i want to start off by calling attention to the music you are probably listening to right now (from the playlist above this post) unless you have turned it off which is perfectly fine, i gave you that option. don't feel bad. :) one of my favorite groups right now is "mumford and sons" - yes, a SECULAR band. (whatever that means) many of their songs speak right to my soul and encourage me spiritually. was that their intent when writing them? who knows. but for me, they evoke emotion like some "christian" bands never have. why is that? and then they have one song that has made it to mainstream radio that has a bad word in it. so bad they have to bleep it out on mainstream radio. so what does THAT mean? that they're NOT saved? that they CAN'T minister to me? granted, i do skip that song most of the time because i don't use that word in my daily vocabulary but does the use of that ONE word negate their ability to speak to me? many of their songs have strong spiritual connotations. "roll away your stone" is one of my faves and it speaks of the prodigal son coming home and grace "it's not the long walk home that will change this heart, but the welcome i receive with a restart" how awesome is that? or is it ME who has grown calloused to the things of this world by not letting that ONE word deter me from listening to them? i would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one, girls. i have tossed it around plenty in my head, i'm ready to pass it off to you. :)
ok. so today i want to discuss another emotion that seemingly crept on me and smacked me upside the head after pregnancy. ANGER. i am so not an angry person. i never really have been. not even in the quiet recesses of my mind, there never has been any festering, brewing animosity. insecurity? sure. absentmindedness? absolutely. but anger? not really. my whole life i moved from town to town, state to state, a constant cycle of new girl trying to prove worthy of your established group of friends... i had been bullied, threatened, and betrayed, but through it all remained fairly true to myself. of course, it bothered me but i don't ever recall laying on my bed at night, crying out to God, feelings of anger and retribution spilling out. i was ok. i had always been blessed with amazing friends wherever i went which certainly took the sting out of the ugly times (many of whom i am still friends with to this day - thanks God and facebook! lol) seriously though... it wasn't until i had my first child that i began to discover the ugliness that lay dormant in my heart. it shocked the heck out of me. i had no idea where it was coming from and what to do with it. why was i MAD at my helpless, tiny infant? why was i furious with my husband for leaving me alone to fend for myself and our child? (ok, he didn't REALLY but that's what my icky emotions were leading me to believe...) i was mad when people offered to help (what?? you think i can't do this myself??) and i was mad when they DIDN'T offer to help (well, i guess i see how much i mean to them. whatever...) i was SUPER mad that i couldn't go out to dinner and enjoy a meal (i guess i'll NEVER get to eat out again. NEVER EVER. *sigh*) oh wow... i chuckle as i read this because i see now how ABSURD those feelings were. but at the time they were heavy and all-encompassing. i was trapped. i was bitter. i was MAD.
i can't even remember the specific circumstances surrounding this one particular breakdown (are they ever based on anything of substance anyway? not so much. lol) but i do remember the grand finale... me, face down on my tiny (crumby and filthy, i might add) kitchen floor, screaming, literally pounding the floor with my fists (sooo cliched, i know) and crying out to God. i was SO MAD. about what? who knows. everything, all of it, none of it, me, him, her, who knows. i just remember distinctly thinking after several minutes of carrying on, as i peeled myself off the floor (literally. it was sticky, too. lol), "what is WRONG with me?" and then just sitting there in stunned silence. did i have a moment of divine revelation right then? did the Heavens open, releasing a tiny white dove that lighted upon my windowsill? did the phone ring with a friend i hadn't heard from in years who had a verse for me? nope. sometimes those things do happen, because God loves giving good gifts to His children and He loves surprising us and reminding us He hears our every word, every whimper. but what about when it doesn't happen? does that mean He's NOT listening? that He says "oh, i'm sorry, what was that again? i was talking to Gabriel." no way.
"why do you say, o jacob (or jen),
and complain, o israel (insert your name here),
'my way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God?'
do you not know?
have you not heard?
the LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak."
He WAS there. He WAS listening. and though there were no blazing lights, pillars of smoke and fire, or burning bushes, He was right there with me. His mighty arms, the very same ones that formed the universe and all that is in it, were enveloping me the entire time. the Holy Sovereign God had me curled up on His lap on that gross kitchen floor, whispering imperceptibly His love and affection to my heart. and you know how i know that? (because i sure didn't see it that day) i went on. i carried on. i SURVIVED. i continued on with my day, i cared for my child, i maintained my home (i may have cleaned the kitchen floor but i highly doubt it.) and i LIVED. so many times we wait for our emotions to catch up with us before we take action. sisters (and brothers, right george??) we cannot be led by our emotions. we MUST be led by our unwavering belief in a God who loves us, cares for us, and SEES us, even when we don't FEEL it. one step at a time, entrusting each one to His goodness, CARRY ON.
"the LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
the Lord protects the simplehearted;
when i was in great need, He saved me.
be at rest once more, o my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
for You, o LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that i may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living."
so let's keep walking today, sweet friends. KNOWING He is full of compassion and He protects the simplehearted. He has not abandoned you, do not allow your feelings to tell you that - it simply is NOT true. if you need to, throw a holy fit in front of the LORD. just let it ALL out - He sees it in there anyway - He just wants His children to come to Him with it, to give up the pretenses, to tell it like it is. TRUST Him with it. praying for you all RIGHT NOW, that He would bestow upon you a spirit of encouragement and peace today, that he would renew your strength as an eagles, and that you would have the supernatural courage TODAY to carry on. love you, friends...