I want so much to be honest and transparent in my life. I haven’t always been and that’s why it is so important to me now. To be faithful, open, encouraging and not a quitter are daily goals for me. Sometimes I meet those goals and sometimes I don’t.
But, I always try.
Today it feels especially hard as I am physically tired, emotionally spent and spiritually needy. I can’t totally put my finger on it, but it feels a lot like sadness. Maybe mixed up with a little depression. I think physical exhaustion leaves me vulnerable to roller coaster emotions, you know the ones that take you on a wild ride in the course of twenty four hours.
I’ve learned to stop and evaluate myself when I start feeling this way. When I was younger I would just “feel what I felt” and allow my actions to follow my emotions like a cart leading a horse, instead of the other way around. As I’ve grown in the Lord, I’ve realized that to give into every whim or emotion is to live in bondage and I’m determined to be free.
I took a drive today through the country, I love a drive when I am feeling blue. The landscape was so beautiful and green. We’ve had plenty of rain, so the fields look like something out of a story book; almost perfect. The sky was blue, peppered with those tiny little puff clouds that almost look like freckles across the expanse of the heavens. I turned off the radio and allowed my mind to wander, in the quiet I kept asking myself what was really the matter.
I prayed sincerely for the Lord to reveal to me what was in my heart. I am of the belief that we don’t always know what’s in our own hearts, only God really knows the depths of it. I love the verses in Jeremiah that remind me that God searches my heart.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.”
After riding in quiet for a while, I began to feel Him stirring in my soul, He didn’t speak in an audible voice, it was more of an impression. What He spoke was so true and it’s something He’s been dealing with me about for a while. But, try as I might, I still fall back into the same trap.
Again and again.
The truth is I really like approval. I actually crave it at times. It’s as though my world is “righted” when everyone around me is giving me their stamp of approval. Giving me “atta boys” and telling me that God is using me and basically letting me know that they like me. I cling to those morsels of affirmation like my mental health depends on it. But, on weary days like today, days when my heart feels so raw, I don’t think there could be enough people in the entire world to give me the emotional lift I yearn for.
I imagine myself walking around with a basket held out in front of me, I walk up to each person expectantly waiting for them to contribute to my basket, hoping someone can fill it up. But, there’s always disappointment. That’s what I’m doing with my heart. My heart is the basket, and no one can fill it. They might contribute and make me feel a little better for a moment, but that “feeling” goes away pretty quickly. And again I am left with emptiness.
Especially on days like today.
I was rolling in self-pity and my weary mind believed every word and accusation that was being hurled at it. All of the thoughts of insecurity and fear and failure were filling my senses as I took my drive, to nowhere really. It’s amazing that in the midst of such an attack on my mind, all I could see were the lies. I just bought into them. I wonder sometimes why the negative is so much easier to believe. Why I just take any negative comment or word spoken about me to be the gospel truth. Even after all the Bible studies, church attendance and focusing on the positive that I’ve tried to do, one tired day sets me back miles in my progress.
As I was praying asking God for encouragement, for whatever it was that I needed. I kind of expected my phone to start lighting up with texts or phone calls with scriptures or words of affirmation. Instead it sat quietly, not making a sound. I immediately thought of my basket why was I looking to others for the fulfillment that only God could give?
No one can do that. They were never meant to.
I am so thankful for the pursuing love of the Lord. He just keeps chasing me and chasing me. He is relentless and I am so unworthy and thankful. It was so clear what I needed, but only after He showed me. The same thing that I always need.
More of Him.
Can we ever really get enough?
I think there are many that can relate to me. We don’t mean to, but we are looking to others to meet the need of our hearts. To make us feel better about ourselves and give us a sense of worth. But, we remain sorely disappointed; let down. When the reality is, no person was ever meant to meet those needs.
Let the people in your life off of the hook.
Your husband/boyfriend can’t make you feel like a confident woman.
Your friends can’t make you feel like you have value.
Your family cannot fill your insatiable need to be loved.
Your job can’t meet the desire within you to succeed.
Your church can’t be your only spiritual nourishment.
He is the ONLY ONE who can fill all the cracks and holes the injuries that our hearts have sustained while living out our faith, walking the road of life.
Well, my beautiful drive finally ended in the next town over. I parked my car, went into a coffee shop and began to put into words all that was going on in my heart. This is a journal entry meant more for me than for anyone else. I will be looking up scriptures tonight reminding myself of WHO I belong to and that my value, my riches are found ONLY in HIM. I’m going to pray for a good night’s rest and get up tomorrow expecting a fresh perspective and a better attitude.
But, mostly, I’m going to pray for God to help me not to buy into the lies that are whispered into my ear that I’m not good enough or that I need approval to have value.
You see, I’m on this road to freedom, the road to wholeness and the road HOME.
Now, I think I’ll finish my nonfat, decaf, no whip iced coffee, and rest for a while.
Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start.