This has really been on my heart a lot lately.
January was not a good month for me. To be honest, it was a “fall flat on my face” kind of month. A month of a ton of humiliation, mistakes, and self-realizations. A cold month filled with snow storms, sickness, and even a car accident.
I just felt moody and down all month. I felt exhausted emotionally, and had a hard time getting motivated to do anything. I am a major extrovert, and even making plans to see people felt difficult.
I had been hardly opening my bible. Distracted by the holidays, family members, and so much going on I simply trudged along in my relationship with God. Until I broke down one night in tears, utterly exhausted, realizing that I am struggling in life with so many things. Over the holidays, God revealed several struggles I have been dealing with for years. But not working them out with fear and trembling. I ignored them until they got bigger, picked at them a little until they were somewhat contained, then ignored them a bit more. I thought they were contained and that I was growing in my faith. It turns out God had different plans for me to grow in my faith.
To deal with my issues (aka, sin).
And the only way he could get through to stubborn ole’ me was to show them to me all at once.
I couldn’t deny that I had made a few mistakes that completely humbled me, nor could I deny the fact that I knew God had directly intervened in my heart to expose areas in which I desperately wanted to be healed. I felt the weight of my sin being exposed to light, and immediately knew the only one who can help me is God. Thankfully, I ran to him, many times, in tears. As I so often do. Not out of piousness, but because I rushed to his throne of grace out of a state of complete desperation. Because I hurt so bad, and knew I am really broken, and WHY, why, do I do the same things over and over I don’t want to do?
Have you ever had a period in your life where you drank only soda, tea, and coffee? Maybe water sounded dreadfully boring and distasteful. Maybe some of you are still there. I remember a time when I don’t think I drank water unless it was in iced tea. Sweetened ice tea, of course. It took me months to start to enjoy the taste of water, and I had to force myself to drink it. At first, I even measured how much I drank in a day. After a while, I craved water when I was thirsty, and I realized how much I had been dehydrating my body of such a basic need.
My soul is dehydrated.
I hate to reduce reading the bible down to forcing myself to open the Word of God, because, it is the greatest joy of my life to hear the good news. Yet, the truth is I am a broken, distracted, mess of a girl who often gives into the business of life or gets caught up in lesser things to take time to feed my soul. Am I the only one?
I incorporated a new nightly routine in my daughter’s bedtime. She gets to watch a ten minute show, so I can read ten minutes of my bible. It is so simple, so easy- why didn’t I do this sooner? Already the benefits are producing fruit in my life. More joy and contentment. I often focus so much on her I don’t practice self care, and self care for me is reading the Word.
I have also started listening to sermons on podcasts while I run rather than hearing music. It has been so motivating and rewarding.
The more and more I incorporate the Word into my life- through music, sermons, books, praying, fellowship, and reading-the more I thirst for God. So, my focus this dry month has been to cultivate a thirst for the bible. I know my dry soul needs it more than anything else I can be focusing my time on, but I also know I am a busy mom. So I have been getting creative. CD’s in my car that sing praise to God, books in my purse to build me up and read instead of scrolling social media, prayer texts to friends… habits that are soul nourishing.
The only thing I know is I am so grateful God brought me to a place of depending on him again, anew, and that his throne of grace is overwhelmingly beautiful and satisfying. It hurts to recognize my deep struggles and sin, but I am so thankful God forgives me when I run to him, and not just that, throws his arms around me with such great love (even though I feel so undeserving). This is sanctification. God sees me all dirty, covered in stains I will never be able to clean on my own, and does his redeeming work of making my sins white as snow. May I always run to him to cleanse me, as his beloved daughter, knowing he is delighted in my repentance and trust.
Have you found yourself here? Share with me your stories.