Our small group from church recently started a new book study, Be Hopeful by Warren Wiersbe. We have only gotten through the first two chapters so far but it is speaking to me in so many ways. The whole book is centered around 1 Peter and what his letters were about and why they were written. The hope is that you are able to see how God is using you during your suffering and the hope that He has you there for a purpose.....like I said, speaking to me.
The past two years have been particularly difficult on our family. I am normally one to shrug to the world and say, "It's ok, we'll make it through." or " It's just life right? I'm ok, don't worry." while inside I am crying and screaming, " I am not OK! Someone please see right through my smile and pleasantness and just take over! I am drowning and too proud to ask for help or even prayer."
Because, you know, I am a first born perfectionist....Irish and German stubbornness runs deep and the pride of asking for help admits weakness and then I have to admit to myself that I am truly, in fact, struggling. I HATE HATE HATE that! I am better at denying my struggles and smiling because if I admit to having them, then I panic and get overwhelmed and begin to fall apart. I put the cart before the horse and am doomed to failure before I start.....are you seeing a pattern?? I,......I,.....I....there are too many "I's" in this paragraph.
One thing we talked about yesterday is admitting your sufferings to yourself and to others. It is not healthy nor is it wise to deny them; especially to yourself. Denial does not allow for God's full growth in you. If you deny that you are struggling, you are not admitting that you need help beyond yourself. You are not opening yourself up to allow others to serve you, or to allow God to speak to your soul through your trials and the kindness awarded by others.
I am often at fault for this. I think, "Well, I am doing the single parent thing this week, there is no one else but me. I don't want to call for help from others (you know, the ones that offer help and really mean it) because I don't want to burden them; they are already maxed out in their own lives." And then I do the worst thing possible. Instead of turning from my friends and turning to God...the one I should go to first off, I turn back to myself and try to solve the world's problems on my own.
In the above scenario, I have just pushed God and my friends away. My friends either think I am doing just fine and then are stunned to hear that things have been a wreck; or they are turned off by knowing full well that I am struggling and too proud to ask for help. It's a mess!
Lately I have not done a good job of asking for help and crying out to my God for his help and comfort. I have instead "muddled through" the crisis, asking others to pray but not stopping to pray myself like I should. I blame severe fatigue, being overwhelmed, trying to just make it through the moments. I am ashamed of this and realized yesterday that I have not given God my sufferings.
How do I expect Him to lead me to my final lesson in all of this if I cannot give it completely over to Him to begin with? I feel like I did not learn a single thing from Braedon being in the hospital in May. I mean, I did, and I will never forget what God has done in our lives since that moment...but somehow life gets to be too much about the world and not enough about Him and you begin to forget to give Him the time he deserves. You lose sight of what you learned and swore to never take for granted (I do believe that is why God asks us not to swear....it's always a lie, we never stick to our promise).
I believe that is why God allows us to experience sufferings and trials a few times in different ways; until we get it permanently. I know I "get it", I just don't know what to do with "it" or how to allow it to change my life. I am still not sure how I am supposed to grow out of all this.
I have found myself the last 3 weeks kind of going on a backwards slope in this area. Since we closed on our house, my mom had a stroke, I got a concussion which has been and is still very difficult to heal from, Caileigh was hospitalized with Viral Meningitis, Braedon got a concussion and a puncture wound on his head, Soapy and I got food poisoning, Braedon had what I fear my have been his first real full circle GI episode since June....and now I am starting a new business venture that is not starting up in the most promising way. I am swamped with mental overload. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions and want to just sit and have a really good cry. I told my sister yesterday via facebook that I just don't know how much more my heart can take of this no beach thing. When I was stressed or overwhelmed, that's where I went; the beach. I would sit and think and pray, cry, go for a walk...it always cleared my head. I need to clear my head for a bit, gain some perspective and listen for God's direction.
I feel like there is too much noise, too much chaos here in town to hear anything. I am trying to grow through my sufferings but I feel more or less like I am passing from one to another without learning anything from the previous. Tonight I am praying for some help, some guidance, some silence so I can hear God speak and grow through my sufferings.