Yes, I'm back in the saddle again (read part 1 here), but apparently I forgot how to ride...as I'm finding out.
I had a roller coaster of a weekend. One minute I'm in the saddle, strong and tall. The next minute I'm on the ground looking up at the horse, wondering what in the world just happened. Emotions all over the board - bursting with joy one moment, fearful and sad in the next.
Yet in the midst of the turmoil, God brought fruit out of conversations and events as I kept moving forward despite the shaky emotions. He is so amazing!
Can I be real with you for a minute?
I am struggling right now. Not sure of all the reasons why, but I am finally ready to admit the struggle is real. I am not sure who I am - lost and empty inside one minute and seeing glimpses of myself the next.
I spend time with the Lord and find a bit of joy; then one email, one word, one thought that does not encourage and all of it flies out the window. It's been stressful, and my blood pressure is up as a result.
But I can overcome! I challenge myself to rise above. "Mary, you have the Holy Spirit, you should be able to rise above. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!"
It is incredibly frustrating to know in your mind how to overcome and not be able to make it happen. As the Bible instructs us, I draw near to God, cast my cares, come to Him in my weariness, thank Him in everything, and focus on whatever is pure, lovely, etc. And I'm still shaky in the saddle. And I still fall off the horse.
Ever been here?
A very dear friend prayed for me last night.
"Lord, help Mary in her struggle. Remind her that she is a human being, she's not You, and You don't expect her to be." I laughed so hard I cried at the simple truth of her prayer.
Yes, in my desire to overcome, I've been trying to "activate" the Holy Spirit by will to enable me to rise up, and to give me strength. Sounds silly to say it, doesn't it? And yet how many of you are laughing with me right now.
No wonder I felt so weary and frustrated - I was trying to muster up the God in me so I could do what I "felt I should be able to do." More like, I tried to do what I expected of myself; not what God asked or expected of me.
I was still in rebellion!
News flash: we do not control the Holy Spirit. Thank God for that!
So what now, how do I find myself again and get strengthened?
1. I need Jesus more than ever! I need to keep coming to Him, keep crying out to Him, keep reading His word, and keep seeking His guidance...until HE fills me up and restores my strength in the saddle. I need to rest in His daily care until HE gets me up.
2. I need he...., um, yes, I need help. There, I said it. I need help to get through this. I'm not saying this to evoke sympathy or pity, but to encourage anyone who may also be struggling. I need prayers, gentleness, time alone, and grace from those around me. I need to get on medication to get my BP under control for however long it takes.
We are human. God never intended for us to be energizer bunnies. He knows when we need rest and healing. He leads us to His still waters and keeps us there...one way or another...until He knows we're ready to get up.
Our role is to receive His care and His love, and to ask for help from others when we find ourselves unable to handle it all. Our role is not to "do it myself."
I am still in the saddle, but my Jesus is holding the reins.
Stay tuned! I will share more of my journey as the Lord leads. Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you are encouraged to give yourself grace, and to keep on going.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)