Sometimes a person must tighten up their boot straps, focus a little harder, furrow their brow a little deeper, and lean heavily on the Cornerstone for support, wisdom, and the ability to persevere. These times can often be a season of sweet sifting by the One who molds us through trials which hopefully produce the sweet fruit of dependance on the Sustainer of Life.
As the sovereign God has seen fit, I've found myself in a season which demands a deeper dependance on Jesus.
There have been days when fear knocked on my heart all day long. Taking my thoughts captive and submitting them to Jesus felt like I was doing mental squats with heavy weight and my mind fatigued at the end of the day. When fear would sometimes overtake my desire to trust in God, panic and anxiety stepped in to wreak havoc in my heart. The Spirit of God liberates me from these fears through the power of His word.
Whom have I in heaven but you and the earth has nothing I desire besides you? My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
My heart and my flesh may fail, but God you are my strength. Thank you.
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful and pray! Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity to depend on you more fully.
There have been days when self-centeredness tempted me to decorate for a pity party to throw in my own honor. Fighting the battle to look to Christ and care for others, even if only through prayer, took focus and determination. Sometimes I just sat right on down on the party bench, cut myself a big piece of pity cake, and held a few helium balloons shaped like my sad, weepy head. Jesus gently reminded me of His work in my life to make me more like Himself.
What is more I consider everything a lost compared to the surpassing power of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for whose sake I have lost all things. Phil 3:8-9
Nothing compares to knowing you, my Jesus.
Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. 1 Pet 4:19-20
This is for your glory, God. I won't be surprised by this trial, but I will focus on you.
There have been days where it is difficult to focus, where I cannot find words, noise agitates my nerves, when my head just hurts. The temptation to believe the lie that I'm weak or even worse, faking, entices my thoughts. But, what is so bad about being weak? Struggling through strength vs. weakness are often ponderings of my heart. When I wonder about being the helper I want to be for Chad, He answers. When I wonder about investing in my kids, He answers. When I wonder about mentoring women, He answers. When I wonder about leading a retreat for the women I love so dearly, He answers.
...there was given me a thorn in my flesh...Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me, but He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me...For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7:10
I can more fully rely on You in my weakness. You are deepening my experiential understanding of allowing You to work and move and minister to, in, and through me by the power of your Spirit. Thank you.
There have been days I have wanted to tell all of you what is going on in my life and other days I didn't want to tell a soul. Truth be told, I don't know the whys to the what just yet. However, I don't want to be a stinker and leave you to speculate.
A few weeks ago, I had an incident before teaching my spin class. I had no idea what was happening because I am 39 and in excellent health. Because it didn't even occur to me I could be suffering from something significant, I taught my class. Now I have tangible proof that I am one tough, stubborn lady!
After many tests and long days of waiting, it was determined that I had a moderate stroke. I do not have a single risk factor which has led the neurologist to refer me to a cardiologist to do some tests on my heart. We don't know why it happened. Very intelligent doctors will be working to figure out if there is a problem and the needed solutions.
In the global scheme of things, this is small. People deal with unimaginable life circumstances every day. I've asked God to enable me to set my mind on things above where Christ is seated at His right hand, to teach me to pray for all kinds of people I personally know and do not know.
On a personal level, this is heavy. I'm taking a sabbatical from meeting with women. I'm going to need to allow my brain time to heal and rewire. Through all of this it has been thoroughly revealed that I have many amazing people in my life. I am prayed for, loved, and supported by you. The creative ways that people are supporting my family and me blesses me.
The great God I worship has been gracious to me through His word which is alive and active in my very own heart.
Through this journey I pray I will depend on His grace that enables me to trust Him with all my heart, to not lean on my own understanding (which is pretty much no understanding), to acknowledge Him in all my ways, and to trust that He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
He is faithful.