Can I say first, that I am not a writer and don’t really want to be. I don’t want to be writing this post, but feel God leading me to do it. I hope that something in this will resonate with you and we can walk together in our weakness as we try desperately to follow after God.
I am struggling. I am struggling with negativity, with doubt, with anger and I don’t like it. Well, if I am honest, a part of me likes it (or I wouldn’t hang on to it), but the “good person/Kid’s minister/ Mom” part of me does not like feeling this way. I am hopeful that some of you out there have felt this way and are saying, “Yes girl, preach it!” If not, that’s OK too. This is just where I am living right now.
This is not an “all the time” thing, but it is a “always under the surface just waiting for the opportunity to pop up and consume me” kind of thing. God has wired me to love people, so when I am around others I feel better. God has wired me to love family, so when I am being present with my family, it is better. But you know how it goes, when I am fighting something like this, I find myself alone or not trying real hard and lashing out. Then the guilt, then feeling bad, then trying harder, then failing again the next time….you can see how this cycle continues. UGH!
However, I wanted to write this because MY God is AMAZING! He loves me SO MUCH MORE than I can even comprehend and I wanted to share a touch from Him with you today.
In the midst of these negative feelings, I texted a few close friends asking for prayer, admitting my weakness and attempting to move past it.
Then, as I was sitting with my youngest in carpool line reading a book (yes we sit there for 30- 40 minutes most days because of scheduling…I know, that’s a whole different story), I heard God’s voice speaking to me from my own mouth. I know that sounds crazy but it went like this…
The book was a non-fiction kid’s book about ghosts, written by the Magic Tree House author, explaining some facts that are in the non-fiction story, including ghosts. My daughter picked it totally at random, so none of this was planned. As we are reading, we were also talking about the content. I asked, “So, do you think ghosts are real?” that type of thing. When she asked me what I thought, I said, “I don’t believe in them, even though I must admit that sometimes I am still afraid at night (don’t ask me to watch a horror movie!!), but I think that, because of our faith, they can’t exist because we know when we die, that we go to be with Jesus.” This next part is where it felt like it wasn’t me speaking. I went on to say, “I wonder sometimes though if heaven isn’t going to be here on the earth one day, because when I am in nature and see all that God has created, that is when I feel the closest to Him. I believe that He created all these amazing and beautiful birds, flowers and sunsets to show us beauty, awe, wonder and joy.” We talked some more about what this meant and it just felt like God was screaming at me:
In my life group, we are working through a Francis Chan study on James, and one of the things that we discussed was how if we know something God wants us to do and we don’t do it, we are sinning (see James 4:17). We talked about how hard it is to know what is “from God” and what is just us thinking we know what needs to be done. Add into this that the Kids Ministry’s lessons this month are all about “Self-control: Choosing to do what you should even when you don’t want to.” And I think it is pretty clear that God is saying “I’m here waiting to connect with you and help you. Are you coming?”
What I want to share with you is the HOPE that I find in this. See, when I feel at my weakest, sometimes I find it hard to pray. Even if I say the words, I find it hard to feel like I am connecting to God or frankly that I even want to try to talk to Him. But this hit me so hard today. GOD KNOWS ME and HE STILL LOVES ME with all my failings, doubt, anger, frustration, etc..(it’s a long list). But, HE WILL MAKE A WAY for me to hear Him. He will offer me the opportunity to connect with Him. I just have to be willing to SEE what He offers, be willing to HEAR what He says and then be willing to accept things as they are or act if that is what you are called to do on these moments when they happen.
I want to encourage you that God speaks to us all differently and He created all our differences for his delight and joy. Don’t try to be just like everyone else, follow after God and do your best to embrace the YOU that He created you to be. Connect with Him and others in authentic and real ways! I believe that in sharing our weaknesses, we become strong and we show others that this Faith thing is REAL, our GOD IS REAL and He does not leave us to suffer alone!! He does not always speak to us this clearly, but when He does, I am choosing to listen!
I’m done with my story and heading outside to bask in God’s glory and connect with my Abba Father. I pray that you will find the place that you can connect with Him too! I also hope that you will be bold enough to share your struggles and invite others into this life that God has given to us. It is SO much richer when shared!