So, I spent a good deal of last night working out why I was so upset and what God is really wanting to do work out in me through Leilee's medical issues, my little sister, the hurting families and the lost loved ones. I didn't really figure anything out and just spent most of today feeling sleep deprived and a little foggy. On my way to work this morning I did hear a great sermon on 88.1. Pastor So-and-So was talking about how we should examine ourselves for something that we see is holding us back. He gave the idea of focusing on one thing we truly feel God would want us to work on - for example, wanting to please people. He said to write down the negative thought on a card and then make a stop sign. On the back, he said to write a verse from the Bible that would help encourage us in changing that specific behavior.
For a couple months during my pregnancy with Leilee, I went through some severe anxiety... a couple times I came the closest to a panic attack I think I have ever been. Jason actually drove home from work one night because I called in such a panic. I had my mom and my sister-in-law staying nights with me because I was too afraid. Of what, I couldn't say. I felt so out of control. Despite my pretense of insanity (hah), I am actually a very level-headed and reserved person (no, really!!), so when I began feeling such awful, uncontrollable fear, it really had me worried. Jason and I went up for prayer, and I began scouring the Bible for verses that claimed God's power over fear and doubt. It took me a while before I was brave enough to share my episodes with others... even now I have times where my mind begins racing and I have to stop it all and pray and replay those verses in my mind. Pregnancy can screw you up - but the enemy looks for those weak spots in our armor and attacks every chance he gets. I am so thankful that I serve a God who wins!! So I know God wants me to have more faith and trust in Him.
The sermon encouraged me in regards to becoming intentional about growing in my walk with God. It is really easy to be a Sunday Christian. It's easy to go to church and teach a group once a week and semi-participate in Bible study. It is HARD to be intentional and start a habit of spending time with God every day and looking to His Word and really seriously work on changing. I am so far from where I know God wants me to be. It's easy to look at someone else and think. 'Well, I'm better than them, so I'm okay.' Acckk! God doesn't grade us on a curve!! How dare we act like He does?
The book we are reading in Bible Study right now is from the Women of Faith series titled, A Life of Worship. It is gently challenging us (in that sweet, sappy way that women's bible study books do) to step out and be ready for God's calling in our lives. So many times we hold back, waiting for a time that we think is right. If we wait too long, God will use someone else. Ouch. I hope I'm not doing that. Confession time... here's how I sucked last week - I listen to 106.5 also, and every morning they talk about the "drive through difference". Well, I kind of half listen because we don't have drive throughs in Forks - okay, except for espresso stands. The concept of the drive through difference is to pay for the person behind you. At our espresso stands, that wouldn't really work because they haven't ordered yet. Anyway... it was Saturday, after school, I was on my way home and decided to go through Starbucks ( I know... I'm a local coffee brewer traitor) for a green tea frappuccino ( I hate how I can't say blended when ordering without causing a huge fuss). There was a maroon SUV behind me... nice one I think. I felt that little urge to pay for their coffee... and instead of just doing it (I mean, it was raining, we're on a budget, I shouldn't have even been buying me coffee... on and on....) I didn't. I felt SO awful immediately after I took my card back. I heard that small voice and I rationalized my way out of it. I missed that blessing. I purposely chose not to do something that could have made that person's day. So - I'm going to Bible study and listening to Christian radio and not learning a dang thing, obviously.
That leads me to the issue at the opposite end of the spectrum... I hold back, others shoot forward, past sense and reason and way beyond God's voice. Mind you, I'm Protestant, Evangelical, Assemblies of God even... we can be a little crazy.
Flashing back to my anxiety... I was just getting to a point where I was feeling stable (but now post-partum) and after church one of the sweetest, most well-intentioned women comes up to me with this look of urgency. Her words were, "I just feel God is putting it on my heart to tell you something. I can see your home and your family and God wants you to be cautious. He wants you to know that He loves you and your family." Maybe to someone who wasn't dancing with crazy, this would sound okay. But it seemed to me that she said it in this way, with this look on her face, that made my insides tremble with that fear again. She wasn't encouraging me; she was warning me. Like God wasn't in control, but He wanted to warn me that something bad was going to happen. So, any halfway sensible person would probably deduce that my heart dropped to the floor and I began internally screaming to jump out of my skin and throw myself down at the altar. So instead I smiled and said, 'Thank you,' and as soon as we got to the car, I burst into tears. Jason was my pillar of strength at that point. He reassured me that any word from God is only used for good - never to bring a spirit of fear. My mom said I should have responded with a good old, 'Get behind me, Satan.' That would have been interesting!!
While I'm not sure where I am heading with all of this, I do feel like God wants me to become more intentional in my walk with Him. He wants me to lay all my fears and worries, all my sins and regrets, all my hopes and dreams at His feet, everyday. If I have any intentions of becoming a woman of faith who is strong enough to get through all her junk, I'm going to have to!!