Losing My Faith

I swear my kid has a built in mom alert that tells him within 15 minutes that I am awake. I love that he wants to be with me and I love the extra time with him – especially these days when it seems like I’m out of the house more than I am in. However, when I wake up early, it’s so I can get ready or spend some time in prayer or just to savor the silence of the house. If I’m not careful I can let the fact that he just wants to be with me become an annoyance in my life. 

Today, though, I was determined to figure out a way to still get what I needed to done even though my son woke up so early. So, I enlisted the help of my husband, and I’m so glad I did because during the prayer time that I made room for, God showed me something amazing and loving and just awesome. 

I was looking over my notes from Pastor Steven Furtick’s message this past weekend – Consider the Source. He had referenced Luke 15 and so I had written a note to go back and read it in depth. What I found was a chapter that I’ve read/discussed/learned from a number of times but a section of which that came into a new light. 

“Or what woman, having ten (silver) drachmas (each one equal to a day’s wages), if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she summons her (women) friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the silver coin which I had lost.” – Luke 15, Verse 8 & 9, AMP Version 

This woman knew the value of the coins. The scripture tells us that each one was a day’s wages. They were valuable to her, yet somehow one got lost. Now, the scripture doesn’t tell us how one got lost or how long it had been missing, and my guess is it doesn’t matter. But once she realized it was gone, she remembered the full value of it. She realized how much that silver coin meant to her, her family, her livelihood. She realized the full value of what she had lost and she went running back to find it. And once she found it, she not only rejoiced but she told everyone she knew. 

I felt like God pulled this scripture out to me today to show me something. Maybe God sometimes allows us to lose out faith so we can remember how valuable it is to us. And so we can rejoice and tell others and grab on so hard and never let it go again. 

I’ve alluded to the fact that this past year was a tough one for our family in previous posts. And it was. It rocked us in more ways than I care to share. At first, my faith was made stronger and I was seeking God. Then one night my son was having a night terror. It was intense. We couldn’t wake him up and he was screaming, nothing helped. I knew that it wouldn’t, I’d read up on them since he was getting them every couple of weeks, but that knowledge didn’t help when we were basically helpless to it in the moment. I prayed and asked, then begged and cried out for Jesus to take the dream away from my boy. To ease his mind and give him peace. But no peace came. He kept screaming. My husband went in to try. He kept screaming. And while I was in the hall I let a lie so terrible come in and take root. A voice said it’s no use, you’re all alone. It was a lie, I was never alone, but in my weakness, in that moment when I thought God hadn’t heard me, I believed it. 

It hurts more than you know to admit that. I remember that moment clearly. It was the moment that I lost my faith. The very thing that I had been hanging onto during the toughest part of my life was taken by one moment. The next weeks and months I wish I could say I got up and started praying again, but I didn’t. In fact the months after that, when I needed God the most, was when I withdrew from Him the farthest. See He never left me, but I lost Him. 

Slowly but surely I realized what happened, I renounced that memory and that moment and that agreement I had made. I’ve prayed through and over and for it a number of times now. And since the beginning of the year I’ve been running towards God faster than I ever have before. My journey isn’t perfect, it’s spotted and delicate and off and on. But I’m happy to say it’s been a LOT more on than it has off. That tells me there is progress and we all know I love progress. 

Like the woman in the parable, I lost something that I valued very much, but I didn’t know exactly how valuable it was to me until I realized it was missing. And once I did, I went all out looking for it again. Thankfully God was with me the whole time and I need only turn to Him and he rejoices to see me and embraces me with loving arms no matter how long I’ve been gone.

Have you ever lost or been lost in your faith? 

– Jess 🙂

 

Getting Past the Exhaustion

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank

Such an inspiring quote. The thought that I can do even a little something right now, right this very instant to make things better. Smile at a stranger. Laugh with my two year old. Help someone in need.

I love it. And it’s something I want to remind myself over and over until I really “get it” because it’s simple and powerful.

Yet sometimes I see stuff like this and I just feel exhausted at the thought of it. If I’m to be honest, this thought of exhaustion, tiredness, or of the effort that something takes, I focus on that WAY too much. I’m not proud to say that, not at all, but it’s what happens to me.

Anyone else just feel exhausted thinking about such things? I can’t be alone on this one.

