What a journey that last three months has been! It is so good to be writing again. I don’t know about you, but this pandemic has caused so much fear and anxiety to rage inside me. And, then came anger and distrust. The government was controlling our lives and frankly that scared the crap out of me! I saw people panicking and that made me panic. I saw my poor mother, who is in assisted living, be locked away from us and that added fuel to the fire. Chaos everywhere.
I cried out to the Lord a lot and still do! I was going to trust even though I didn’t feel like it. The chaos around me triggered memories from the chaos I lived in as a child. It made me feel hopeless and helpless. I sat in my chair almost every day and journaled and asked the Lord to help me and speak to me.
Jesus met me, in my chair, every single day. He spoke words of encouragement and pointed me to books and scripture to get me through each day. He brought sanity to my insanity. He brought peace and calm to my soul. He reminded me that He was in control even though the world was out of control. He gave me truth to live each day. I don’t know if you experienced what I did, but I would like to share with you some of the things that helped me get through each day.
One of the books that I read during this time was “Dangerous Prayers” by Craig Groeschel. In this book, Craig refers to a prayer that David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24.
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
“David asked God to know his anxious thoughts. He wanted to share his worst fears with God. To face them and give them a name. To trust that God was bigger than any fear David could dream up.” Groeschel
I have always struggled with telling God how I really feel. I beat myself up and think I should be stronger than I am or I should feel differently than I do. Maybe you can relate. This is what goes through my head. “Here she comes again with the same issues. When is she finally going to get over this. I’ve told her over and over again the way it is, but she doesn’t seem to get it.” I actually feel embarrassed sometimes to come to God with the same issues. When I write that out, I know God doesn’t operate that way. I know He is waiting for me to ask Him for help and actually wants to help me. This is where the trust issue comes up. I must trust God with my fears and the fact that He is bigger than any fear that I have.
Groeschel says, “What we fear matters. Lord, reveal what holds my mind hostage. Show me what I fear the most. Go ahead, help me face what terrifies me.” It was so comforting to be reminded that my fear matters to the Lord. After I read that, I wrote down what was terrifying me the most during the pandemic. Then, I also added some other things that I was battling. It really helped me to name the issues and then give them to the Lord. Then, I prayed Psalm 139:23-24.
I am not a big fan of pain. I. Don’t. Like. It. In my opinion, I have experienced enough. But, pain has a way of teaching me and growing me. I wish there was a different way, but unfortunately there isn’t. A.W. Tozer says, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” UGH! “Help me Lord!” We have to be broken sometimes in order to change and learn. “Live daily for Him, broken and poured out.” Groeschel
I know that true joy comes from living for Jesus, every single day, broken and poured out. That has been a real struggle for this abused kid. My natural tendency is to protect myself and look out for myself. I have to remind myself all the time that I am not living for me. I am living for the One who created me. I have to fight to live this way, especially now, when the world is in chaos. I have someone who can protect me far better than I can myself. I have to “walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7. He is a shield around me. He is my fortress and my strength. A very present help in times of trouble. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
I can so easily allow the actions of people around me to dictate my feelings. And because of that problem, I have gotten pretty discouraged the past three months. I realized that what my mind is at war. There is a battle between my feelings and the truth that comes from God’s word. I had to have laser focus on God and His truth in my life. I must trust the Lord’s presence and HIs timing. God has a far greater plan than I can ever imagine. I have to wait and watch for Him to act, to speak, to teach and to lead me.
Kelly Minter teaches, “In your waiting, tell the Lord you trust His timing and believe in His power to achieve your heart’s desire. Surrender your agenda to Him. Where I lack faith, pray Mark 9:24. “I do believe; help my unbelief.” After I prayed that verse, I began to list what my heart’s desires were. I prayed to trust His timing and to believe that He will achieve those desires in my life.
I got a mental picture of God as a coach. I pictured Him holding a clip board with all His plays for my life written on several pieces of paper. He was looking at me and pointing at the plays He had for me. I couldn’t see anything specific, but I could see that He was tactically thinking of what was ahead for me and that He was right there with me—coaching me to victory. What a wonderful way to picture Him!
It wasn’t a coincidence that I saw Him that way because my Dad was a football coach. He spent hours planning and watching films in order to lead his players to beat the opposing teams. He would cheer his players on and give them the plays that they needed to win. Of course, they didn’t always win, but he was still there trying to help them achieve victory! And that is exactly what God is doing in my life and in yours.
I am sure many of you feel like we are at war. Well friends, we are. There are so many battles raging right now. I am on my knees praying for our country and praying for every single person on the planet. I am praying for a revival in God’s people. I am praying for many to turn to Christ and learn from Him. That all of us would love like He did and lead like He did. He is the best example of how we are to live. I pray that we are listening to our heavenly coach and asking Him what He wants each one of us to do in His name.
I believe He is asking me to write. He is asking me to share my struggles with you. He is asking me to be vulnerable. (Who doesn’t love to do that?) He also wants me to share what I am learning. And even though I get really scared, I want to raise my hand and say, “Put me in coach! Show me what you want me to do and what you want me to say. No matter what happens, I want to proclaim your name, your truth and bring you glory!”
I am going to leave you with a verse that is very appropriate for this time in our lives. May we all remember to act like Jesus did with every single person we encounter each day. (Especially the difficult ones!)
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”
Until next time…