There are times in life when the ground beneath your feet doesn’t feel solid, fixed, or secure. It’s a scary feeling. It’s as if the rug’s been pulled out from under you and you’re left to drift through life, desperately seeking a footing.
Hi. My name is Michele and I’m a perfectionist. I tend to beat myself up over the slightest “misstep” and wrongly executed “shoulds” (the “shoulds” I place on myself, mostly). I feel that my lack of perfection in all areas of my life shines a poor light on who God is; making me a “bad” Christian, and, therefore, causes me to turn my head in shame.
I make too much of myself and the role I play.
We’ve all been there. Some of us are there now. We approach God and hear nothing. His overwhelming presence isn’t like it once was and we wonder why, why does He feel so distant?
Well, I’m here to tell you: I don’t know why, exactly. But, after being through times of silence and distance from Him (even if they’re just perceived) I’ve learned a few possibilities.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (NASB)
His love is everlasting. It doesn’t change, ever. How He feels about me is the same today as it was yesterday and won’t change tomorrow. Because of the everlastingness of His love, he draws me into Himself with His lovingkindness. He loves me enough to give me the greatest thing in the entire universe – Himself.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I’m revering the One that will bring me through. (Psalm 23:2,4)
Sleep is a gift.
I never realized how much so until I couldn’t get it. It’s not that I didn’t want to sleep (I don’t know many adults that don’t want to sleep!), or that my body wasn’t craving it, it just wouldn’t come.
It was elusive.
Though sleep was hiding from me, I was still dreaming, dreaming of those lovely moments when I can feel myself drifting away – my body getting heavier and heavier and my bed getting comfier and comfier. Musing over the moment when I can feel myself sinking in, my bed welcoming the weight of my body and wrapping me in its warm embrace. (Okay, now I’m just making myself tired.)
I had a few of those moments, but they each ended with a jolt of consciousness and sleep hiding in the shadows. (I don’t find those moments as lovely.)
I’m doing it again.
When it starts, I don’t even realize it.
My heart feels like an ocean wave pulling away from shore. It’s longing for the furthest sand but the tide is pulling, keeping it from reaching its desire. I want to be vulnerable, to share my heart deeply, but I get caught in the current.
I’ve been holding back.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
When your focus is on one thing it’s natural for everything else to become a blur. Even though you see what’s around it, they’re not clear; for it’s only possible to focus on one thing at a time. Have you ever tried to focus your eyes on multiple things at once? I have. It makes my brain hurt.
It’s hard to believe that this week marks six months since theEvenif was born.
My, how time flies.
I’ve learned a lot in the process and have grown in ways I never thought possible; as a writer and a child of God. I thought it’d be fun to take a quick peak back at some of your favorite posts (according to the site stats) and some of the ones that really pulled at my heart.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Sometimes this is easier said than done; sometimes this looks differently than expected. But, when done, it makes all the difference.
For instance, two weeks ago I had one of my wisdom teeth extracted. (I don’t recommend it.) I prepared myself by loading up on lots of worship music and prayer (“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). On the day of the procedure my preparations had taken enough root that, though I was anxious, my mind was flooded with worship and prayer. I literally felt like I drifted through the day; like I was being carried. With each tug and pull the dentist made on my tooth, I let my heart sing truth. When my jaw grew weary from holding it open, I thanked the LORD for the strength He provided. When the tooth didn’t “roll out” like the doctor thought it would and ended up having to get it surgically removed and get two stitches, I let the songs of praise be louder in my mind, knowing that God was in control (and I prayed that He would just push the tooth out of my head).
Later in the day when the anesthesia wore off and the pain started creeping in, I took the time to rest and focus on God’s goodness instead of the throbs, thanking Him for all He is (“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Between the ice packs and worship music I was able to handle the pain without medication – I kept my focus on Him and my mind and body was healthier for it. (Not to say that it would have been wrong to take medication. I just prefer not to if I don’t have to! I’ve found my body heals faster without it – depending on the circumstance, of course.)