Exhausted Temporarily

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I have a terrible habit of comparing my beginning to other’s years-long journeys.  The social media posts out there drip with humble brags and accomplishments.  In my early twenties, many of my peers had finished college and entered the workforce, I was right in the middle of enduring trauma.  My confidence and motivation were squashed by my circumstances.

As life progressed, I got married, and we had a child.  Also, I have been a stay at home mom for the last 12 years.  Even though I was productive in raising a child and running a household, I felt low because I did not make any money or feel I was in the right place in my life.  My past tormented me, and my self-worth was still low.

Yesterday, my friend sent me the above-referenced meme.  Even though she sent it to me to show how it encapsulated her life, I felt it represented my life as well.

Honestly, I am exhausted.  Years of anxiety and fear have drained my mind and body. But I have worked on restoring my nervous system and quelling the anxiety and fear through therapy and self-reflection.   I have learned I cannot expect to change overnight when I have endured years of turmoil.  Every so often, I see a reminder that success can happen later on in one’s life.

Do not let a bad day, week, or even year persuade you that your breakthrough will never come!

Lesson Learned: Your timeline does not need to reflect the successful person next to you.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me from the trauma I have endured in life.  Remind me of your plan and purpose for my life.  Expose the lies from the enemy and show me the resources that will help me become committed and prosperous.  Forgive me for not trusting in you, Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

 

 

 

Redemption in a Starbucks Drive-Thru

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it; it is sin for them.” James 4:17

Sin comes in many forms.  We sin against others, ourselves, and God.  Jesus came to die on the cross for the reconciliation of our sins.  Making our wrongs right, is necessary, but pride and denial get in the way.

One rainy evening, my husband, newborn baby and I drove to the Starbucks drive-thru.  We were suffering from sleep-deprivation and wanted something warm and with caffeine. As we turned into the driveway, another car cut us off to go into the Starbucks drive-thru.  We were mad, but there was nothing we could do about it.

We gave our order and went up to the window to pay.  The barista said, “there is no charge. The customer before you paid for your drinks and said he was sorry for cutting you off.” My mouth dropped.  I couldn’t believe that it happened. Honestly, that cup of hot chocolate was the best one I had ever had. But that man did what we should all do if we sin/wrong someone, we make it right as soon as possible.  

Many times we are faced with disagreements with people or our sin, and we do nothing about it to make the wrongs right.  Making wrongs right doesn’t mean we have to apologize for things we didn’t do, but the act of forgiveness frees us from more profound trauma.  If we did the wrong, we need to accept responsibility and seek forgiveness from who we wronged. Do not let sin take a foothold in our life.

Lesson Learned: When you wrong someone, take responsibility and reconcile the best you can.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for forgiveness of sin I have committed.  If there is someone I need to reconcile with, give me the right words to say and courage to make amends.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross to cleanse me from sin. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Never be in a Relationship that You Cannot Talk About

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

When I was in my early 20’s, I entered into a relationship that was toxic and unrighteous. He paid attention to me in a way no one had. I entered into the relationship because I did not see myself as able to be loved or valued. Every Sunday, I would go to church, torn by conviction and guilt. Yet the next day, I was emailing and talking to him. This carried on for many months. Then one Sunday, it all changed.

I was hanging out with a friend one Sunday after church. I was suffering from this relationship emotionally and physically. It was taking a toll on me. She noticed that I was distraught. The Holy Spirit prompted her to keep pursuing a conversation with me about it.

I drew in a big breath and confessed to what I was doing it. I bawled my eyes out, condemning myself and asking why would I let this happen. She listen to me and said the relationship ends today. We prayed and she would hold me accountable.

God gave me the strength to stop and end it. I told him to never contact me again and he actually did. He had too much to lose, so I think that is why he did. I spent the next 5 years of my life afterward, still living in guilt and condemnation. I wanted to be free and receive my forgiveness wholeheartedly. But I felt if I did, I would be condoning it. I felt I didn’t deserve to be happy.

