If there is anything to be thankful for right now (and the list is very long ) it’s that I have good friends.
Nick and Camillia got married on November 10th in Daniel’s parent’s backyard. It was an intimate affair with only a few friends, and the weather could not have been more perfect.
It was quite possibly one of the sweetest weddings I’ve ever had the honor of being a part of. And, truthfully, I’m kind of starting to lose count. It’s like once you hit your mid 20’s, you might as well plan on going to at least one wedding a month. But this one was good for the heart.
It’s astounding, once I am sober- minded, to think about the thoughts I had prior that I would use to justify the propitiation of sin.
And by sober-minded, I mean having repented of deep, dark sins, leaving me clear- headed. Like a blindfold taken off of my eyes.
Seriously though, let’s really think about this. When we are completely consumed with the chase of earthly joys, we are drunk in sin, running aimlessly about, never really catching what we want. We stumble around without any clear vision or realization of how much we are hurting ourselves, and it is only until we wake up the next morning, with a massive headache, that we realize the bruises on our arms and the cuts on our feet.
I haven’t been doing very well with the coffee. I wrote a few weeks ago about giving up coffee because it had become an idol, but one does not simply kick over a golden calf, destroying it with one pathetic push (especially if it is not truly repented of). Remember how much work it took to build it?
Same with food.
And with spending money.
And with wanting a fairy-tale marriage.
I’ve been really sick the past few days. I actually cannot think of another time in my life when a sore throat was this painful. My body aches, and my face is draining slowly. All of this led me to sit down with a cup of very hot tea this morning while Abram was taking a nap, and dive into God’s arms. Putting the pain of my flesh aside, it was incredibly restful. I heard deep, deep down within my soul the holy spirit asking me why I keep chasing these things. We simply started conversing. I was reminded of why I permanently had the word “Beloved” tattooed on my wrist, the reason there is a tree with vines on my shoulder, and a sparrow that rests on the skin below my ear.
Oh yea. I forgot about those.
I then felt lead into a much needed time of repentance, where I desperately yet fearlessly let these idols of coffee, food, money and marriage go. With each sin repented of, I followed it with the request that God would break the chains and set me free. Very deep, relieving breaths followed.
I tell ya, there’s nothing different from those moments this morning to the moments I sit in this afternoon. My throat is still in excruciating pain, and my bones still ache. But I feel free-er, stronger. Ready to fill this clean-out body and soul of mine with something better, more joy-everlasting.
I even had a plate of broccoli for lunch…. because I wanted to.
But let me just say this, and please pay attention: We, as humans, are by no means one time fixes. I am repented of and free from those idols and sins in this moment right now, but the second I turn my gaze away from Christ and onto something else, I gladly open my door to sin that does not belong in me. And it is so easy to shift our gaze, when we are not constantly and deliberately seeking after and spending time with Him, asking Him to pursue us even more.
Is this where you find yourself today? Drunk in sin, getting no where and feeling miserable? I don’t care where you are right now or how important your “task” is at the moment. If you are like me today, then stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW and go rest in God. Let him heal and free you.
I confidently say that nothing else could possibly be more important.
Some days all that keeps me going is lots of talks with God and a Venti iced coffee with a shot on top.
Today is one of those days.
It’s not necessarily a bad day, but I am fully exhausted.
Let me preface the rest of this post by telling you that Daniel is going on a leader/pastor-in-training retreat Friday night, and I leave for Panama City next week to lead worship for a camp. So keep that in mind as I share. I’ll bring it back around, I promise.
Yesterday morning, Abe woke up with a fever of 101.6. That’s not terrible. Just a little fever, and no other symptoms. He spent most of the morning on my lap or playing close beside me. Now, yesterday I had planned on setting aside the majority of my time to hashing out the music for this camp. By the afternoon, however, Abe’s temp had rose to 102.5 and he was a blob. He didn’t want to leave my side or the couch. We laid down most of the day, until I took his temp again at four, and it was at 103.1. Medicine, cold baths and fans were not working, and the rising temperature was alarming. I took him to the doctor, and by the time we got there, it has rose even more to 103.6. I was starting to freak out a little bit inside, but doing my best to be a big girl and keep it cool for my kid. They did all of the general checks, and there was nothing they could find. They then decided to do a urine check, but we couldn’t get Abe to pee, so they had to use a catheter. I probably don’t need to say how horrible that was for everyone. Nothing turned out to be wrong with his pee, so they sent us home. Praise the Lord, his temperature dropped steadily for the rest of the night. Needless to say, the day was not productive at all.
I was pretty anxious and upset last night, and Daniel and I decided to talk it out before we went to bed. A lot of stuff came up about life in general, and we talked a bit about this weird funk I’ve been in for about a month and a half now. I discovered, through a really painful conversation and many tears, that I’ve been putting all of my faith, joy and worth in my hubs. I grew up working really hard to get the approval, or even just a smile, from my dad. I knew that had carried on into my marriage, but I didn’t feel or see the reality of it until last night. For two years now, I’ve been working myself silly to get this other person to like me (even though he already does) and prove to him that I can be a perfect wife.
I have massively failed at my mission. Thank God for that.
I’m a “flight” person. When something gets too big or overwhelming, like failure, I check out. Well, after two years of feeling like a failure (completely brought on by myself) I decided to shut off weeks ago. I didn’t do this intentionally, it just happened. This has caused much tension between Daniel and I (particularly in the intimacy department….get over it, we’re all adults here!), and a great deal of distraction from living life.
I didn’t sleep very well last night. It took me forever to finally drift off, and by the time I really got into sleeping, Abe woke up with a fever again. We had to bring him into our bed and help him get back to sleep, which took quite a long time. We got maybe another hour. I spent many moments in the middle of the night praying for relief and rest. It didn’t come. Sometimes that’s just the way it is.
Remember what I said early about that retreat and camp?
This morning, while I was taking a shower, two things hit me.
1) The devil absolutely hates me, and is going to go to great lengths to ruin my life (and the lives within my family), especially in the thick of trying to love others and lead. New things are happening. What better time than now for that bastard to drop some bombs, ay? I mean seriously? The day I plan to work hard on something important and time sensitive is the day my son gets a freak-fever with no explanation.
2) The theme at the youth camp I’m going to next week is “Fighting for Joy.” Hmmmm…. thought I had that down a few years ago when I was under Jesse Carbo (who is heading up this camp). Sounds like I need a refresher course. Now it becomes more than just helping out at a camp. Now it becomes living life honestly with a bunch of teenagers I don’t know for a week.
The gospel is ALWAYS fresh, and we will ALWAYS need it. If you’re the kind that thinks the gospel is something you achieve when you say a prayer and then try to get other people to accept, then you are sadly mistaken. It is a never ending love story about of justification, redemption, renewal and untamed glory. It is a work inside of you that will not be complete until the day your spirit leaves this place.
Today I will press on. Today, you will press on.
In the meantime, pursue God, and pursue Him hard. Be aware of the attacks and distractions, and be thankful for the awareness of them. They usually mean that you are on the right track.