My heart is heavy.
Actually it's broken and the air has been kicked out of my gut.
Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you.
People have a way of walking over you.
Situations can rattle you to the very core of your being.
I feel that way right now over some situations in my life.
My heart hurts. My emotions are raw.
Yet, in the midst of the brokenness, I feel God drawing me near. Reminding me He is close and more than capable.
My sister at heart reminds me to claim the promise of Exodus 14:14 as my own. "The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still." I'm claiming that every minute at times.
Yesterday, in a very broken state of mind, the last place I wanted to go was church.( Just being honest. I talk often about the need for being transparent.) I was not in the frame of mind for going. My heart had been demolished it felt like (multiple situations at once---don't mean to be vague, but somethings just aren't meant to be aired publicly). I was too angry, too tired, and listening too much to the lies of Satan (he DOES attack at the weakest moments!). I have a weakness of letting a hard situation cause me to spiral out of control and feel like a failure in every aspect of my life---even those completely unrelated.
However, twenty minutes before time to leave, I jumped out of bed and dashed around to get ready to go. Only out of obedience. Only because I knew it was the right thing to do. My heart was only partly in it. Yet, I asked God over and over on the way to soften my heart, take my act of obedience and turn it in to the love and desire that usually comes with attending church. In other words, bring me to you.
It didn't happen in the beginning. The first parts of worship were just words. I "felt" like everyone could see this target on me that said "She doesn't belong" or "she's a fake". I battled the lies of Satan constantly.
The message began and I was resistant at first. I was listening and very actively taking notes. Academically, so to speak but not reaching my heart. I kept praying again and again for the wall to be knocked down and the bridge to be rebuilt.
It did. The message reached my heart and it was a good one. Am I enough? Is Christ enough when everything else is taken away? When family situations hurt. Am I enough? When parenting is harder than you ever dreamed, am I enough? When....everything is stripped away...am I enough? Do you chose to rebuke being a fan and accept being a follower. Even through hard things?
Those are the exact questions I was needing to be asked.
It broke the wall.
By the time, the ending worship came around, the real me was back.
My heart was full again and I could feel God taking those broken places and repairing them. Restoring them. Giving me hope.
Life hit full force again back out the doors in the real world.
I'm not going to lie. I had a HARD day that left me with more tears than I've had in a very long time. When my husband "forced" me to deal with some of the issues and not let me run away from them, I wasn't prepared for all of the emotions that came rolling out. I'm a stuffer. I'm an overthinker. I'm extremely tenderhearted. When the damn breaks, it isn't pretty. I was done for and the brokenness overtook. I was even so emotionally and physically exhausted that later in the evening I fell flat on my face from being weak and am sporting a mild black eye today. Lovely! :)
God met me there. My husband was a vessel that he used in more powerful ways than he has ever been in hard times. He kept whispering the truth to me, asking me to remember what was important and matters most, and words that HAD to have come directly from the Holy Spirit. My sister-at-heart has been priceless. His word has spoken volumes. It truly is alive. I've played the same songs from worship over and over CONSTANTLY today to drown out the negativity as soon as I felt my emotions overtaking in a downward way.... (Enough---Chris Tomlin, None but Jesus---Hillsong) and a new favorite that I have been playing countless times Sovereign by Chris Tomlin. When I felt myself slipping, I poured myself into HIM....
It hasn't been a perfect day. Far from it. Yet, I've found God as soon as I've reached out. I may have had to reach out over and over and over again, but He's been there. I will still be continuing to fight the battle because I refuse to allow Satan any victory.
My joy is still here. My focus and priorities aren't changed. I'm still hungry for God in a way that I've never been.
I know....I know without a doubt...that we are truly in a spiritual warfare battle because the enemy knows that if he breaks me, God can't use me. The enemy knows that God is revealing His purpose to us and that if he can distract me and crush me that I won't say "yes" to God's calling. We know the answer we are going to give when we find enough faith to give it.
The battle is hard. The battle hurts. The battle doesn't end with one victory or defeat---it's going to continue.
But I know the victor...
I know who provides victory.
I know that He uses the broken. I know that in our weaknesses is when He is made the strongest. I know who can pick me up off a floor when there are no more tears left.
I know as much as it hurts to be going through a valley....
THIS is where He will show me his victorious hand. THIS is where I see Him redeem, restore, and fill in every gap, and repair the broken place.
I just have to hold onto it!
.....and holding on I am!