As I sit to type this post, my husband is finishing his second last shift before holidays. Tomorrow will be a night shift and then he will be on holidays for just over 5 weeks. It cannot come a moment too soon. Life has been tough lately - nothing extraordinary, just life. Being there for friends with marriage problems; life with three energetic boys; health issues for me where I feel I am just run down. It catches up with you.
It also affects you spiritually. When circumstances just keep piling up and you rarely get a quiet moment to process things let alone plan for the next week, then what do you do? Keep suppressing those emotions and trust you will get a chance to deal with things later. I've been struggling with hearing God's voice lately. I have never ever doubted God's ability or desire to move in miraculous ways; never doubted His love for His people; and never doubted His ways and timing are perfect. What I have questioned or struggled with is why I don't see answers to my specific prayers, or why I don't "feel" His particular guidance when facing decisions. Those feelings when coupled with sleep deprivation lead to a bit of doubt. Doubt and guilt. Am I doing something wrong? If only I tried harder, served more, then I would see breakthrough. LIES.
The Mighty God I serve is not a God of feeling but of fact. I need to constantly remind myself that feelings change but God is the same yesterday, today and forever. One John 3:1 says "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God." Lavished. That does not sound like a conditional love.
My God sees my hearts' desire and that is to know Him more, love Him more and be faithful to be counted a child of the living God. So I am going to try to go easy on myself until I can spend some time in quiet contemplation. I tend to be the sort of person who prays and then gives God some suggestions for answers. It goes a bit like this - "Father, please give me Your wisdom in this situation. (2 second pause). Do You think I should do this? Or maybe You want me to do this?" I don't know if it's just that I'm a fixer by nature and need solutions, or that I'm scared of the silence - like all that soul searching was a bit too much work.
Anyway sorry for the ramble - I didn't intend for this to be so deep, but as you can see, there is a lot to process for me lately. I've felt very snappy and not myself for a long time. I'm usually a very calm person who sees the positive in every situation and I can barely recognise myself lately. But I am holding on. The end is in sight - this too shall pass.
I talked briefly to Cameron before he went to work today and mentioned my need for a retreat. I think it is achievable. I need to not feel guilty about taking time from my family because I know in the end it will serve them so much more. My older sister is coming up to visit for the weekend with a friend of ours and I am planning to talk to her about visiting her in Brisbane by myself sometime soon. First and foremost will be at least half a day that is not planned, ie. no reading, no studying. Just silence and waiting on God's voice and direction. He knows my needs and will not let me down. Then will come the reading, studying, planning I'm sure. Can't wait.
If you have managed to stay with me for this whole post, I thank you and love you. Will try to be more upbeat in the next post. Anyway, feel free to share your comments - do you ever feel the same?
Blessings to you,