I am a mess. Recently I there have been some challenges that initially reinforced my negative labels – unworthy, unlovable, loser, idiot – I’m sure you get the idea. There are so many this blog would never be completed. I was spiraling down to a low place reinforcing the labels that satan was happy to hear me saying to myself. This scripture kept coming to mind as I read Limitless life and marinated on what Derwin shares about his career ending injury and how God turned that around for His purpose and plan.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted will also provide a way out so you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13.
My role at work has changed. I was the primary charge nurse in a very busy recovery room. But no longer. What satan meant for bad has …been good for me. My hours are more routine. I actually get to take care of patients – which is the most fulfilling part of my life outside of being a mom to Josh & Emma. I am returning to complete my Bachelors degree in the fall.
The majority of my life the things I say to myself, my self talk, have been mostly negative – labels that I put on myself and reinforce all day long over and over. I beat myself up and wore myself out. I will not repeat them any longer. Anytime I say something to my self I now finish my thought with ‘in Jesus name’. If it is a lie then what I am saying doesn’t make sense…so its a lie satan wants me to repeat to myself over and over to tear down my faith and keep me from believing what God has said about me. This prodigal has returned to her Father and he has embraced me and put his cloak around my shoulders…He has prepared a feast celebrating my return to him. Praise your name Jesus!
I have been in a valley for a long time. I don’t think there have been any sheep there. I haven’t been able to see beyond myself, my worries, mental and physical pain. I have not been able to see beyond circumstances. I have stressed people who love me and people who don’t. I have not slept well. I have struggled to stay in the life giving Word of God. Paralyzed in my situation, not moving in any direction just panicking like a person in deep water not knowing how to swim I have grabbed for anything around me to prevent me from sinking. But I did sink into anger.
Still able to work with patients, I was not treating my peers well. And then God opened a door for change. That door looked like a bottomless pit at the time. On that Friday, I was called out and made to be accountable for my attitude at work and I had a weekend to think through some options to improve the situation. I was reassured that my care to patients was not in question but I was not being nice to the people I work with and that I appeared to be overwhelmed with stress. I was afraid of losing the only thing that seemed to give me purpose, work. My heart sank to one of the lowest places it could go – afraid, alone, worthless & crazy labels reinforced again. Angry tears flowed and my thoughts ran rampant. There was a George Bailey moment here – my kids, family, friends, work and just the entire world would be a better place if I could just disappear. I sulked and fussed at God till I was empty. And then I sat still and God began to speak. Like waves echoing & rolling up on the beach God reminded me I was not alone. I was made for a purpose. He has a plan and a future for me. He loves me. He loves me. He LOVES me with an everlasting perfect love – not like people on earth but for eternity. So I sat in my valley and let Gods waves of love and truth work.
Here I am several weeks later. That weekend went from yelling at God to seeking Him.God is faithful. He does not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear…He provides a way of escape! My role at work has changed. I get to have routine hours four days a week. I am grateful for less responsibility. I am going back to school in the fall to finish my Bachelors. I have wise counsel and I know God loves me. I know He has labeled me Courageous and Free and life in Him is Limitless!
Spring is showing up all around me. There are iris blooming on the west side of my house. Roses are fragrant in my back yard. I have the windows open and a sweet gentle breeze is ebbing in and out like waters rippling at the beach.
Within me God is at work unraveling me and reworking my thoughts. I am doing an online Bible study on ‘Living So That’ by Wendy Blight with Proverbs 31 ministries . I was asked yesterday by a very wise woman – my small group study leader Fancy Nancy – what a heartfelt prayer was to me. I ignored the question. I have known Jesus since I was 17 – I know what prayer is. My day had been long. It was a good day but I was tired my eyes were heavy and was certain I would sleep the moment my head hit the pillow. The question kept coming in my thoughts. I confess I don’t sleep most nights more than 4-5 hours. When I was younger my brain was just full of wonder, hopes and dreams. Now my brain sorts to do lists and rethinks conversations and responses – basically I worry and stress at not being good enough. But it is spring outside and God wants to bring spring to my spirit SO THAT I will be complete and live what and who he has made me to be. So the question my leader asked tossed and turned in my head like my body in bed. What is heartfelt prayer? Have I really experienced such a thing? What is prayer? Is prayer for others? Is prayer for me? So my thoughts kept me awake and finally I crawled out of bed and got out my Bible. I did the ‘flip and read’ and I turned to Luke 22 because I had a bulletin from Easter marking this passage and read- Jesus was betrayed by Judas and goes to pray on the Mount of Olives taking his disciples with him. He tells them to pray they don’t fall into temptation. Jesus then moved away from the disciples and kneels down to pray. As a believer I know Christ is my example so I got on my knees to pray. I read further and see Jesus asked God to take ‘this cup’ from him if it is his will. This is a heartfelt prayer exampled by my Jesus….
Like so many believers today I pray for others. I have my prayer lists. Somehow God got through all my rational thoughts and I had an aha moment. A definition of prayer from the heart…I must focus all of me on talking and listening to God – I must tell God any & everything whether I am happy, sad, hurt, jealous or any other emotion. I am safe in my prayer from the heart. Every thought I have should be a conversation with God and I must keep my mind open to hear so I can move forward in faith and fulfill my purpose and calling.
Yes there was heartfelt prayer. God untangled a little more of the mess inside me. Heartfelt prayer is sharing all of me – good, bad and ugly – then trusting and letting God direct my response to you.