Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wide Awake

I was awakened at 3:45a this morning cause some little boy needed his covers "straightened out." :) It felt good to tuck him in and get him all cozy.

But now, two hours later, I'm still awake. Fretting. Fretting over the next two weeks. Fretting about speaking at the college group tonight and how I still feel unprepared. Fretting about grocery shopping tomorrow and I don't have my list ready. Fretting about planning/attending baby showers (next weekend will be the first since losing our two precious children). Fretting.

As if worrying isn't bad enough, I start to get mad. I'm mad about things that have happened in the past. I'm mad about the expectations that have been placed on me by myself and others. I'm mad that I'm still mad...

I know that my brain isn't all that "logical" at 5:40am especially since my husband has been out of town for four days (he gets home later today - woohoo!). I know that my worrying and anxiousness are sin and it's causing me to become angry and hurt.

But God is faithful. I open my email and there's a new post from Doorposts. It's about discouragement. And it hits me in the gut.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, 
and why are you in turmoil within me?” 
 (Psalm 42:11a, ESV)

Ahhh. The power of the Word of God. I ask myself again, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?" I'm still hurting and it's causing anxiety and anger. Those two sins seem to haunt me, always lurking around the corner. Always catching me off-guard when I least expect it. Always ready to pounce and devour me.

And even when I'm not seeking God in the Word, He's still pursuing me and knows what I need to defend myself when I'm downcast. The article from Doorposts listed a few reasons we become discouraged:

I am likely to become discouraged when:
  • I am suffering trials (loss, death, troubled relationships, health problems, financial setbacks). Check
  • I expect people to be and do what only God can be and do. Check
  • I think circumstances ought to change, but they don’t. Check
  • I want to control circumstances instead of trusting God. Check
  • I feel like nothing I do is making any difference.
  • I am struggling with illness, fatigue, or hormones. Check
  • I compare myself to others. Check
  • I expect perfection from myself and others. Check
  • I try to play the role of Holy Spirit in someone’s life.
  • I try to work in my own strength instead of availing myself of God’s infinite strength. Check
  • I listen to myself instead of speaking the truth of God’s Word to myself. Check
  • I don’t take the time or invest the energy needed to organize my time and environment.
  • I don’t set aside time for communing with God (thinking, praying, studying, reading). Check
  • I am over-committed. Check
  • I feel like I’m barely keeping up with all that I am supposed to do.
  • I am doing unnecessary things that I am not called to do.
  • I isolate myself.
  • I am resentful or bitter or start to feel sorry for myself. Check
  • I am worried or afraid. Check
  • I have not repented of sin.
  • I am facing the consequences of my sin and negligence.
Those are some pretty heavy things. And you may be dealing with different ones that I am. But they are all hard things to conquer and we are only able to do that through the power of God, His Word, His Spirit and the love of His people.

I sit quietly and listen to the birds start to sing.

It's still dark. The sun isn't up. Yet, they are singing in anticipation of the arrival of the warm, bright sun. Maybe I need to follow the example of God's creation this morning and begin praising Him in the darkness of discouragement anticipating the arrival of a new day. I need the truth of God's Word this morning.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul,
   and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
   my salvation and my God."
(Psalm 42:11, ESV)

Before the Morning
Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light

press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming


Heather said...

Good Word from the Lord straight to your heart Jess. Thanks for articulating your heart so well and sharing it. It's evidence that God IS revealing Himself to you in the dark hours...not just literally either. Praying for strength for you today, and maybe a nap later when the boys are napping? Praying also for a wonderful reuniting of your family later today. I am thanking Jesus for drawing near to you especially when you were in the midst of the unsung hero role of "mom who stays home when youth pastor dad is away". Love you!

Sandy said...

This could very easily have been my own blog entry for this week. Every morning I've woken up feeling something quite similar, and some days I've allowed it to control my day (bad days, you know!). Yet every morning God gave me something that when I paid attention, He spoke directly to my discouraged heart. I'm so thankful that He's doing the same for you.

Praying for you :)

Laurie said...

I very much appreciate your posts Jess. Thanks so much for being so transparent and sharing what you are learning. I find myself in a similar place more often than I'd like. Thanks for showing an example of relying on Jesus to get out!