The last few days have been contemplative for me. After my last post I think some of you might have been concerned about a mental breakdown but don't worry, all is well!!! :)
The morning after that rough day (this would have been Monday morning) I decided to go for a walk before work. Psych myself up. :) As I was walking I started thinking. As I was thinking I started praying. As I was praying I started crying. I started telling God that it was too much. That in case He hadn't noticed, I'd reached my breaking point and something needed to give. I'm tired.
There are two things that I believe are true. (Well of course more than two, but these two principles are what I belive have allowed me to stay here up to this point and make me think that I can stay here as long as God calls me.) Number one is that "I don't have to act the way I feel." There have been many a mornings when I've been tired and cranky as I walk down to the hospital. However, whenever I feel this way I start telling myself that just because I'm cranky does NOT mean that I have to act cranky. So I put on a smile and make it a point to be chipper. It's pretty incredible how acting this way...even when I do NOT feel like it makes my day so so so much better! I forget that I'm supposed to be cranky! I know myself and I know that if I wallowed in my crankiness and made sure everyone knew how I was feeling that I would ruin my day. I've done it too many times not to know this. :)
The second thing that I'm slowly learning to be true is that God is the giver of joy and it is not dependent on my circumstances. This one has been HUGE to learn here! I can't tell you how many times I've thought something like "if only these kids wouldn't die" "if only I lived nearer my friends" "if only my family was here" "if only it wasn't so. stinkin. hot!" THEN everything would be so much better and I'd be happy. I've heard that God is the giver of joy for years. I've read the verses in my Bible to back it up. But I've never really tested that theory like I have here. When I arrived at the hospital it didn't take me long to see that this might be a little harder than I was anticipating. I wanted to pout. But shortly after I arrived I listened to a sermon (shout out Pastor Dee) that kicked my butt and I made a decision. I decided that I would focus on God being the giver of my joy and would try not to complain but to rejoice always. It wasn't easy. After 29 years my family can tell you that I've perfected the art of complaining! :) But I was FLOORED at the amazing freedom I felt when I said "God, some of theses circumstances are absolutely not what I would have chosen. But I know that you know me best and You've placed me here so I will trust that this is what is best for me so thank you. I don't see how some of these circumstances can make me happy so I'm going to trust you to keep up your end of the bargain and give me joy." I'm not kidding you about a week after I started doing this I couldn't believe how happy I was! No change in my circumstances....just God being God, doing His thing! It was incredible. Of course then I thought I had the whole "rejoice always" thing nailed down and I fell flat on my face and had to "relearn" everything all over but....well, that's just me. Slow learner.
So these are the thoughts I was thinking the other morning as I was walking...and thinking....and praying....and crying. And as I kept praying and just pouring out my heart telling my Friend that I was tired of rejoicing and I just wanted to whine and complain I heard Him tell me that it was ok. He knew. Then I started thinking about Jesus' life on earth. And the verse "Jesus wept" popped into my head. And I was struck with the fact that Jesus' heart was broken too. He knew exactly what it was like to be tired and to deal with death. Besides that, He knows me better than anyone so he not only knows how He felt but how I was feeling as well. And it was ok to cry!! It was ok for me to say that death really sucks!! And that it's hard to deal with it a lot! And that it's ok if sometimes I need to cry about it! He tells me that I don't have to act the way I feel and that I need to rejoice always because He is the giver of joy because that's what's best for me..... which I know is true becasue I've seen the results! But it doesn't mean that it's easy or that he's unsympathetic. He knows it's not easy. This led me to think about the verse in Hebrews that says, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." So. Awesome. That's what He did on our walk. He once again showered me with His grace and I was refreshed.
I'm not meaning to sound preachy at all and I know this is not one of my most exciting posts, but the last couple of days I have been so unbelievable encouraged and excited! I wouldn't have got to have these intimate moments with Jesus if I hadn't been brought to my knees. And that's just exciting!
Thank you so much to my friends and family as well!!! You have no idea how much your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement have lifted my spirit!! So thank you thank you thank you! Today on my walk I was very excited that this is my life!!!