Ok..so I said I was going to blog everyday and then I missed yesterday… BUT the Nyquil made me do it, okay? I feel like I have already experienced enough sickness this season but apparently the King of Colds has targeted Cohen and I once again. It was bad enough that he was still up at 10p and we ended up going to the store around that time for DRUGS… when you have a snotty toddler out at 10p, people look at you like you’re the worst parent ever. I dare them to say anything to me, I thought as the clerk gave Cohen a concerned glance. It was to that point. My mood has improved considerably this morning thanks to the decongestants and a semi-sound night of sleep. I am one of those moms that avoids using antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs, but sometimes you get so desperate you think: either I get some chemicals in my body that allow me to breathe or I might chop my own head off. Thats the time to let go of your ideals.
(I started a post yesterday that I intended to finish and post last night before the Nyquil set it. I will get it up later today and then maybe that will get me off of the hook for breaking my resolution so early)
On my way to work yesterday morning, I was mulling over (read: I was talking to myself and God out loud in my car) a decision I have been trying to make for the last few days. Have you ever had a feeling that a seemingly simple decision somehow is fraught with importance? Even though it seems obvious, you sense that how you handle the situation has the potential to shift larger situations in your life? I think I should probably have that sensation more often than I do because sometimes I make decisions quickly and decisively on my own, without consulting some of the people I trust most.
I had already had four conversations in those few days of trying to come to a conclusion. A conversation with person #1, Pastor Jason:
(Jason and his wife Heidi with their daughts, Kami, Taylor, & Aly)
originally brought the decision up… something he said stuck in my mind and left me wondering what my role in the outcome should be. I thought about it for a few days and then I called Aunt Deb:
(Aunt Deb and Uncle Mike in the Dominican Republic)
and she affirmed my struggle and encouraged me to call person #3, Al Andrews:
(picture from his website Porters Call)
Al is a counselor in Nashville that I came to know when Beth signed with Sparrow Records some years ago. Although I don’t get to go and sit on his couch very often, he’s been a constant and reliable counselor in my life since we met. So I spoke with Al and, as always, he gave me some really good things to consider and his own opinion on the matter. I was driving in the car the next day on my way to work mulling over the options Al had helped me to identify and I decided to call person #4, Sarah:
(Sarah with her husband, John, and their first daughter, Hannah)
Sarah became a dear friend of mine in the couple of years right after college. How we met is kind of a funny store, actually. I had gone on a few dates with a guy I met the last quarter of college in an elective religion class. It was very casual but he invited me to go to a women’s retreat his church was putting on so that I could meet some more post-college ladies in the area. When the time for introductions came, Sarah very bluntly said, “so when LeMaster breaks up with you, are you going to keep coming or are you just here for him?” I was stunned and stammered over my answer. Later, I learned that the last person he had broken up with was her and the interaction made more sense. But even with the awkwardness of our first meeting, I sensed a kindredness with Sarah. LeMaster did break up with me and I did keep going to the 20-something gathering and we ended up in a small group together. Sarah became more than a friend- she became a confidant. I know her to be a woman a prayer and when I need to be prayed for or ask someone for advice, she’s one of my first calls. Partly, because she is so blunt and honest. I know she won’t hold back from telling the truth or side with me in sin even when she understands where it comes from. So, I called her. She asked me very direct questions about my motivations, encouraged me to write down the options and pray over them, and then she prayed for me over the phone. I took her advice.
So the next morning I am driving to work, still feeling unsure of my next move. I decided to make my 5th call, Pastor Ricks:
(Pastor Ricks and Sister Sheila)
Just as I know all of the other sources of wisdom will want to talk the whole thing through, I know Pastor Ricks’ word will be swift and short. I checked the clock: I had 10 minutes. He picked up the phone and although he was preparing for a funeral, he made time for me. I shared with him my dilemma and he listened quietly and then spoke words that resonated deep in my spirit:
“This is not your battle to fight. You don’t need to do anything. The Lord knows all of this, and you need only be still.”
Immediately I knew that all of my wrestling was meant to come to this point… the point where I laid the situation at the alter and walked away… the point where the light bulb flashed and I could see that the Lord is carrying the burden and that to insert myself into the equation would be to not trust Him.
I don’t know about the rest of you… and maybe its a first child thing… or a bossy thing.. or an independent thing (maybe all of those?) but sometimes I feel responsible for things that are not responsibility… sometimes I take on all sorts concerns and start thinking its up to me to make sure that things work out right. Its really pride, isn’t it? I feel like most of my struggles come down to pride. Most of my struggles come down to me thinking that God needs me to handle the situation for Him.
So I hopped out of my car, with a skip in my step and a lightness in my heart.
Later as I reflected on the way in which God had lightened my load, these verses came to mind… I hope they bless you today..
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
–Exodus 14:13-14 (read whole story here)
“Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fail”
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
–1 Peter 5:5b-7 the whole chapter is amazing!