I felt like I was drowning yesterday. I was completely overwhelmed with all the things I should and could be doing, but thinking about it made me feel too far behind to tackle one thing. Do you ever feel this way?
Christians talk a lot about God’s great plans for your life, about stewarding our talents and gifts well, to persevere in setbacks and His perfect timing.
I don’t know, those things are easy to say when you’re on the other side of it. But suddenly when you’re in the pit, they seem quite far off, daunting and even questionable.
Usually I can pull myself out of a downward spiral, but this week I felt helpless. I guess it’s in these moments that our faith and dependency on God is truly tested.
If you find yourself in a hole, I know it’s easy to isolate and not talk to anyone about it. That is definitely my tendency. But our thoughts can literally consume us to the point of choking. Sometimes, it feels strangely good to wallow and let yourself go down the spiral, but don’t let it go on for more than a couple days.
Last night, I called my friend Sherry to come over. I trust and respect her wisdom because she only speaks out what she feels God is saying. I didn’t even have to tell her I was going through something, she just knew. That’s a kind of friend you want.
The moment she walked in, she got straight to it, “So what’s going on? What are you going through?” I was just really honest and told her how I was feeling, what I was thinking, how I was confused. And she helped me sift through all the heaviness until finally there was a clearing.
One thing is true. God made us to be in community with one another. He functions in unity with the Son and the Holy Spirit, so why would we be any different?
I told her about my frustration with the seeming overuse and quick consolations people give of “God’s perfect timing.” Although, I believe it to be true, it feels trite, abstract and vague when I’m the one in the pit.
The two things that put me at ease through our convo are these:
- God is a jealous God. Not like a psycho, abusive boyfriend. He has a righteous jealousy for our hearts, our time and our trust. This explains why our number one commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind and strength. So although God cares about my desires, He doesn’t want them to be more important than He is to me. I realized I was idolizing a desire more than His presence. And when I got those two out of order, it messed me up. I don’t actually deserve any special treatment from God, I am 100% at His mercy. This helps me remember I have no right to get mad at Him. He doesn’t owe me anything. Truly, His presence is enough.
- His ways are higher than our ways. There are some things I feel like we will never understand. Some things are clear in hindsight and some things just aren’t. We don’t know why our journey has to look a certain way. What is He trying to teach us? How much more can I grow in this area? But my friend reminded me last night that sometimes it’s not about us. Sometimes what we are going through has nothing to do with us, but the story God wants to use to point people back to Him.
If you’re going through a hard time right now, I am so sorry. It’s hard to truly understand someone’s pain until you’re in it yourself. My husband prayed for me last night and saw a picture of a beautiful caterpillar. Then we read that a butterfly does all it’s growing in the caterpillar stage. Once it transforms into it’s wings, it needs to be it’s strongest and most resilient because once a butterfly wing tears, it can never be healed.
It’s important not to covet the butterfly stage and despise where you are now. Butterfly wings are delicate and come with their own share of struggles. There is beauty where you are right now no matter how messy, chaotic, shameful or stuck. Give yourself the grace to be there for as long as you need. Pray for God’s help and guidance through it all. And realize you are preparing for the best moment to fly.
Please share if this blessed you.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you. “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:23-24
If you know someone going through a hard time or having a bad day, flowers always help. Kris brought home my favorite hydrangeas and it warmed my heart.