I have been stuck in a guilt and shame spiral that has left me feeling isolated and frustrated and so paralyzed by it I haven’t written here in weeks.
I have a list of excuses that I am sure most of you would sympathize with, understand, encourage me through and comfort me as well but the truth is I let those excuses define me for weeks and that label limited my perspective to one of defeat. I was not living my HOPE message out; I was not relying on God’s strength and power to respond to the calling He has laid on my heart.
Recently Lysa TerKeurst wrote, “Don’t give up what you want long term for what feels good short term. Avoid the terrible trade.” I chose to make that terrible trade EVERY day for the past FOUR weeks. I would do the bare minimum to feel connected to the God who made the universe, who created every creature on this planet and fashioned the stars. I chose lying around on the couch, watching MINDLESS TV and shutting my mind off. I actually entertained this thought, “I spend more time with You every morning than most people do in a week. We are connected, I am serving with #P31OBS, I don’t have any truly terrible vices anymore so why can’t I just chillax.” BUT GOD – He is always present, always near, always patient and loving and full of Grace and Mercy.
When I got home from my amazing Joyce Meyer #JesusGals weekend I was on fire for God in a way I had not experienced before, I had a treasure chest of truth and love opened for me that weekend but I came home and reverted back to an old bad habit and made a terrible trade! While I have made major changes to my life because of my most recent #P31OBS #TameYourList study I traded the most important change for emptiness. I knew it was happening, my last couple Blog posts were written from a place of hopeful desperation. I wanted to believe I would do the right thing, I wanted to turn to God to break me of the old bad habit starting to form again, I thought I had enough Holy fear of disappointing God and my writing accountability partner that I would push though the temptation. But it didn’t happen. Instead I stood (rather lounged around) in my own way. I was not sick enough to completely check out for more than a few days, however, I don’t anyone to think that those of us who are chronically ill can just will themselves to feel better but I know what I should have accomplished even if I was too sick to write. I could have at least filled most of my time with worship music, had a book in hand as I laid back. I could have listened or watched sermons and messages to FILL Me up and not empty me. The sort of TV I was watch drains me and keeps me from glorifying God even when I am ill.
Last night as I went through my end of the day rituals: brushing my teeth, taking meds, washing my face, filling ice trays and water glasses, shutting off the lights, filling my sleep machine with fresh distilled water, applying essential oils to help manage my breathing and mucus issues and finally crawled into bed to have my nightly Jesus time I was feeling a pull in my heart. I was FINALLY ready to turn to God and let Him stretch me, mold me, use me and cleanse me. I clicked on my YouVersion APP and read cleansing words that convicted me in the most freeing way and a message became clear over the next ten hours as I woke up for a morning Jesus, wrote a lengthy entry in my prayer journal for the first time in four weeks. As I dialed in for #P31OBS ministry all call I was ready to sit down and write but I knew God was calling me to confess what I had been hiding for a month: I was breathing stale air, and I certainly understand how vital a breath of fresh, clean air can be. I had not stopped to breathe in God but had just stopped spiritually breathing. God has given me a great faith, a faith that is excited and most of the time on fire for Him but I had stopped being enthusiastic for my God and just wanted it to happen for me. Even though I have had so many rewards and blessings showered upon me the past few months I had stopped dreaming and being in AWE of my God. I was riddled with guilt and shame because of it which sets me on a merry-go-round sort of life: going somewhere but getting nowhere! I relied on the passion I HAD for God’s word to get me through the last week of my #P31OBS study and #BibleStudyLive but once that was used up I had not replaced it with a continued passion.
This January I will be saved for seven years, up until this past month I had never experienced a Spiritual slump, as I grew in my faith and fell deeper in love with Jesus I thought it would never happen. I was wrong and I think I understand humility better now than I ever could before. Why wouldn’t I have a Spiritual slump, even King David chose the pleasures in front of Him over God and he was a man after God’s own heart.
I still have my 24 blog goal to meet by November 8th ; my slothfulness has made that goal difficult but not impossible. I will be back to share more of King David’s story tomorrow and how my HOPE is renewed in my confession today and by humility.
I have my local worship station playing and two songs have jumped out to me as I was writing. The first is my favorite song of all time, I get God-bumps every time I hear it and have a catch in my throat each time I sing it. I love the second song because it is spot on - from the title on, it is what we Believe!