaining it to me.
Imagine the frustration that little third grade girl felt as she sat hungry and alone in a classroom while all her friends laughed and played just outside the window. Just look at her sitting in that big clunky old desk. Those little freckled cheeks, that long silky brunette hair, those big green eyes… She was just a little flower bud that just needed a little care before she would bloom. All I can say is, “Mrs. Beltz, your geraniums stink.” Thus, my issue with numbers and geraniums continues to this day.
You might be asking, “What does God have to do with numbers?” Well, actually one of his books is called Numbers, so I guess he does care about them, not to forget the fact that numbers are referred to often in all of his books. Why did I seem to get over looked, even left out in the numbers game? Why are numbers so tough for me?
Why did so many bad things happen to me? How many other women are out there that can say they’ve been raped, verbally and physically abused, cheated on and twice divorced? Who has had to live years with addiction and alcoholism? Don’t forget the cancer scares and near death experiences for myself and my children. There are many who have lost loved ones and have had family members with disease, mental health issues, or who have been imprisoned. But how many have had all of this happen to them in their life? I say I’m on the wrong side in this numbers game.
So where does God fit in my world, you might ask? He is my world and he rocks my world! Yes, I have questions without answers. Yes, not everything makes sense or adds up. Much of it was brought on by my own stupidity and bad judgment. Even still, I can say that through it all, I have NEVER been let down. I have NEVER been alone. I have NEVER lost hope.
Of course, there was much pain and many tears. There were periods of intense anger and frustration, but I made it. No, the pain has not ended. Yes, there are ongoing trials, but I know that no matter what I can say, God is my faithful friend. God is my loving Father. I know I will make it. Without him, I wouldn’t want life to continue. It is the math that doesn’t make sense. No matter what the numbers are, no matter what the problem, for me, the answer always equals my God. Yep, he’s mine, but he’s big enough to share with you and the whole world!
Oh, and Mrs. Beltz, if you are listening, I forgive you.
Sharing this music video with you, not only because it is a great song, but for a much bigger reason. Years ago, I got a collect call from one of my sons. He was in prison at the time. He called and asked me to call a radio station he was listening to from his cell and request this song. Even for him, in a dark time in his life, God was still God.