Don’t get me wrong this feeling of exhaustion isn’t limited to saving the world. It creeps in at 10pm when there is a sink full of dishes. It creeps in when there are important phone calls I need to make. It creeps in at the thought of cleaning the closet in my boys room. Or when I think about opening a youth center in my town.

The funny thing is that the thing that is actually exhausting is the fact that I don’t do those things. It’s more exhausting to leave the tasks alone and sit on the couch and flip through Facebook. It’s more exhausting to hit the snooze button 17 times or to wake up to a sink full of dishes that you, yet again, have no intention of starting because – it’s too exhausting.

I know I’ve trained myself to think this way and it’s something that I don’t even consciously think about most days but looking at my life I can see it’s there and it needs to change if I’m going to go forward instead of in circles.

How do we get past these thoughts?

For me, I need to remind myself of the truth instead of the lie.

The lie: Doing that project, or choosing happiness, or changing the world is too exhausting.
The Truth: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9

The lie: It doesn’t matter if I do my dishes(or laundry or cleaning the car etc) or not because nobody will see.
The Truth: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” Colossians 3:23

That’s great for the mental attack I get at the thought of something but there is one sure fire way I can attack my exhaustion (or rather perceived exhaustion) that seems to work every time. I simply get up and do some thing. It doesn’t matter what. And yes it’s sometimes harder than it sounds, but it works.

I have to remind myself that motion begets motion. An object in motion will stay in motion until a force stops it. See what I’m getting at here? The more you start, the more you finish. The more you finish the better you feel about yourself. The better you feel about yourself the less exhausted you feel and when you feel less exhausted you change the world.

I’m beginning to realize I’ve spent too much time not doing things because I was scared it was going to be too much for me. Or because of a myriad of other fears I’m sure. I NEED to remind myself that I have not been given a spirit of fear but that of love, power and a sound mind.

At the end of the day I’d rather actually be exhausted because I did things that will change the world than be exhausted because I played on my phone all day. Even if the only world I am changing at the moment is my own home, or the lives of my children, it’s all important and it’s all worth it.

So here’s to an exhausting life – I hope you live one too! 🙂

What makes you feel absolutely exhausted at the thought of it? What ways have you combated that?

– Jess 🙂

 

I am an overcomer! :)

I can do Anything through Christ who strengthens me!!!!!!!!!!!! Philipians 4:13

 

I am an over comer. I am more than a conqueror through Christ. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Today I’m speaking into existence what I believe to be true, not necessarily what is. Today I’m practicing doing what I need to do even though I’d rather nap. Today I’m being real and coming to grips with some things. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses since my Easter Weekend experience, although I would say that it’s been a LOT better since then.

When I gave birth to my son Noah almost 2 years ago, I didn’t want to admit that I fell into some serious post-pardom depression. In fact, Noah was almost one year before I actually said – ok I need some help with this. And likewise I’ve been hesitant to let it out that I’ve been feeling pretty depressed after closing out this past chapter of my life (aka losing my job).

I think that’s probably because I was so happy about it – I was miserable and looking for a way out and God did just what I asked Him to do for me. But I also didn’t take into account that even though I was excited and happy about the shift, it also was a HUGE change for me. I was suddenly thrown out the world and the work “family” that I had known for 9 years! That’s practically a decade!

After I got out I started pouring myself into the new work I was doing and was getting no-where. I overpromised and under delivered, ok way under delivered. I had no energy and was content to stay on the couch and watch Noah play all day. At some point I realized I was starting to feel the same way that I felt that summer Noah was born. Like everything else was going on around me but I was just left behind, in a fog, without the energy or desire to change it.

It frustrated me because I felt like I was making so much progress with my counseling and to fall back down the hole? Ugh. That just added to the depression.

One thing I tend to forget is that this is a daily battle. The battle against depression is won in small choices, baby steps, and almost constant reminding that feeling a little down isn’t a sign of things to come.

Yesterday at my counseling appointment my therapist said something that really stuck with me. The emptiness that I feel inside is not necessarily a bad thing. That hole is actually potential. It’s the potential for good days. It’s the potential for new things and new feelings. It’s the potential for a life so much greater. And I have to remind myself to pray and ask God to fill that hole. And he is. He’s healing me one step at a time.

He’s with me through every scary thing – like today when I finally admitted to my best friend that I’ve been in a depressive funk for the past few months. I didn’t want to tell her but I knew that she needed to know and that more importantly I needed to admit that.

Every day I’m one step closer.

I am an over comer. I am more than a conqueror through Christ. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.