Days like Saturday I’d rather not repeat. Days when I wake up and plant my foot on the floor next to my bed expecting the cloud from the night before to be gone; lifted by an adequate night’s rest. But three steps to the door, I realize – it isn’t. The dense cloud of sorrow, frustration, and limitation-linger.
The imposing heaviness, when you awaken with it . . . actually seems to increase due to the fact that it is STILL there!
Why can’t I just turn off my emotions?!!
I’m facing another loss.
[You don’t like loss either?]
Time and again we suffer it.
Loss of someTHING, or worse, SOMEONE. And following any loss there comes the processing of emotions . . . sorrow, anger, disbelief.
In June, I thought I had reached some imagined limit to loss – like God wouldn’t have anything more to ask me to give up – at least for now – after we sold our farm, emptied our nest, and closed my business, I lost a tooth [hey, it was my first surgery!], and . . . the shock of losing my Dad, then a year later, in August – we lost Theodore.
And that happened on the heels of finding out we were going to have to move.
It was like a punch in the gut.
In my mind, in this house, I was planted.
We’d been mapping out plans for an addition in the future, building a garden shed, planting grass and perennials. I’d been dreaming of events with family and friends. I even had a secret dream of building a little writing cabin below the hill to offer for retreats . . .
I am not at liberty to share the details of why or how this happened, but I will tell you that it is totally out of my personal control-I am not a factor in the change of circumstances, but more a passenger on this train.
But I want to talk about how I’ve had to fight bitterness that threatens to lodge in my soul over this loss because I live here in the midst of it, finding my ‘former dream-mode mindset’ to be an enemy of my emotions.
And how I’m winning this battle-with the exception of yesterday morning- because God is my Father.
[The strategy that has worked in the past when I’ve been tempted to feel sorry for myself, the strategy of considering and praying for families in Kenya who are forced to live in slums, or those in China that have to live confined with several other families in tiny apartments helped a little, but it hasn’t given me total freedom from my pain.]
Because somehow, for some reason I discovered in this battle, I had put my roots in this earth more deeply than in our previous homes. Even though it’s only been 16 months.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been working hard for half-a-century and I just wanted to be done. I am tired of moving. Maybe that’s it.
And the stone fireplace reminding me of the stones my parents used to build the retaining walls I was so fond of in my childhood home.
Perhaps this outdoor office where the presence of God was tangible in the quiet, the breeze and the sun’s reflection on the water . . .
And likely the struggle has something to do with our current perceived limitations. I say perceived because, I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I so often forget to factor God into the equation. Or the promised testing of my faith intended by Him to prove the genuineness of it. [1 Peter 4:12]
So yesterday morning, with the weight of the loss threatening to implode my heart, [which may or may not be a bit pathetic] I texted my 70+ year-old mentor an S.O.S. “Will you please pray for me!?!!”
And she called me, listened and prayed.
I needed to be heard. I needed perspective. Someone else’s. And I needed someone to pray for me since my own prayers were limited by my skewed emotions. I needed encouragement. And a reminder of the TRUTH. [2 Corinthians 5:7]
The greatest battle I fight is the one in my soul. And I have had some “bloody ones.” [at least it felt like a blade slashed at my heart!]
I’m being trained in battle. [1 Peter 2:11] Maybe you are too. I’m learning that to walk in victory requires others to join me in my battle. We are in this thing TOGETHER. [Hebrews 10:24-25]
I’m being reminded that my roots should not go down into earth, but extend upward into Heaven. [Hebrews 11:13-16]
It requires an intentional shift in perspective – Eyes OFF of the circumstances and ON to God. And often, as my mentor reminded me, we need to just rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus. “Get behind me Satan, you don’t have in mind the things of God, but the things of man.” [Matthew 16:23] and restate your claim. “I’m a child of God.”
The stuff of earth competes for the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of all good things . . If I weep, let it be as a woman who is longing for her Home . . .
Yes, this world is not my home, so my roots need to be UPward. I am a citizen of Heaven, an ambassador on earth just passin’ through. [1 Peter 2:11] I must remember. I must “go” where He chooses, go where He sends me.
Lord, grant me a willing heart to sustain me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.