This morning I called for help. I had a schedule all set up (this is my new thing to try to be a better momma to my boys), and it failed horribly today. Tensions with the boys were high. I had a big to do list. I was snippy. The thoughts I had were bitter. My heart sent up an S.O.S, and I listened and called my friend, Camden, to help with the boys.
My heart has been sending up an S.O.S. for some time, and I simply find a momentary fix: food, drink, entertainment, distraction, accomplishment, plans, sleep. To say that this season has been taxing…well, that is an understatement. It’s not that a big tragedy has occurred. It is the daily and weekly waves of challenges that stack on top of one another. It brings weariness we have all experienced in this life. It is the way that I have responded that is my downfall.
There are some long challenges on our family that have been put before us that I might elaborate on later, but I know everyone has those to one extent or another. Life has been heavy on the heavy lately, and I am weakened under its weight.
I know with littles that everyone feels the weight of mere survival because it is a physically exhausting season. I have even heard women say that they feel they have lost part of themselves in this time, and I can identify.
I have gotten to know myself pretty well in these 40 years. I am an extrovert that needs time for deep thinking and processing, and neither the socializing nor the processing of deep thoughts have been happening lately. Therefore, I am looking in the mirror and in my heart, and I feel like an impostor has taken over.
Negative thoughts abound–this is not my usual process. Time with the Lord has been about as consistent as the years just out of college (which was pretty abysmal). When I do try to be with Him, I feel distracted or little ones need me or the lack of sleep from the night before paralyzes me. I know the truth that “Apart from Me you can do nothing,” and yet I have chosen that way. Yes, circumstances have helped that choice, but I CHOSE it. And I do not like the fruit that it is bringing. Negativity, lack of faith, lack of kindness, selfishness, impatience, bitterness, anxiety…those are the fruits I have born instead of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. My life has not mirrored God because I haven’t been In Him, abiding, connecting, relying.
I was reading from John 15 (as I sent my littles with Camden to the park and to Chickfila), and the version said “if a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers.” Withers–that is it. It was my a-ha moment. That is what I had been experiencing–my heart withering. See, I am a child of the Father. He has bought me with the blood of Christ, and I cannot be stolen from Him. However, I can be rendered ineffective in the Kingdom for this season.
Wither–n. to shrivel, fade, decay v. to cause to lose freshness, bloom, vigor. To make flaccid, shrunken or dry
Wow, does this describe this season perfectly. I feel my heart fading and losing it’s vigor. I am worn out, worn down, shrunken and don’t recognize myself. I grieve how I have responded to this season. I am sad that I have tried to cope with life by using my own wisdom and resources when I have the resources, power, wisdom and love of the Almighty One. I have not trusted and loved Him completely, and yet, He has not shrunk or faded. His faithfulness does not come to an end. His love is unchanging and is not fickle. His grace (unmerited favor) beckons me to come and rest in Him, to leave behind my ways of dealing and coping. What a beautiful Savior and Father and Friend He is.
If I (we) do not seek Him daily and abide in Him daily, we forget the beauty of who He is and the resources He give us. We forget grace and live in performance–an abysmal performance at that. Performance not perfect yields guilt which leads to us shrinking from Him more. Daily I need to be reminded of the beautiful truth of the Gospel. I deserve the wrath of God, and Jesus took it for me. He lived in righteousness and His is counted as mine. His yoke is easy and His burden light. My heart comes alive when reminded of His truth.
See my identity does not lie in my success or admiration as a mom, wife, pastor’s wife, business woman, friend, or daughter. My identity is held firmly in the blood and work of Christ. Praise God for making a way for such a mess of a woman! Ahhhh, my flowers feel less withered and my heart less anxious.
O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart; Lord, take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.