It seems like "forever" since I have been able to actually form the words of a blog, even though it's only been a few days. My brain and "time" just haven't been cooperating and working together.
I won't lie. I am on a roller coaster and I want OFF. I don't get near "real" ones and I don't like those that life puts us on either. I'm in a frame of mind that has caused my faith to take some pretty big dings recently. I'm still not on solid ground and I'm not sure when I'm going to find myself looking back and breathing a sigh of relief that God brought me through another dark time.
Don't get me wrong. God has not left me. I have not turned my back on God. I'm just finding myself on some pretty unsteady ground and trying so hard to hold on to the truth of God's word. I am in this battle of crying out to God for answers and direction and not being able to be still and quiet enough to hear Him answer.
Part of the issue is that I'm SEVERELY sleep deprived at this point. I'm only averaging about 1-2 hours of sleep a night and that MESSES with EVERYTHING you know to be true. New moms get more sleep than that. It's been a combination of having so much going on and trying to deal with things coming from every direction, a brain that won't shut off, handing things over to God but then in my fleshly weaknesses taking it back....and then health related issues. Insomnia. However, I feel confident that God is going to provide sleep soon. I completely felt it in my spirit today. I had an overwhelming supernatural calm come over me today. For those of you that know me really well, it would have been VERY obvious. I didn't have a perfect day and things didn't go "perfectly", but there was a peace that could only be attributed to God.
I don't know why all of sudden there are so many issues to deal with or why we currently are going through so many overwhelming things. I have searched my heart and begged God over and over to reveal what it is that he is wanting me to do that I'm not doing or what it is that he is preparing me for, but so far I don't have an answer. Kevin and I together have brokenly begged for direction and strength, but so far we are still feeling a disconnect. We are together and separately questioning so many things and will admit that we don't understand some of the path that we are on. We are hurting....and it seems like at many times....alone. God is showing us something, we just haven't had his vision revealed to us or we haven't stepped out in faith enough to understand it yet.
I have found myself many times lately, especially in the past week, wanting to tell God that it isn't worth it. Disappointments hurt. There are LOTS of them right now. "Closet" cleaning is HARD when you truly go in to every nook, cranny, and recessed area. I need SOLID ground, but I'm not on it right now and that's ok.
Not being on solid ground is ok. Searching is ok. Needing answers and direction is ok. I've been fighting against that over this last week. I've almost let it destroy me. ALMOST is the key word. Then today, that PEACE came. I still don't have answers and I still don't know how to handle so many situations that we are facing. Some situations I know without a doubt I can not handle on my own. Perhaps, He needs me here in this unsettled, brokenness so I can really see Him work miracles. Maybe Kevin and I need to be so broken together, so that we have no one else to cling to except for God and each other.
I was baking bread this afternoon and I began to feel that God was giving me a lesson in that process. I added all the ingredients to the bread maker and as it began to knead I began to have a "breakdown" moment. Tears wouldn't stop flowing. I felt like that dough. All of those ingredients got dropped in from every direction and were immediately being tossed about. Within a few minutes, the paddle was whipping back and forth and literally forcibly tossing it back and forth. THAT is exactly how I feel in life RIGHT at this moment. Things coming from every direction and being tossed back and forth and beat to pieces.
However, some thing amazing began to happen a few minutes later. That dough was allowed to rest. Then it began to rise and then it was baked to a beautiful golden brown and the aroma just made your mouth water. God hinted to my spirit that my day is coming. My body, mind, and heart are going to be able to rest in Him and He will cause me to "rise" up and become something beautiful inside and out. Right now, I'm just still being held in the kneading stage.
I'm also reading an amazing book by Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries called "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". I normally read a 350 page book in about 2 hours, but this book has grabbed me so deeply that I keep reading and re-reading chapters over and over. Every time I read it, it's like God is putting another band aid on my heart or caulking up another leaky place. I've ended up highlighting more than half of the book and as my "peace" is settling back in, I know God is going to use it to really change my life in an amazing way.
Just today I read a section that really spoke to me and has encouraged me to hang on during this difficult time of "growing and changing". My blog title, which you can read about why I chose it by going back to my 1st couple of posts, uses the word refined. That word has always been "special" and important to me. I remembered reading about God refining our impurities several years ago and it changed my life. However, in my disorganization I "lost" where I had read that very specific description from a devotional. It just so happens that Lysa quotes it in her book and I don't find that coincidental. I find it GOD speaking directly to my troubled heart.
"Without this heating and melting, there could be no purifying. As the impurities are skimmed off the top, the reflection of the worker appears in the smooth, pure surface. As we are purified by God, his reflection in our lives will become more and more clear to those around us." That's it! That is the exact "quote" I had been searching for a very long time. PERFECT timing.
It just means that my faith isn't gone. I'm not giving up on God and He isn't giving up on me. I'm just deep down in the heating and melting stage. It's not pleasant and my flesh screams to be taken off the fire, but He isn't ready because I'm not ready. He's letting the impurities rise up so He can remove them and so I can reflect Him.
Oh, and by the way....I can barely keep my eyes open and it's only 8:30 PM. Yes, that rest in Him is finally coming and I've never been so more ready to have it. The problems and worries aren't magically going to disappear, but HE is about to let me REST in HIM. I'm picturing this most amazing hug full of comfort and peace with His arms wrapped around me.