Good googly-moogly (yes, googly-moogly).
This quarter of 2013 has handed me my pride, my scars, my war wounds, and my struggles on a silver platter with a smelly stinky heap.
I can remember approaching my birthday with gratitude and then with a sense of awe. I was surrounded by lots of amazing people, abundance seemed to be at hand, and I just felt good. THAT probably ended there. The next two and half months came with direct slams at ME. I am very hard on myself when I know what I am capable of, I venture to think most are. Let’s just say, when I needed to stand tall I fumbled. Then doubt set in. After doubt was numbness. . . then temptation. If I never saw that pattern before, typing it helped it seem familiar to me. First the enemy drew me away from my communion with God by blocking the new pattern I had: Worship and Praise, ask, thank, Worship and Praise, repeat.
Man, O, Man I snapped an angry parent at a football game. I was looking for graphic representation of what happened, I can’t really get graphic without offending, so imagine. I pushed horrible thoughts in my mind about not being good enough, then justifying “slipping”. You know “slipping”, when you have been doing well at something and then allow yourself to backslide. Not only do you mentally allow it, but you make it ok in your heart. You tell yourself things like, “I’m human” and the ever present “God knows my heart”. Dear hearts, God is a jealous God who does know your heart. HE knows what you are capable of and what He created you for. Please know that there is always a way out and/or a consequence.
After the temptation rises, it doesn’t bow down easily. The only thing that kept me afloat is the split second clarity to ask God for help. I cried out to JESUS, audibly in most cases. I asked Him to stop me because my self control was gone. Every time, He stopped it. EVERY TIME. Would you also like to know that the guilt was worse than the temptation? I was still allowing the enemy to harass me. Allowed. The quicker I got back to worship, the quicker he would flee. I had to will him away, to command him to flee, on purpose. While I was in the flux state that allowed me to justify my flesh, I didn’t want different. It’s an awful place. There is no peace in that place. Your mind is constantly going and never really arriving to any conclusions worth having.
As I now look back, I also know that God allowed me to share my weaknesses with a few people who were key in reminding me who I really was. They heard me, without beating me with the Bible, and reminded me of how big and forgiving God was. I thanked them for not painting me red and hanging me in the town square. Vivid picture isn’t it. Sometimes that’s how we treat people who come to us broken. Thankful that God is not like man. Instead of public exposure, I received private encouragement. I am in a much better place spiritually. It made me sing, it made me write, it made me pray a little differently. In hindsight, I was in that funk – which affected my funds, my choices, my emotions, my relationships, and my sanity – a lot longer than I needed to be. Sometimes you are looking at the answer and refuse to use it.
I thank God for his mercy.
I share now to help anyone else who has felt publicly humiliated for weakness. We ALL fall short (Romans 3:23), and I embrace you in love right now. Know that God loves you, even in that stuck place. He’s available to you NOW. There are people in your life who will encourage you, right where you are. Hi, I am Andonnia….I need grace too. Let’s get up together.