For a time, I had been feeling as if life itself had knocked me down…brought me to my knees…and I didn’t know how to get up again. I didn’t gracefully fall and look around to see the people around me for the ones who would help me get back up again…I didn’t see the good things that were in store and trust that God had a plan for it all… I tripped and I fell hard. My arms were flailing and before I knew it, I was catching the pavement with my face.
I thought things were going so well, my healing journey was steadily going upward and my relationships were becoming deeper. I was looking forward to what God had in store for my life…and then the winds of change began to blow me in a different direction than what I was ready for. Taking me to a place I wasn’t ready to travel and in my own fear and rage—I tried to halt the forward movement in that direction.
I effectively exhausted myself making every effort to go my own direction and used up all my resources to try and make my life and my path look good again…all the while I was begging God for healing and a change in my circumstances…God in His goodness effectively stood still as I waited for Him to change the circumstances around me. I wanted Him to change the direction that I felt He was leading me to go. I found myself not wanting to enter into the place I knew contained my next steps…it looked too hard…I didn’t want to open the door…and I stubbornly dug my feet in and told God I wasn’t going to move.
I didn’t want to be an angry, bitter woman…but that is exactly the path I was choosing. I told myself that I was alone. I told myself that there was no one to fight with me and to tell you the truth, I was getting weary of fighting my own battles.
I found myself questioning the simple things…I found myself questioning His goodness. My eyes became focused on the situation that surrounded me and I became resentful of the path in front of me. I foolishly began to compare my pain to the always upbeat, social media presentation of others around me. My thoughts began to be incredibly negative and I got lost in the feelings of inadequacy that threatened to bring me down again…
I started turning back to my old patterns of comfort and relief and with alarm I saw my old sinful thinking coming back to life as I selfishly disobeyed what I knew God was calling me to. I realized as I chose to pacify my uneasiness by closing the door to my heart, I was moving away from anything that would help heal that tender and painful place. I couldn’t see the gifts in my day to day happenings. I lost the ability to see blessings through the intense days.
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
If I took a moment to be real and to look at the trial that I saw in front of me I had to admit that this ordeal had the inescapable power to force me to a place of being genuine and honest. It drove me to a distinguishable introspective place that made me more thoughtful about those people in my life who have been placed around me…by my choosing and by God’s design. The internal pain that I experienced pushed me to recognize my need to be more transparent, more candid, and authentic about who and what is truly important.
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
It wasn’t by my own choosing, it was by the gifts and blessing that God bestowed on me despite my own willful hardheadedness. Truly I must be loved.
So it begs me to ask the real question that I have been struggling with…will I decide to love God and trust Him with those places in me that don’t look like Jesus…my healing…my heart…?
He has put my daughter in my life to be a person who draws me ever closer to Him…
He has carefully placed friends in my life to be a reflection of Him and his love and desire for me…will I choose to embrace the gifts He lovingly and tenderly sculpted for me…
He has given me the power to choose love and life…will I embrace the love, invitation and confrontation that my God has compassionately placed around me to be Jesus to those around me…? Will I believe Him, hope in Him and commit all that I am to Him?
…then it’s time to change my focus.
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
I can no longer focus on those things that are going wrong, those things that I never seem to get right, those things that I can’t seem to do. If I focus on all the loss, the betrayal and the pain—then the life that I live will rotate around the loss, betrayal and pain.
Today, I choose to focus on the gifts and goodness that are in my life. It doesn’t mean that I pretend that the heartache didn’t happen, it means that when I feel overwhelmed I choose to see the gift of those around me and allow them to walk with me. It means that when I experience loss or disappointment then I need to honestly consider it, I need to really feel it, give myself room to grieve it and just be real about the way it impacts me…and then with my whole heart give it to God (sad to say that with me I may have to do that over and over). With a broken heart I have to admit I have not been doing that well. I got lost in the sea of bitterness and held unforgiveness to my chest as if it were a life preserver. God help me.
Thank you God for providing for me those who have a heart like yours and desire for me to continually journey to You. Thank you Heavenly Father for the gift of these challenges that in one way or another bring me to a place of desperate need for you. Thank you for the beauty of refining my character and choices through these hard experiences…Oh, my dear God…thank you for hope. I know you have a plan for me and though I lack vision to see it now, I beg for your strength to constantly journey in a manner that brings me along the path you have created for me. God I know you are the God Who Heals and your longing is for me to find hope and healing in you…help me remember that you are the God Who Sees Me and that through it all you never leave me. God change me, mold me, draw off those things in me that look nothing like you. Give me your strength to persevere. Give me your peace throughout my trials. Give me your eyes to see from Your perspective. Give me a heart that deeply desires you above everything. In the beautiful name of Your son, Jesus.
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope”