How many times have you uttered the words, “I just need a break!”? How often have you felt like the onslaught of challenges, hard times, sleepless nights, and frustration was an endless battle that you were doomed to never win? I know I have felt this way more times than I care to admit. Let’s be real for a quick minute… life is full of heartache and pain. We all see it. We’ve all experienced it. Much like the ocean’s waves, the pain just keeps coming.
The past nearly 3 years have been rough for my family. First, it was an auto accident that left me with debilitating lower back pain which kept me from being able to function. Pretty much everything a mom/wife is supposed to do, I couldn’t do for nearly 2 years. Then came the pregnancy that I was sure was going to break me forever. I couldn’t even sneeze without insane pain surging through my spine. I had no clue how I was supposed to go through a full-term pregnancy. I couldn’t lift my foot enough to walk up a curb, so the thought of getting into a good pushing position to deliver a baby… I was filled with fear. I was terrified every day of the 35 weeks I was aware of the baby I was carrying.
Then came the darkness of Postpartum Depression. My back was miraculously healed in the last couple of months of the pregnancy. I still don’t know how, but that’s the best part! The immediate switch from crippling physical pain to crippling emotional/mental pain was bizarre. The fear, though… the fear was all too familiar.
Now we are in a new season. My oldest son – my sweet and talented and handsome and precious (13 yr old!) baby boy – my little man – He is plagued by anxiety. In the last month, he has had two fainting spells that resulted in 9-1-1 calls and visits from the EMT’s. One resulted in a visit to the ER. Both times I was not with him. Hello, Fear! Well, aren’t you a son-of-a-B… He has been officially diagnosed with Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder. On a test where a score of 25 equals an issue with anxiety, my boy scored a 47. As his Dr. says, “his brain is not a fun place to live”. We are in the process of seeking treatment and filtering out any other complications, but in the meantime… my heart breaks for him.
So how do we reconcile what we experience with what we believe? How do we come to a place of being able to go through the seasons of agony with grace and hope and joy? When everything in us, and everything around us, is screaming “THINGS ARE NOT THE WAY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!!“, how do we fight for peace? When our hearts are broken over and over and over again, how do we go on? How do we push through to the next season when it seems impossible to see past the current pain?
Remember. Lift Your Eyes and REMEMBER.
Remember who He is – He is Creator. He is Sustainer. He is Rescuer. He is Life. He is Joy. He is Comfort. He is Wisdom. He is Father. He is Giver of Every Good & Perfect Gift. He is Healer. He is Provider. He is Counselor. He is Author & Finisher.
Remember what He has done – He has already made a way. He has already called you His own. He has already paid the price for your redemption. He has already promised to be with you. He has already brought you out of darkness and called you into His marvelous light that you may declare His excellencies. He has already forgiven you. He has already made you clean. He has already captured every tear you’ve cried in a bottle. He has already set your feet on solid rock. He has already heard the groanings of your spirit. He has heard the cries of His people. He has already declared His work as finished.
Remember who He says you are – You are His. You are His prized possession. You are the Apple of His eye. You are His beloved. You are His child. You are His creation. You are covered. You are loved. You are delighted in. You are pursued. You are protected. You are seen. You are favored.
Remember what He calls you to do – Know him. Reflect Him. Love His people. Declare His works. Trust Him. Rest in Him. Allow Him to mold you. Allow Him convict you. Allow Him to break you so that He may build you. Depend on Him. Learn of Him. Find your very being in Him. Listen to Him. Receive His grace and sin no more. See His splendor and do not fear, for His with you. Be filled with the joy of His salvation. Come to Him boldly to make your requests known, as a child to their Father. Live according to the identity He has given you. Live unbound. Live grateful. Forgive. Dance. Sing… For He is Great and Greatly to be praised.
There is nothing this side of heaven that will erase our burden. This life, this world, can be a heavy load. Things can get really freakin’ hard! When we lift our eyes to look outside of our own mess, and we allow our Source of Life to flood our thoughts with His perfect love, fear no longer has a foothold. We can walk through the fires knowing that we are not alone.
What we believe about the character of God matters most when we find ourselves in the midst of despair and grief. So ask yourself these questions when things aren’t going “your way”:
- Is God big enough to carry me through this?
- Is God still good even in this trouble?
- Where is my hope?
- Does God keep His promises?
I hope you feel restored after reading this. I hope that you feel encouraged. I hope that you feel safe. But mostly, I hope that after reading this, you are stirred to trust on Jesus, cast your cares before Him and feel lightened by His easy burden.
Love you all! Til next time….