Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your comments, emails and phone calls. As my friend put it, I was definitely in a “toxic loop.” Even though I know that my faith is strong, it still surprises me how quickly I can lose my way on the path of love and grace and follow the lies of the enemy. I am so thankful that God has put some amazing people in my life who help guide me back.
Yes, I did get back to sleep the other night (morning). But, when I woke up I immediately thought, “Oh, no! What have I done? I think I ‘put it out there’ a little too much this time!” Since I figured no one would have read my blog by 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday, I planned to delete the post and just pretend it never happened.
Unfortunately, I discovered it was too late. It turns out that there are alot of women awake early in the morning—women who had read my blog. Women who understood what I wrote and shared their own struggles. When I read your comments (you know who you are) tears streamed down my face. “Thank you, Lord!” I cried.
I think we need a virtual Bible study for those of us who find ourselves awake in the wee hours of the morning? I tell you, of all the times that we need encouragement it’s then. But since we seem to be awake at various times, scheduling might be a problem. (I believe there’s a germ of an idea here so don’t be surprised if it resurfaces in the future! )
Some people have asked why I would expose myself the way I did. Here's what I think: Since I believe that God has placed it on my heart to write in a public way, to share my experiences with and insights of Him, I need to be honest. To sugarcoat the tough times and end every story with a smiley face is hypocritical and misleading. Yes, God has done an amazing work in my life but I am a work in progress. I continually struggle with my selfish desires and independence. Forget a thorn. Sometimes it feels like I have a cactus in my side! If you’re looking for an even-keeled ride, you’re not going to get one here!
My hope is that by being open about the messiness in my life, maybe it will give you courage to confront the messiness in your own—and give it to the Lord. Because God can’t work with, “Me? I’m fine. It’s all good here.” Jesus didn’t die on the cross because we’re fine. He died because we desperately need a savior. But we’ve got to open the door, offer up our brokenness and let Him fix us.
In the past 48 hours I have seen God in some amazing ways. (Why do I need to bottom out before I “see?”) I’ve seen him in my unbelievable husband and children, in my friends and family, in Sunday's worship service and even in an amazing email I received from a stranger who stumbled upon my blog.
But one incident really stands out.
As I was eating lunch on Sunday, I glanced hopefully out the kitchen window at our bird feeders. I just bought new feeders two weeks ago and haven’t seen any birds on them yet. Not one stinking bird!
Then, my eye caught sight of a cardinal in the small tree next to the feeder. I watched him with anticipation. He flew to the feeder! Hooray! Our first visitor. Then, out of nowhere, a couple of SCBs (small chirpy birds) landed on the other feeders. Unbelievable!
Even though I'd like a menagerie of colorful winged visitors, I knew that if only these few birds appeared I would gladly fill the feeders for them. It would be enough.
And then I realized that God was using this scene to tell me something. As a writer I have been so anxious to reach a wide audience, to get published, to move to the next step. But, He impressed upon me, “Be patient with your writing. If you only feed a few, that is enough. Just feed them well.”
"Lord, with your help, I will do my best."