Alright my friends I must tell you straight up this is NOT the post I desired to publish. NOT AT ALL! In fact, I had a completely opposite post in mind! I kept "badgering" the Lord to have it MY way, and, well, we all know how that goes! So here we are.
My post was safe.
This one is vulnerable.
My post was neat, tidy and put together.
This one is messy, truth-bearing and, oh, SO VERY REAL!
Okay, bottom line...
My post made me look "good". It was filled with Scripture. Words of "wisdom". Encouragement. It made me "appear" as the Bible memorizing, praying without ceasing, Spirit filled, confessing sin immediately Christian lady which I so long to be.
Okay, to be totally honest, the post I wanted to publish was oozing and gushing with nothing but ME and PRIDE!
Oh, don't get me wrong, I DO long to be that lady I described above, but NOT so I can post it all over the Internet.
And right about now, I have nothing to brag about anyway!
The truth is that I'm struggling.
I've fallen into a funk.
A pit of despair and depression that has taken me into its deep dark lonely cracks and crevices.
See now why I wanted to share my post instead of this one?
Going through the motions spiritually but remaining stagnant.
Missing that joyful time of worship with the Lord which I have come to cherish over the years.
So what changed?
How did I arrive at this place?
Well for one thing, it did NOT happen overnight that's for sure! And it's NOT going to change overnight either! BUT GOD is definitely working within me and I'm SO VERY THANKFUL!
Yes, living with the symptoms of a chronic illness and all that entails for over sixteen years can most definitely lead one into depression. Even healthy people when they get a cold or the flu tend to become a tad grumpy and difficult to get along with, right?
HOWEVER, for me it goes much deeper than just my chronic illness.
I read something recently and that's when everything came "to a head" so to speak.
The Lord had already been dealing with me for the past month or two concerning certain issues, but it seemed I'd take ten steps forward and twelve steps backwards. Never gaining complete victory.
Can anyone else relate?
On the first two days of this particular "mini" Bible study, the author addressed the subject of complaining. At first I wanted to run as fast as I could and never look back because I KNEW I was in for a very serious one on one with The Holy Spirit!
Because on a scale of one to ten my grumbling, complaining, murmuring attitude had reached well over one thousand!
BUT WAIT, of course I have every right to complain because you see I live with this life-altering chronic illness that messes up my body, messes up my life, causes me to miss out on so much in life, right?
Let me share with you just some of what I learned about complaining,
Grumbling, murmuring, whining all have the same effect. They all quench the Spirit of the Lord!
It's VERY important to recognize that complaining has its root and beginning in being unthankful.
Ingratitude is an extremely serious heart issue that has major consequences in our lives.
When we complain, we are basically saying, "God, I really don't believe you are good. I don't believe you have everything in my life under control."
For those around us, complaining, whining and grumbling is like emotional pollution. It pollutes the air they breathe.
When we complain, murmur and whine, we blind ourselves to all of God's past provisions and His hopes and promises for the future.
So how do we overcome complaining? Focus on the many good things the Lord has provided.
Being grateful, giving thanks and praising God just for Who He is!
No matter how dark the day seems, God is able to show His love, compassion, and care in SO MANY WAYS!
We simply have to be on the lookout for them!
I've lost count how many times I have read and reread these words and asked the Lord to drive these life-changing truths DEEP DOWN into my heart and mind.
I'm always amazed at how the Lord meets us right where we are and loves us too much to leave us the way we are!
In numerous tears over numerous days, the Lord revealed to me that my ongoing complaining, murmuring, grumbling words and ungrateful attitude had done WAY more damage than I could have ever imagined.
On the second or third day when I read all this TRUTH about whining, complaining and grumbling, I found myself that very evening murmuring to Brian about all the things I missed being able to do (yeah, the message hadn't sunk in quite yet!)
I shared how I miss cooking for him every evening. Being able to clean the house (really never thought I'd miss that, but I do). Teaching the three-year old Sunday School Class that I taught for years. Missing this. Missing that.
Now, without me having shared with Brian anything that I had read earlier about complaining, he looked at me, and in a very loving, sweet, gentle, caring voice, he said,
"Baby, instead of focusing on all that you can no longer do, why not try focusing and giving thanks for all you still can do!"
from the Lord!
I always knew our words held much power.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."
But I always viewed it from the standpoint of the words we said to others face to face, one-on-one, not words of complaint or ingratitude which spew forth from our very own mouths.
I'm thankful the Lord is teaching me that ALL my words have consequences. Either to build up or tear down. Whether they are edifying or destroying someone else or myself.
I'm praising the Lord for His gentleness, patience and love in slowly, but faithfully, lifting me up out of the deep, dirty, dark dungeon I drug myself into simply by focusing on me, myself and I instead of keeping my eyes, thoughts and words squarely on my Saviour.
"Father, thank You for Who You are. Thank You for meeting me where I am and for loving me way too much to leave me there. Thank You for Your patience with me and especially for Your forgiveness time and time again. I love You more than words can say. You are more than worthy of all my praise.
In The Precious Name of Jesus, Amen"
"Create in me
a clean heart,
a right spirit
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May God Bless You,