When your dad is your pastor, you sometimes wonder if he directs his Sunday morning teaching at you . . . like yesterday. Throughout the service, I was thinking wow Dad, surely this is for everyone, and I’m not the only one who needed this, right?! And I know that the Holy Spirit directs and anoints the messages that come forth, so he wasn’t preaching just at me. There were obviously a lot of people who needed to hear the same thing. And I need to back up a bit really . . .
I went to bed very early on Thursday night. I felt like I’d pulled a muscle in my belly, and it was really hurting. Yet I was also super frustrated and very discouraged, so I just wanted to sleep. I woke up on Friday in the same funk, and it just progressed through the day. When Mark called over his lunch break, I held it all in so that I wouldn’t bawl on the phone. I just told him that I was very, very discouraged. I then ran over to my grandma’s house after work to meet my parents and pick Ryder up from them. My mom asked why I looked so bad, and I just told her that I was very unhappy and very discouraged about EVERYTHING. Our circumstances are overwhelming, and I felt like we were drowning. She proceeded to tell me what she thought about that, and that went over well. 🙂 I drove home even more discouraged as the perfectionist in me beats me up enough. I’m not one to need to hear it from others as I’ve already been telling myself the same thing. However, she was right in that I needed to make a decision. Either rise up and above our circumstances or just be defeated.
So after getting home and giving Ryder lunch, I decided to put him into a forced nap time (he’s not wanting to nap these days, which is another story by itself), then I searched through my book shelf to find a journal that I could write in. I also happened to grab an old devotional book that Ryde had randomly been searching through, so it was just sitting on the side of the shelf. I had forgotten about this devotional, and I had forgotten how much it spoke to moms. It was exactly what I needed. And as I read through the bits of wisdom written by Elisabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, Hannah Whitehall Smith, and some of the ladies that lived in the first part of the 1900s, I thought wow, such basic advice yet filled with wisdom. (And please note, not all of these ladies had perfect theology, so I’m not endorsing all of their teachings.) It seems to me that they all had the understanding that life is very much about choices. Faith is about setting your mind to do something and not looking at anything else. And happiness can be found in any situation, no matter how hard. They all went through very difficult things, and yet they set their faces on the Lord. They confirmed the point that my mom was making. And they confirmed my need to just be understood.
I think I was just needing someone to confirm that there are times and seasons of life that are just flat out difficult. There are times when we desperately need God’s help, wisdom, and direction. There are times when if we do look at our circumstances we will be overwhelmed. But that’s why God tells us to look at Him, to put our gaze on Him, to cast our care, and to trust Him. It’s for our own sanity! 🙂 And I also realized that when I sort through everything there may seem to be only difficult decisions to make, yet I can hold on to the hope that He’s got a solution. He has a good solution, and I need to get out of the way so that He can move and work. I need to believe Him and His Word as that’s what allows Him to work. And all of that is so basic, yet when you’re in the trenches, it feels very hard to see correctly. Yet needless to say, after getting in my quiet time, getting my heart right and my eyes focused, I decided that I want to rise up above all the crud. And amazingly, Ryde was quiet enough to allow me to have that time, which was desperately needed.
As the weekend progressed, God did His thing in little ways that were enough to confirm His goodness and encouragement. Mark and I got about two hours on Friday night to spend together (after putting Ryder to bed), so we played travel scrabble, played card games with our GIANT playing cards, and decided we need to buy some real cards. I spent all day on Saturday with my family while Mark was at the Alpha Away Day, and on Sunday, my dad preached on getting out of Rutsville and moving up higher beyond our circumstances. Mark and I were then able to have a good discussion on our way to the cleaning job, and we were able to get united again and face what we have before us. So by last night, I was quite chipper, and even after getting the news from Qwest that our wireless modem had indeed “busted”, I stayed up. Another bill is just another bill at this point. 🙂 So I stayed up, and thought well, we’ll still get through this, and God will provide. Shortly after, He did provide as someone bought us a new modem. So God is good . . . as always. And things may be hard, but thank the Lord, we have Him. And He is sufficient. He is enough, and He is the God of much more . . .