Happy Sunday! May the peace of God flow to you today and always!
For the last five months I have been very quiet. No blogs have been written. Books that were supposed to be on shelves were halted. No projects progressed. Everything in my life was quiet. This quiet space was not my typical "taking a moment to reflect" or "fasting, consecrating and praying". This was a forced quiet.
About eight months ago my world began to fall apart. I believe I was doing all that God wanted me to do. I was fasting, praying, studying, loving people from a pure place, being open and honest (in other words transparent), facilitating a 7 day a week morning prayer call with people from across the US, applying the word to my daily living, helping those without room and board secure a place to rest their heads - I was not only feeding people physically but I allowed God to use me as a vessel to feed and nourish the souls, minds and spirits of those wounded, weary, lost, broken, discouraged and so forth.
No matter what I did or did not do, the time came when I felt crushed by my circumstances and forgotten by my God. There was an unsettling deep within; a force that came and a weight that fell in my home, on my children, my finances, my relationship, my mind, my body and my spirit. I was extremely restless. Devoid of focus, insomnia settled in. Peace searched for me as I longed for it, but peace I could not find.
I felt like a hypocrite – one who knew the word and shared that word but seemingly placed that same fruitful word on a shelf as if it did not apply to me at that moment. I tried holding fast to what I knew but I could not.
This time was like none I have ever experienced. Seems the only way I can truly describe these last eight months is to say that it was like a combination of my past life experiences coming together, happening at once. Having my mother, father and step-dad die at the same time, while I sat nursing my son who was gravely ill as an infant, caring for my daughter who was recovering from heart surgery, going through divorce while pregnant and so ill that doctors had no faith of whether I would make it through pregnancy, let alone make it to see another day...I was on my death bed -- One can only imagine the stress and fear to have this combination of things happening all at once.
Now I do not want to mislead - these things did not happen all at once but the last eight months has been LIKE having all these events that have happened in my life, happen all at once.
With severe depression taking over, my eating and sleeping regiments were off. Electric waves began shooting through my head. The pressure made my eyes feel like they were being squeezed out of my head. Back aches, neck aches and constant headaches consumed me. Then I began going through an extreme hormonal imbalance causing other issues that left me drained.
I had to do something my pride despises; I actually had to ask for help. I had to allow myself this time to be vulnerable, to trust other people, to let down my guard so that I could be treated, taken care of and healed. What I learned AGAIN, and even more so, learned to apply is that I am not an island unto myself.
Over the last eight months I have prayed, cried, screamed, slept, wallowed, hurt deep, lost something’s and some people, acquired new friends and relationships, my family developed an even stronger bond and I have learned that I am not the savior but a human who has chosen to be a vessel by which God can operate and function through to impact other people’s lives. I am not 100% but I woke up the last few days with my mind so fixed on God that I asked Him again, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” The answer was nothing new, nothing super spiritual or strange. It was a simple, “nothing” and you know what, I am okay with doing nothing right now.
If I could encourage anyone feeling the pressures of life right now, if I could offer a word of advice it would be this: Just BE! Be love, be light, be joy-filled, be at peace, be kind, be gentle…simply BE!!! Life will continue to have its challenges, trials, test, struggles and pains but we need to make up our minds that everything happening to us and around us is doing what it is supposed to. So be content. Embrace every moment!
That is precisely what I have been doing – learning more and more to Embrace me…the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the happy times and sad times, the people who come and the people who go. All of these events and experiences that have happened over the last few months – forcing me to be quiet and listen to not only God’s authentic voice but the voice that lives deep inside of me has taught me to not take myself so seriously. Enjoy every moment and continue on this journey of Embracing Me.
None of us are perfect and everyday in simply BEING we are BECOMING – so just BE – be grateful, be open, be responsive to that inner voice, be responsive to your bodies craving for peace, love, joy, happiness and especially the quiet moments.
Oh, and by the way, God was never absent during this quiet time. He was the constant when everything else was in disarray. He was the soothing song in my spirit when I could not sing and did not want to talk. He was the gentle warmth that wrapped me on lonely nights. It was God who sent my living Angels to take me to doctors appointments, to pay bills for me, to cook food for me, to sit with me and cry with me, to speak a bold word of strength and encouragement, to drop by unannounced and force me to take a ride with them – God was there. He was and still is my place of refuge, my rock, my safe place – As I did nothing but rest in Him, God nursed me and continues to fortify me.
When you feel crushed, just let God hold you!
“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. WE do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 NCV
Maker of the heavens and earth, today help me to embrace every moment with gladness, contentment and a deep sense of peace knowing you are here with me. Amen