Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Where Jesus Holds My Hand

That moment in life when you are so happy, when life is going so good, when your whole being is just bubbling over with joy that you want to hold your breath so the moment will last forever.  I don't want it to end.  I want it to stay this way forever.

Two weeks ago I hit a low.  My problems seemed to be stacking up--health problems, kid relational problems, extended family health problems, house a total wreck problems.  I woke up one morning two weeks ago and just felt yucky and beaten down.  I sat in my chair to have a prayer time.  My first real prayer time since my surgery due to my sleeping in every morning, exhaustion during the day, and forgetfulness.  (Possibly some laziness, too, but we'll ignore that idea.)

I started praying which may have more closely sounded a bit like whining and complaining.  I just felt defeated and worn down.  Problems on top of problems.

After a few minutes of this, I started journaling like I usually do.  First I wrote down all my problems and then I starting writing down what I wanted God to do.  As I was writing this, I found myself writing that I felt so thirsty and dry.  I hadn't prayed in two weeks.  I had barely done anything at all except make it through the day.

I stopped.  I thought about this for a few minutes.  There is a show my kids like to watch on Netflix called Oscar's Oasis.  In the show Oscar is a lizard in the desert.  One of the episodes is about Oscar being so incredibly thirsty and not being able to find any water.  His tongue is hanging out, just begging for one drop of water.  Anything to slake his thirst.  I felt like that.

My prayer changed.  I stopped complaining.  Stopped telling God how to fix my situation.  And I asked him to just hold my hand.  Hold my hand today so I can be strong enough to make it.  Hold my hand so I will respond in love to my kids instead of snapping at them.  Hold my hand so I can have the emotional fortitude to handle the failing health in my extended family.  Hold my hand so I can look past my own physical limitations and instead focus on the fact that my recovery from surgery has been uncomplicated and easy even if a lifting restriction and needing to rely on others so much chafes a bit.

Nothing in my life changed.  All my problems were still there.  My kids didn't suddenly become angels who stopped fighting and resisting doing their school work.  No one was miraculously healed.  My desire to do anything other than rest didn't go away.

The only thing that changed was....ME.

Since that morning I've had some major breakthroughs in my heart.  Major.  Life altering.  Oh my, how could I have missed this all these years type revelations.  I wrote about one of them already--about how I see my kids.  Really see them at a heart level and not just see the mess and chaos.  Other things have changed in me as well that I am still working through.

I hosted Thanksgiving for my side of the family for the first time.  I was so incredibly peaceful and joyful the entire time preparing for the event and through the event.  I didn't feel harried or stressed even once.  A miracle as far as I am concerned.

"Out here [in the desert], with no visible source of food or water, no shelter from the elements, it's easy to succumb to the fear that we've been abandoned by God in this desolate place.  Maybe that's why we call the dry, parched times in our lives, when our soul withers and God seems very far away, 'a wilderness experience.'  Such experiences often come at times of change and upheaval.  When God wants to shake us free from our old habits and lead us into a new walk with Him, He sometimes begins with a desert journey." ~ Lynn Austin in Pilgrimage: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked

So here I am today.  None of the problems in my life have gone away other than my lifting restriction which was lifted as of Thanksgiving day.  Woohoo!!!  Time to move furniture!  (Okay, just kidding.  Sort of.)  But I have changed.  I can now look at my appendectomy with thankfulness.  It forced me to slow down.  Way down.  It caused me to hit a low point which led me to that morning of complaining which led me to pray a prayer I've never prayed before which resulted in big heart changes in me.  Which have resulted in good changes in my family.

Which brought me to the moment where I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror getting ready for my family Thanksgiving, the sounds of music and laughter blasting from my living room as the kids and my Hubby had a morning dance party, and all I felt was an intense joy.  A fullness of joy.  Like I had met Jesus in the midst of the wilderness and He led me out to the other side.

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