Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ah-ha moment...

2013 has been pretty rough on my family so far. We've been hit with a lot of unexpected trials and challenges, more than I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time. I've had a lot of talks lately with close friends, who also have similar stories of great struggles put in their lives in the few weeks we've had this year. I've tried to grin and bear it, with the help of my husband and distractions of work and a beautiful baby I have tried not to dwell on the things that are so easy to get caught up in, but today I felt like I was going to break. Physically and emotionally I am drained, and I feel that spiritually I am very much being challenged by God. I feel extremely humbled and chastened. I feel ashamed and aware. I feel sorrow, but most of all now I feel peace.
   I realize that I have been like the Pharisees who Isaiah prophesied would draw near to the Lord with their lips, but who's heart is far from Him, and who worship Him in vain (Matthew 15:7-9). I am often quick to thank my Father in Heaven for my blessings, and trust He will see me through the tough times, but my actions and the despair in my heart reveal me as a hypocrite. I have become all too aware of how I have been failing God and in turn myself, and my family. My words have been saying one thing but my heart has felt another way. I have had selfish desires for these messes I'm surrounded by to go away, I've thought that enduring them patiently would be sufficient enough for the Lord to take my burden away. {Cue another obstacle} I have longed for life to be easy, and taken for granted lessons that could be learned {cue another road block} I have been ignorant to the opportunity that I'm being provided with to strengthen my relationship with the Lord and grow as a Christian wife, and short I have been ignorant, and unteachable.
   Y'all know in cartoons how sometime the hero or heroine will be physically hit with the realization that has been right in front of them the whole time? A slap on the forehead, ah-ha moment? As silly as this sounds, I was in my daughter's room tonight frantically trying to gather some close together while she was otherwise distracted and I bent down to grab a book off of the floor and when I stood up I smacked my head very very hard on the wooden microwave door of her play kitchen. I instantly collapsed onto the ground and shrieked and thought "Why me, Lord?!!!" as I squeezed my eyes together with all my might sobbing in pain and frustration. I cried and cried and gasped for air and felt so defeated. I sat there for several minutes feeling beaten and wounded (both my pride and head), and then it hit me. Not once had I asked "Why me, Lord?" not once had I prayed for a lesson, I had not sought out the Lord's word, I had not asked for guidance, I had not asked to be strengthened. I had taken for granted that God would look after me and help me through the obstacles that January presented, and my heart had been closed off to the lessons from God and promptings of the Spirit. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."
    I know that the Lord does not intend for us to struggle through this life as he watches on. He wants us to always seek Him, so that he is with us in times of trouble, and when we face adversity, and when we find ourselves in darkness. He wants us to follow the example of the Savior and walk with Him. He does not leave us alone, but we have to seek Him out. We can not worship in vain, or take the gifts and tools He has given us for granted. Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. It is so easy to be faithful when times are good and easy, but it is faith in times of trial that makes us better Christians and people. I have to remember that to be Spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6). I had been relying on God to be with me, but not realizing that I had let him get away from me. 
     I truly feel that 2013 has amazing things in store for me and my family, and I know that I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me. I hope you don't forget to seek out the Lord every second of every day, all of the time. If you never let Him out of your heart there will be no dark days. I feel renewed and no longer defeated, and I am grateful that I can share this with you. Peace and love, Layne

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