Do you remember your "word" for this year? That one you prayerfully choose back in January? I remember mine. PROGRESS.
I remember some of yours too.
And, they inspired me to add the words "WITH HOPE AND PEACE".
One thing weight loss surgery taught me: Living most of life ALL OR NOTHING isn't virtuous or helpful.
If I don't lose all my weight in 2 weeks (which felt like 2 years), eating healthy is not worth it.
If my marriage doesn't feel good by Friday, I'm out.
If my budget doesn't work out the way I hoped for the 6th month in a row, forget it, I'm going on a shopping spree. I'll be disciplined and pay off the debt some other day.
If I don't get the 'yes' today, it will probably never happen.
And, with that, we stay stuck.
Billy and I will admit that we've made a good handful of decisions over the course of our lives, that looking back seem...well...stupid.
Like you, we've spent more than one sleepless night wrestling with thoughts like, "Why'd we quit"? "Why'd we give in"? "Why didn't we say yes?" And, one of our most prevalent thoughts, "WHY ARE WE SO DUMB"?
We readily see our own limitations. And, just for the record, the children whom we've birthed walk close enough to us to see our limitations too. We can't keep them secret so it seems.
Shortly after opening the file this morning, I found myself in prayer. Talking with a God whose Spirit lives in me and whose grace ABOUNDS to me. For that I am sure.
He reminded me to RELY on HIS HELP.
There is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. 2 Chron 14:11
Do not fear or be dismayed. I will surely save you out of a distant place. You will again have peace and security. Jer 46:27
This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 2 Cor 1:8 - 11
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. Zech 4:6
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Isa 50:7
And on and on it goes....
So, I shamelessly toss all my eggs in THAT basket.
Rereading Nehemiah, I notice he felt no difficulty in combining prayer and action.
"After I looked thing over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, 'Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." 4:14
It isn't too late you know?
To do some of those things on your list. To step towards the One who put them on your heart in the first place. To rely, to trust, to pray, to fight.
I finish reading Nehemiah, pondering my own draw to "rebuild the walls" -- the places "long devastated."
B sends me a text, "I'm not giving up on the dreams God's put in our heart. It took years to get from vision to adopt, to the actual adoption...I may be tired but I throw myself before my Father and practice trusting him, even when, especially when I don't see the answers..."
I smile. I guess we're on the same page. Hearing the same broadcast from Heaven this morning.
We step towards God. We step towards each other.
It's not time for you to give up either.
Every fear, every pain
Live inside the dark
But that's not who we are
We are children of the day
So wake up sleeper, lift your head
We were meant for more than this
Fight the shadows conquer death
Make the most of the time we have left." Kari Jobe
It's not all or nothing.
Apart from Him I am nothing. But He holds all things together. He can over come even our stupidity, our naïve mistakes, our immaturity, our pain. Not just "those things" that happened to me in childhood, or the stupidness of my teen years before my frontal cortex was fully developed. He overcomes the mistakes I made -- even last week.
He isn't a God who says 'you got yourself into this mess -- now dig yourself out.' His grace, his help ABOUNDS to me.
And with that, I shake off a little more of what hinders and create more room for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. I create more room for God's Spirit to grow inside me.
Mid week love to you all dear friends!