Saturday, as I prayed about what God wanted me to share in my next blog I realized I had not spent any time reading the Bible that day and had not given God an invitation to speak to me about it. I woke early and immediately began the task of purging our school room of games, puzzles, manipulatives and curriculum that my children had outgrown combined with thirteen years of Riley’s school work which I had kept on file. Okay, that was putting a spin on the situation. Thirteen years of papers were piled in the bottom of the closet. I did not mean to keep all her work, it was just that by the beginning of her second grade I was pregnant, sick from pregnancy, recovering from pregnancy and then began the entire pregnancy thing over again. Add in moving a couple of times plus extreme stress brought on by an unstable neighbor which lead to another move for our family… followed by my son A.J.’s severe traumatic brain injury and therapy… all while teaching Riley, A.J. and Colson at home and well, there you have it…a closet floor ‘file-pile’ of school work.
Before bed that night I sat down with a little bit of chocolate and worked through my Bible study allowing God to impress upon my heart scriptures and ideas to encourage women struggling through tough hard-hitting seasons.
My heart goes out to women feeling hopeless while living through difficult circumstances. Some sweet women may wonder if there is something painfully wrong with them. They may desire to figure out what so they can change it, seek healing for it, or attempt to make their circumstances better. The difficulty could include a spouse, loved one, neighbor, co-worker or boss. Do you feel hopeless? This blog sight is really for you. There is always hope. No one can steal hope from you because your hope is in God and no one can take Him away from you. Likewise no one can take your soul from you for it belongs to God alone once you accept His Son as your Savior. So grab on to hope…it is yours! Take your difficult situations and shine God’s word on it knowing He will use it for purpose if you allow Him to do so. Do you find yourself constantly thinking, “There is nothing normal or healthy about this circumstance or relationship. Is it me, is it them, or is it both of us?” God knows. Inquire.
God’s word, Bible study, and prayer always see me through. Make no mistake; Satan wants to steal my testimony, my marriage, my children, my sanity and my daily walk with the Lord. This means that I must invite God into all areas of my heart, soul, mind and strength and seek protection over those I love. I have never had a day in my existence when I spent time with the Lord that I thought, “That was time wasted.” Never! I love Him more every single time. More and more and more.
I prayed over scriptures I read Saturday night and asked God for confirmation that this was indeed His idea and not mine.
The next morning at church during praise and worship a member of the worship team read scripture from 1 Samuel 30 of the Amalekites taking captive women, sons and daughters, both young and old who were the family members of David and his men. David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” the LORD answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
Confirmation. I knew the Lord wanted me to share about one of my battles during which I inquired of the Lord. A deeply personal battle which God has not given me liberty regarding details being revealed at this time. In my mind I was thinking, “No way. Really? Must I?” I can be such a whiner. I need to reframe it as, “May I?”
My testimony revolves around prayer. I cannot pray better than anyone else. I do not pray more than most and God does not listen to my prayers above anyone else’s prayers. I just simply pray and my favorite way to pray is recalling to God His own words. I have fun submitting to Him any and all precedence’s I can find that could be applied to my need, my thankful heart, or my victory. In this way the burden of effective prayer does not depend on my ability, or lack thereof, to communicate with God. It rests on His word and Him alone. The best part is that God loves to answer me, thrill me, grow me and pull me closer to His heart. He will do the same for you although not necessarily in the same way. Just as parents respond to their children who have different personalities, different love languages and different needs; God responds to us individually.
This particular ‘battle’ conversation with God was a few years ago, around the midnight hour after my children were fast asleep and my husband was working, covering for another manager, on the late shift at work. I had been fighting a deep spiritual battle for years which goes back to Satan trying to kill, steal and destroy everything dear to me. The fight that day had taken every ounce of my strength and I was humbly lying sprawled out on my floor face down in reverence, praying and crying so hard…so long. I could not stop thinking about this battle, praying over this situation, begging for God’s help because years of prayer were not helping the problem. Instead it kept growing worse. I told God I trusted Him and wanted to obey Him more than anything but for the second time in a couple of months I thought I would have to call an ambulance to come and get me because I just could not come out of this despair and stop my crying. I told God that I could not do this anymore. I was tired of being the only person fighting for this. I was the only one who cared about a victory; besides God himself. I told God that it was over. I was finished fighting for something I thought God had given me. I felt the need to remind Him that I was in this exact predicament out of obedience to Him. I told God that I knew He could see the entire plan and the outcome, but I could not and I was not taking another step in that direction unless He clearly showed me that I must. As in tomorrow…or I am finished. This praying, crying and wrestling with God lasted over an hour before I finally sang Him a song. I could barely get the words out but I had to refocus my problem through His viewpoint and not my own. I sobbed as I sang Him a love song, You Are My All in All, and allowed Him to calm my weary heart and tend to my raw nerves. He is so good at this. He always picks me up, puts me back together, dusts me off, and sends me on my way. God keeps me from staying down when I fall over…its like being a Weeble Wobble.
I went in the bathroom to wash my face and found that I had once again cried so hard that I broke a blood vessel in my eye. Half of my eye ball was shrouded in fresh blood.
The next morning I woke up mindful of my conversation with God hours earlier when I told Him I was finished fighting this battle unless He showed me otherwise. I rolled over, picked up and opened a devotional book I had just begun the day before.
Next week I will share the devotion I read that morning and you can decide if God answered me.
“Prayer is not preparation for the work; prayer is the work.”