All the way back in January I chose peaceful calm as the phrase for my year. I was intending to bring a peaceful calm to my home, my kids, my person and our life. I should have known marking out an intention like that would bring testing. How often don’t we find our hope dashed, our resolve tried and tested and ourselves on the ground trying to figure out what just happened?! Can you relate?
This spring had been the busiest I have ever experienced and I feel like I went through a spiritual dry spell during that time as well probably because I didn’t take the time to zip and sip, as my friend Margie would say. There always is a lesson and usually consequences though when we stray the path and I have come through a stronger hopefully wiser person.
Reflection brings four points to mind that I want to share with you.
First, pushing past your max will cause problems.
Reflecting on the past 4 and a half months, I now see that I pushed myself past my max. And doing so created problems for me. Even though not all of it was in my control, I did not consider the circumstances I couldn’t control and set boundaries. I tried to do everything in spite of the circumstances. I made it through, as we always do, but am now dealing with the consequences. Besides the stress and exhaustion during that time, my allergies have been in full flare and I have needed way too many chiropractor appointments!
Second, God does work all things for our good for those who love Him.
Finding myself maxed out actually spurred some emotional growth and healing. I am a bit hard-headed and stubborn and I had to come to my end in order to make changes. God used my weakness in being maxed out to fuel a break through. For about a week even Hubby noticed something was amiss and when I started tearing up over fish dying I knew something was up too.
Looking back, I can see that period of time was a Footprints-In-The-Sand kind of time and I can say I was learning to “press in” to the Lord. God prompted this article that gave me words and insight into what was happening although our stories are different.
Third, awareness and clarity brings change, growth and healing.
Enough became enough and God granted me the awareness and clarity to put words to what has been bothering me for so long that I had been unable to put my finger on.
I actually wrote in my journal “I don’t like how I’m being treated. I don’t like life’s circumstances right now. I’m angry that somehow I adopted a view of myself that I am not worth anything different than how things are. I’m angry that I’ve allowed things to get this bad and that my contentment is rooted in worthlessness rather than trust in God.”
My head knew that this view of myself was a lie from the pit of hell yet I couldn’t get my heart to believe what I was telling it and there was a deep sadness dogging me. But seeing and acknowledging things for how they were allowed me to make changes in my thought processes and prayer life. My prayer became “Lord, help me to see me as you do.”. And so the healing began. I am excited to watch the change and growth unfold. I can already feel a change in how I handle Big Bro as well as a shift in his response to me.
God blessed me with this verse and it gave me strength to carry on.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:12-14
Fourth, God offers hope.
I was completely blown away when God himself arranged childcare for a day and provided a gift of flowers as well as music and teaching to minister to me. I can’t remember what was played or said that day, but I remember things resonating with me and prayerful responses. I was left with a clear mind and a peaceful heart. He lifted the deep sadness and gave me hope to carry on.
This is yet another time that my faith is being put into action. This pilgrimage towards heaven, the ups and downs of walking with God, the pruning and reshaping of my person all are part of my assurance of salvation. There is the silver lining and something to be thankful for as I walk through this particular valley.
The circumstances beyond my control tempt me to feel persecuted and unloved. They make me wrestle with patience and the contentment that Paul talks about in Philippians. They shake me to my core and test my faith.
I want to share a quote with you that God has also used to bless me in the past couple days, granting strength to carry on. The clarity into contentment is so awesome. Wrestling with that concept has been part of the baggage of the circumstances beyond my control.
In regard of God, patience is a submission to His sovereignty. To endure a trial, simply because we cannot avoid or resist it, is not Christian patience. But to humbly submit because it is the will of God to inflict the trial, to be silent because the sovereignty of God orders it is true godly patience. -Stephen Charnock
I have come through this period of time with greater insight, lessons learned and many things that need further study and application. After some rest, I am encouraged that the dry spell is over. Reflecting back reveals that this was necessary in my quest to bring a greater peaceful calm to my home, my kids, my person and our life.
If you find yourself in a dry spell right now and in the middle of one of life’s storms, please know you are not alone and that God has you in the palm of his hand. Press in to Him and He will carry you, bringing you safely through the storm. I pray these words and my experiences have brought you comfort, encouragement and inspiration to carry on!