Though I worry as if my life depended on it, I'm also a pretty positive person. So when these things started happening a few weeks ago I simply chalked it up to a bad day and would go to bed maybe in tears, but with the hope that tomorrow would undoubtedly get better.
But it didn't.
So then my Optimistic Train would leave the station on Sunday night. I would fill up with all the courage and determination in the world that this week would have to be better than last.
But it wasn't.
Not the next week or the next week or the next week.
It's during these weeks that eventually the balls I juggle seemed to slowly drop. Not intentionally, but my attention and my focus was simply being zapped by this area of heartache. But what can you do? You can't change it or of course you would've done that in the beginning. So you just keep going and keep trying to keep the balls in the air.
But last week I woke up one morning very sick. I stayed that way for 3 days. The balls fell flat to the ground-every last one of them. I see it as God's way of saying...
Beloved, stop. Rest.
So I did for awhile. But then in typical-me-fashion I tried to keep on keepin' on even though I was sick. You know-plow through it, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. (Is anyone keeping track of how many
It didn't work though. I was literally too weak, I was forced to return to bed. In tears I started basically telling God that I didn't have time for this I had to keep going. He responded with,
Daughter, you're about to unravel, you need to linger in My Presence longer.
So I did. Can I share what He shared with me? Oh how I pray this falls upon ears that need it today as much as I do.
"We have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place." Isaiah 28:15
(If you're exiting left here because that was less than encouraging or uplifting, stick with me a tad longer.)
Sometimes it's not until things are shaken out from under us for us to see that somewhere along the lines we've stopped making the Lord our refuge, our hiding place.
I am all for Godly relationships that support and encourage us throughout the difficult seasons of life-oh how grateful I am. But I shudder to imagine the times I've run to those relationships before my relationship with my God.
I am blessed beyond measure to have a loving and supportive husband who is a nurturer by nature and stands with arms open for me 24/7 no matter what. But if I run to his arms before I hit my knees, I've got it backwards.
I am a big list/schedule maker, and I think that's fine in and of itself. But if I'm consulting my list for the day before surrendering my own agendas and seeking God's plan for my day then I'd rather just throw out the weekly planner.
Every single time-without fail-when I exchange the comfort that only God can give me for something or someone of this world I am guaranteed to be left in need. 100% chance. No matter how big the giant is or how long the season may last He will not run out on us, we cannot exhaust Him. Does that breathe some much needed life into hopeless hearts like it does mine?
Let me end this by saying, for me personally, I don't see this season ending quickly for me like I had once thought (and still hope for of course). For various reasons, I just don't. So in a way I feel like I'm in the middle of an ocean of heartache and struggling trying to swim for dear life but not seeing the shore line yet. Are you with me out there? Can I give you some encouragement that God so graciously gave me the past few days that I'm going to try to work on this week? Since you probably can't change the circumstances (or you would've already), what can you do?
1.) Stay alert to who you're putting as your refuge and hiding place. I'm not at all saying block out those blessings in Christ that are there to encourage us, oh what a gift they are! Just make sure they stay as an encouragement, not the ultimate (or first) place we run to.
2.) Start your day with God. This one is huge and one that I'm personally struggling with lately. But especially when you're walking through a trial you're more than likely going to have to handle some pretty tough things during the day and there's no way you can do that if your empty of Him in your day. Before anything can happen in a day stop and linger in His presence.
3.) Accept the fact that every single thing probably isn't going to get done. And that's okay. There are certain things I'm not willing to let go, but I am willing to let other things go so that what really needs my attention will get it. For example, let's be honest, I'm probably not going to vacuum once this week because I have a pretty tough/busy week ahead of me. But I am going to make an effort to date my husband and give him all my attention for an evening in the midst of everything else.
If you're like me and like to keep everything going all the time and this one's difficult to strive for, try to remind yourself, this is only a season...I will get back into my normal routine.
4.) Listen to praise and worship music as much as possible. You'll be surprised how much of an effect this will have on your attitude and emotions. (The Kari Jobe station on Pandora is on right now and is bringing it home ya'll. Messy tears in the best way possible over here.)
5.) Remember: We are MORE than conquerors THROUGH HIM who loves us. (Romans 8:37) Let that soak in and fall fresh on your weary hearts and minds, no matter how many times you may have read/heard it. Then repeat that in your head or out loud or write it on the wall's for goodness sakes (unless you're renting like me) until that verse is automatically just going on repeat in your head.
And just in case you can't literally write Romans 8:37 on the walls of your home, how about a free printable? Simply download below.
Linking up with: Happy Wives Club, Jolene, Ruth, Julie, Nan and Some of the Best Things in Life Aren't Mistakes.