11.05.2015

God uses friends to remind us that He cares!

This has been a difficult week.
In all areas. Emotionally, physically, spiritually.
I slipped into "robot mode" on Monday so I could function, move, think, respond, and serve.
But as a dear friend says, "That shutting-off is the creation of an emotional grenade. All feelings that get buried get buried alive."
At some point, the emotions must be allowed to surface, and when they do, they need to be embraced, processed, and then filtered through the truths of Scripture.
I am almost ready to do that, but not quite.
I asked a friend to send me a selection of songs to push me into the process. Music is a powerful tool for me, and the Lord uses it to dig deep into the recesses of my heart to reveal all that is hidden therein. And I will admit, there is quite a bit waiting to be released.

I am not just a ninja master when it comes to 'shutting off.' I am also quite adept at doing so - in isolation.
There is no need to burden others with my problems, right? Why should they have to stop their lives to listen to me? They have their own struggles and sorrows, so there is no need to add mine to their pile.
Can anyone say "H Y P O C R I T E?"
I preach non-stop that we are to live out the One Another's of Scripture. I continually challenge women to share their trials so others know their needs and can serve them accordingly. I constantly quote Ephesians 6:2, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." I even rebuke women when they refuse to knock down their pride to say, "I need you."
And yet ... 
I have to force myself to do the same. A lesson that may, I fear, be life long.
Sigh.

But I am trying!
On Tuesday morning I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and ask for prayer. I sent a note to a handful of faithful prayer warriors with a brief description of my current state, remembering the time I was rebuked for not letting others in. "Michelle, when you don't share your struggles with us, you rob us the JOY of serving and loving you." I will never forget it.

Praise the Lord for godly, mature, faithful friends who love me enough to speak truth and not just tell me what I want to hear. Their responses were exactly what I needed - biblical, thoughtful, honest, and challenging. No coddling or "poor you's," but simple reminders of God's own words recorded in Scripture. 
When emotion begins to take control, TRUTH must take it back. And Scripture is the only place to find real truth.
Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of friendship, Your Word, and the body of Christ!
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Oh, Michelle, that is a lot to handle all at once. I pray that you would be able to rest in the promises of God right now. He promises to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19. I pray God would grant you the patience you need for each of your children and every circumstance that comes your way. That you will have wisdom. That you will be slow to anger and rich in mercy. That God would give you rest in the midst of all the demands on you! 

Michelle, I am so sympathetic to how you're feeling! I think anyone would be battling the temptation to feel completely overwhelmed. And yes, having the correct perspective is so needed, but the trial IS a real trial no matter how small or large. The enemies focus is the same...to destroy! 
I will really be praying for you to continue to keep your mind renewed in truth! I am praying that you would look back over these days as bringing such glory to God because you walked faithfully and steadily despite how tired, alone, and overwhelmed you might feel. Praying that each time you are tempted to respond according to your flesh, you remember Jesus is advocating on your behalf and that through Christ you can make it through these days victoriously! 
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

I am so glad I texted you. You are right you can't do this. God didn't design you to. Holding thoughts captive and abiding in Him is where the battle is won.
The Lord will be strong today in your weakness, sister! He has promised to be your source of strength and arm you with exactly what you need. He has created today for you to draw near to Him. 
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:5-8
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Aren't those notes wonderful?
Nothing but God's word and a challenge to act and think faithfully and obediently.
I LOVE this!
Especially because of the way my mind works. I can justify bad attitudes and incorrect thoughts and unbiblical perspectives simply because I want my way. And this does not please God!

This afternoon I put on a movie for the littles out of sheer laziness and was surprised to hear a knock at the door. I opened it to find a sweet sister holding a vase of flowers and a tasty treat, but the best part was seeing her smiling face! She said, "I just wanted to stop by to give you a hug and tell you I love you." Okay!
We chatted for a few minutes, she encouraged me in the Lord, told me how she was specifically praying for me, and when we parted ways I felt lighter - encouraged - refreshed. Just as it should be after spending time with a sister in Christ!

Like this gift, the work of the Lord is beautiful and sweet.
He allows us to walk through trials so we can be strengthened and find a greater resolve to follow and trust Him - even when we don't like our circumstances and/or they don't make sense.
Our God is GOOD. He is faithful. He is loving. He is sovereign. Not one thing happens without His knowledge. He cares for the sparrows of the air and the grass of the field, and He cares - for US.

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