I've been in quite a rut lately. From an outside perspective everything is great but busy. Inside I have been struggling emotionally. I had a few tough days last week where I just broke down and cried. One imparticularly tough night where I filled up my waste basket with tissues. I couldn't figure out why because literally nothing happened that made me feel that way. That's when I realized it was the nothingness that was causing me to feel the way I was.
In the busyness I have not had time to respond to friends, couldn't even meet up with others, fell behind on my bible study homework and was completing multiple days at once. When I read the bible I felt as if I was rushing through and just grazing the surface of whatever meaning was hidden for me. I wasn't really connecting with people and more importantly, I wasn't really connecting with God.
I began to feel defeated. Began to feel that even though I was doing all these amazing things it didn't seem to make a difference to anyone. I cried about this blog. I had a heart to heart with my Father, I poured out my heart and begged for His blessing. I wanted to know that this blog was for His glory. I wanted to know that I was reaching someone with encouragement. I admittedly told Him that in my selfish nature I wanted to know that I was wanted.
I had this awful thought that had creeped into the back of my mind one night. The same night I took out a stock in Kleenex. You see, I had reached the belief that it didn't matter if someone didn't love me the way I loved them. Because God loved me unconditionally. It didn't matter if I didn't feel pretty because God says I'm beautiful. It didn't matter if I wasn't good enough because His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Whatever I lacked, He provided. But more importantly than that, I actually felt loved. I have received so many of His promises through the word and have really been uplifted to read them and actually believe they are for me.
Then the thought. It came on first so nonchalantly that I had to do a double take to make sure I understood it correctly. That was where I went wrong. I should have assumed I knew that it was bad news but I quieted just enough to hear loud and clear what I thought I heard the first time. This thought reminded me that God loves us all equally. Sounds harmless enough, right?? But it wasn't. Because I had rested in the belief that I was special to God and that He loved me uniquely. Even during the pain of knowing there was someone in this world who was loved more than I was - it didn't matter because God would always choose me. God would never walk away. He would not betray my trust and He would not let me down. No matter what happened He would pursue me even if I was crazy enough and tried to push Him away.
But in this moment it was as if I wasn't special anymore. The love He gives me is just the same as everyone elses. I suddenly felt let down and hurt. I cried to God and told Him just what I thought of this terrible realization. I was mad at Him for loving us equally. I know, what a earthly, selfish thing to feel. But I couldn't help it. I've known rejection since the day I was born. I grew up believing I would never be good enough for anyone because that's what I was told over and over again. So after a lifetime of rejections and a lifetime of people giving up on me, I really staked my claim in His love. I really wanted to be loved more. Where people fail, God doesn't.
I admitted to God that I still wanted to believe, but that I needed Him to help my unbelief. What He did next was undoubtedly a demonstration of His love.
I mentioned previously feeling doubt over starting the blog. I had been so sure when I started it but fell into a place of uncertainty. I wanted to know that I was reaching people and that it spoke to them. I received a comment from
That weekend I attended a women's retreat at church and that was incredibly uplifting. Someone there gave me her number and wanted to stay in touch. It was so awesome that I had these people that I seemed to suddenly connect so well with. (There were others I had connected with elsewhere earlier in the week as well. Answers to a prayer I have been praying.)
During this retreat index cards were handed out that had a verse we had to read aloud in front of everyone who was there. Every single person had to do it. I was so anxious, I wanted to run, I wanted to cry. But as I sat there something happened. I remembered a promise I made to God a few months ago. I will share more about that at a future time but the gist is this; I promised God I would praise Him in front of others. What I had to read was this:
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me; I am holy to the Lord my God out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen me to be His treasured possession. - Deuteronomy 14:2Does it give you goosebumps the way it did to me when I realized this was the answer to my prayer? Amazing love. Undeserved amazing love. If I had only stumbled upon this while reading my bible I don't think it would have had the same effect. The fact that I was put in a position where I had to read this aloud in front of an auditorium of women was God's way of getting my attention. I know that was completely orchestrated by His love in an answer to my prayer.
I realized when driving to go visit a friend that same day that I had really been changed. I was happy, joyful, upbeat, positive...who was this girl!? I wasn't sure but I was loving it.
When I visited old coworkers I hadn't seen in years they were all shocked to see me. Everyone commented on how happy I seemed. When one of my friends told another coworker I've been "in the word" he grabbed me and gave me a huge hug and couldn't stop beaming.
When I went to my friends house her husband also commented and rejoiced in the God's work in my life. He said he could just see it, like I had an aura around me. I felt like I was on a high. Just me and God. Seeing that my friends could see it was amazing. I don't get to see them often and he is such a man after God's heart, his noticing was an extra affirmation that God was working in me.
Things were really going great.
So what happened?
Somewhere in the busyness I lost my grasp on God's love for me. I suppose for me to lose it so quick means I wasn't holding onto it as tightly as I should have been. I've been reflecting back on what was different during that time where I really felt amazing. I realize a few things.
1 - I was living for the Glory of God. I had put aside my emotions. Yes, there are people out there that I love that I want in my life, but maybe now is not the time. I realized this and let them go their own way. Heartbreaking? You have no idea. But I shifted my focus to God. In the busyness and my heart that always wants to love and feel loved I got caught up again in the same emotions of loss and rejection. Only this time it felt like the hammer that put the nails into Jesus. It hurt so bad.
2 - I had spent literally almost 7 days straight focusing on God. I attended different events, church services, and studies. I had been so immersed in God and surrounded by people who also love the Lord. It was incredible. Let's be honest. Life is crazy busy. Most of the time I will not be able to be this involved. There won't be as many events happening in such a close period of time. I realize that week was a blessing for me, I need to find a way to continue to press into Him as much as possible in my every day life.
3 - I had received The Lord's affirmation. I mentioned my doubt over this blog. I mentioned the answers to meeting new people. I mentioned the excitement of old friends as well. Don't forget the words God made me speak aloud to everyone. His proclamation of His love for me. In the past few weeks Satan has stepped in to steal the glory. To steal the new heart I was given. He came in and robbed my hope, my joy, my patience, my beliefs, everything I had built up he robbed. While I see now it was such a easy and sneaky place for him to creep into, it all happened so fast I couldn't keep up.
I am so thankful this week that I had someone I could turn too. I'm not feeling back to that girl I felt like a few weeks ago but I know that His joy is coming and one day I'll be so rooted that it will take more than a few tough weeks to destroy what I have discovered in God.
How about you, my friend? How do you have life abundantly when the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy what God gave you? Let's pray for each other. Stand strong against the enemy. Let's call him out when we see him so we can know where he hides. Furthermore, let's keep believing God. Let's believe His love, promises and plans he has for us. Enough is enough.