Are We Really Ever “Under the Circumstances?”

Dear Reader:

Tuesday was a benchmark closure day for me. I had to complete one last thing to get my old license plate (that I loved so much I wanted to keep) updated so “Surcie” would be a legal vehicle on the highways and I could throw my temporary car sales ‘license plate’ away.

For some reason my updated decals (for paying my taxes) on the former Saturn Vue were pulled off during the  time the car was taken. I got the license plate back… before the Vue was sent to its final resting place…with the decals missing.

So I was forced to go to my least favorite place- the DMV- To my happy surprise, however, I ended up waiting only about 10 minutes and then 10  minutes later I walked out the door with my new decals (hot off the press) having paid a small stipend of 6 dollars. Surcie lives now in my driveway, locked up always…her new home.

A big check-off to the end of a long set of circumstances that ended in joy and happiness! October 3 my car was stolen and now on January 22 it ended in victory and a special “Thank You”  God for being with me through it all.

During the months of being “wheel-less” and “home bound” friends would call and ask how I was doing and I would usually answer something along the lines of “Under the circumstances…everything is going okay.”

Last night I started on my second book in the Mitford series and I experienced a much needed “Aha” moment. Father Timothy was remembering a “salty old evangelist named Vance Havner” who  preached at his mother’s church one time (while he was still a youth) and did something Father Timothy never forgot.

“How’re you?” the preacher yelled out to the whole congregation one bright Sunday morning… and then proceeded to singled out one member to reply.

“Oh, pretty good, under the circumstances?” came the response.

“What I want to know,” said Havner, peering intently at the congregation, “is what is a Christian doing under the circumstances?”

(Father Timothy asked himself the same question…”What, indeed, was he doing under the circumstances?” “Straighten me out Lord” he prayed fervently now.)

The expression “Under the circumstances” basically means: an event or situation  you cannot control. Grandmother Wilson would call situations beyond her control…our “lot in life to bear.”

Like Father Timothy I realize we do need to turn over situations to God that we feel are out of our control….but we aren’t suppose to give up on the situation never improving…to just be a “lot to bear.” God surely didn’t intend for us to “barely” get through life with no joys or happiness. He couldn’t have created a world as astoundingly beautiful and abundant for us to “bear the cross” with no hopes of changing the circumstances surrounding our existence.

I realize now when I have a temporary set-back or set-backs…it is only temporary…if we ask God to provide us with the solution. I have seen it happen again and again in my life ….yet I still seek reassurance from God for my faltering faith when the next crisis appears on the horizon.

Poor God…if He could endow each of His children with just one teeny tiny sliver of faith and endurance that would continue our whole life time…it would sure save Him having to re-teach us that “circumstances” lesson again and again…because circumstances are  just that…circumstances. They come and they go like life’s up’s and down’s.

So until tomorrow…God is the one constant in our lives…so the next time someone asks me how things are going I think I will give the same response I heard our beloved Poppy say over and over (no matter the circumstance)…“I never had it so good!” 

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

*Sis Kinney took her grandson to the Avery County Library to pick out a book. While there she looked up at the book case…it was “Ruthie” from Gloria Houston’s Christmas children’s story: “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.” (In the story…Ruthie and her mother cut down the tree from off Grandfather’s Mountain which is in Avery County. Sis…you came full circle! And thank you for taking time to share this wonderful God Wink with us!)




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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7 Responses to Are We Really Ever “Under the Circumstances?”

  1. bcparkison says:

    Why we are ever ‘under’ is the question but right now I feel like the mountain is falling on me. I’ll get over it but until then I would really like to run away.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Beverly…I am so sorry you are going through the tough times. Please know our prayers go with you including that the ‘albatross flies off your shoulders’ quickly. Run away to a quiet place in the woods or an isolated park…bawl your eyes out…pray to God and slowly but surely He will bring you home again…with fresh eyes to see the situation. I have my own special place I go to just let it all go…thank goodness!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. vicki says:

    This was a a God wink for me today!! My devotional this am was about circumstances!! Refocus my faith in Go through whatever circumstances there are!!! God is Good!! And He makes ALL things good!!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Touche Vicki…my sentiments exactly. When the going gets tough God gets tougher and holds our hands harder…He will never leave us…so I just hang on tight for the ride and wait for it to stop and breathe in life again…beautiful beautiful life.


  3. Pam says:

    When I saw the photo of the back of your new car, I noticed that your new license plate has the word “aid”, which is what you received from so many people while you were without a car for transportation. I feel sure that “Surcie” will be quite the aid for you for a long time.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So true Pam! (That is my old, old license plate that I have adored since first laying eyes on it over a decade ago…and I fought to keep it again this time too.) When I first reached 500 in my blog following…I thought to myself that maybe this was what God was leading me to do through my sometimes daily crazy thoughts trying to figure out this thing we call life with God at the helm….but now I think you are right, too, about the reciprocal effect…So many people helped me get through this difficult passage in my life…without whom…I could not have done it. The children’s finger game has been right all along….’When we open the steeple of God’s world it is the people who are there for us’….like you dear Pam. Still wearing my angel earrings and loving them…reminder of the angel who gave them to me.


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