I have been such a mess the past few weeks.
Life just looks so different from what I ever imagined it to be, and I've had a very hard time coping with what life is going to look like from now on.
I've heard that pregnant women are very emotional... Well, I'm pregnant and still dealing with losing my mom to cancer 7 months ago among many other up-in-the-air major life changes that are currently happening. Needless to say, I've been one emotional, irritable, angry, ugly mess lately.
I started a 40-day challenge to read through the New Testament, but as I was reading through Matthew and Mark, I found myself getting more angry with God and demanding more answers from Him. I was angry every time I read of Jesus healing someone and saying things like, "Let it be done for you as you have believed." Why didn't He heal my mom? Why didn't He do for us as we had believed? As thousands had believed and cried out on her behalf. Why have I seen cancer run rampant in so many lives over the past year and a half? Why hasn't He been healing these people? Do our prayers mean anything?
During this time, Satan began to speak so many lies into my mind. Two of which consisted
of wondering how God could still love me and how my husband could love
me through a time like this. As I looked at myself and examined my
heart, all I could see was ugliness. I recognize that even on a "good
day" there is no good in me. Any good that is in me is simply Jesus. But
over the past few weeks I haven't been able to see any Jesus in me, and
Satan took that opportunity to run wild in my mind.
I wanted answers. I still want answers. But answers won't bring my mom back.
After a few very honest conversations with my husband, my dad, and a couple at our church, I feel like the Lord slowly began to soften my heart. I was reminded to allow myself FREEDOM. I had been beating myself up for not fitting a certain mold and for not living with joy and peace. There's a part of me that feels like 7 months has been such a long time and that I should be "okay" by now. That I should have come to terms with my mom being gone by now. That I should be overflowing with joy by now. That I should be ready to teach and pour myself out in ministry by now.
But I'm not.
A big part of my problem has been that because of my anger, I have forsaken the One who alone can give me joy and peace. The One who can bring me to a place of contentment and acceptance. The One who can fill me up to overflowing to be able to invest in and minister to others.
So I have began opening my Bible again, finally allowing Truth the opportunity to seep into my mind. I have also started reading a book that Tim and Jenny gave me a while back. Let me pause here and say that Tim and Jenny have been a gift from God in my life. Jenny has been through a very similar situation, losing both of her parents at a young age, and she has been such an encouragement and Truth-speaker in my life. They are both such a blessing to me and my husband. Tim and Jenny, we love you!
So this book they gave to me is called "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23"
I'm only three chapters in and am completely hooked. I have been reminded of God's deep love for me and to what extensive measures He goes to take the utmost care of me. As I look back over the past few weeks, I feel as though my soul has been screaming and flailing, demanding answers and asking why?! But now I feel as though the questions that have been raging in my mind are being quieted, not answered, but quieted. I have a desire for my soul to simply rest in His presence and trust that He knows best.
The description on the back of the book says, "As a shepherd, Phillip Keller shares his insights into the life and character of sheep - and of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for them. This beloved classic will give new meaning to the ageless Shepherd Psalm, enriching your trust in and love for the Lord who watches closely over you."
So over the past few weeks, I feel like the Lord has slowly been taking me from a raging mess to a quieted rest. I'm not completely to the other side yet, but He is teaching me and speaking to my soul and reminding me how much He really does love me and care for me.
"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."