The enemy still uses our past to slap us in the face and remind us how much we have sinned. I know the Lord forgave me the first time I asked and each time after that. But I just felt this torment, that I still deserved punishment. When I met my future husband, I knew I was going to marry him. I told him what I did because I felt I had to. He was so loving and understanding about it. God used him to show me what a true and pure love should be like.

This time in my life reminds me to continually pray for protection against temptation. This situation has given me mercy and grace over those who have made serious mistakes. I can see past the initial sin and look deeper to why they may have done something bad.

I felt genuine remorse and wish I could go back in time and stop it from happening. But I cannot. I am blessed by His love that He forgave me and restored my heart. If you find that you are in a situation that is causing you to sin, stop and get help. Live a life of purity and truth.  On this Valentine’s Day remember that you are valuable and lovable.

Lesson Learned: God wants us to not be a slave to our sinful nature. He wants us to be victorious and been in healthy, stable relationships.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for carrying me out of mistakes I have made. Thank you for giving me the strength to end mistakes before more damage is done. Please guard my eyes from being deceived by the enemy. Show me my worth and value. Give me discernment and conviction when I am doing sinful things. Thank you for restoring those deep hurts and filling them with your love. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Guarded by God

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11

 

Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do?  There have been countless times, when things go badly, I grudgingly ask, “why?!”  God has good reason to allow things to happen.  One Sunday Morning, I was thankful for something going wrong.

 

Every Sunday, before church, I go grocery shopping at two stores.  One Sunday morning, I put cash, allotted from my budget, in my pocket.  Usually, it goes straight in to my wallet, but I thought my pocket was deep enough not to worry.  Also, I just had a car accident, where someone hit me from behind and I wasn’t feeling so great. (It turns out I sustained a concussion from the accident, so I definitely wasn’t well.)

 

At the first store, I did my grocery shopping.  When it was time to pay,  I reached into my pocket and my $100 bill was not there!  Reluctantly, I paid on a credit card.  However, I  decided to go home to look for that $100 bill instead of going to the second store.

 

By the grace of God, I found the $100 bill on the floor.  I put away the groceries and went back out to the second grocery store with that cash secured in my wallet.  I did my shopping and asked for help out, since I was starting to be in some pain.

 

One of the clerks at the store went out to the car with me.  As we exited the store, one of his co-workers was coming back from her meal break.  He said, “you will not believe what happened when you were out on break.  I will catch you up when i come back inside.”  Anyone would have their curiosity piqued by that comment, so  I asked him.

 

He told me something sad happened.  He began to tell me about an elderly customer that always comes into their store.  I interrupted him and said, “does he wear glasses and looks homeless?”  He said, “yes, but he isn’t homeless.  He just died in our parking lot about 30 minutes ago.”  He started to describe what happened.  Thankfully, he spared me most of the medical details.  I told him to take it easy because he witnessed something quite traumatic.  After he put the groceries away, he went back into the store.   I got into the car and began to cry.  

 

I was sad because he died so suddenly and traumatic.  But I heard the Lord say, “this is why I let you temporarily lose that $100 bill.” If I didn’t lose that money and went grocery shopping at this second store, I would have seen the whole thing unfold.   I am in NO way minimizing his death.  But the Lord knows us so well.  If I witnessed this man die, I would have been anxious for weeks, maybe months.

 

This event happened a week after September 11th.  I have read lots of stories where people who worked in the Twin Towers in New York, who were late or didn’t plan to work that day.  Whether it was because they hit traffic, their child got sick, or they had to go to the dentist because of a toothache, these things saved them from death or injury.  I know realize that even though things don’t go according to my  plan, God still has the best plan for me.

 

Lesson Learned: Nuisances can still be a blessing in disguise or a lesson that needs to be learned.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive for wanting life to be easy and perfect all the time.  Thank you for days when they go well and even when days do not.  May I see that your plan is always better than my plan.  I pray for a hedge of protection and your full armor everyday.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”