I recently found myself in two vastly different scenarios, but both brought me back to a place of inspecting my own heart.
In the first situation, I travelled to surprise a friend for a big 50th birthday celebration being planned for her. Before returning home, however, I stayed on a few more days with another friend for the express purpose of rest and fellowship. She had declared before I even arrived, “I don’t want you lifting a finger. I’ll take care of anything you need.” She knew that the stress of the past year had left me exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally, and what I needed was rest in every sense of the word, and my short visit allowed for that.
I’m going to be honest…I did it again. A couple days of slogging through my life as a writer left me in the familiar comparison mode.
As I spent the last couple days putting words on paper, I found myself crying out to God, “Is this making a difference? Is it worth it? Is there any eternal kingdom value in what I’m doing? Or are you done using me?”
That might have been okay, but I did what I know better than to do…compare. “God, so and so is doing such and such. Look at the impact they are having for the kingdom. Why aren’t you using me like that?” and on and on I went. It was a slippery slope down to feelings of inferiority, doubt, and frustration.
We are better together!
As I sit still tonight and reflect on the friends and ministry team members the Lord has brought my way, I’m amazed at the variety of gifts, talents, and personalities He has created.
It’s that time again. Blood work, port flushes, and CT scans. As a cancer patient and his caregiver, tests are necessary to determine if the treatment is working. But there’s this almost reflexive breath holding that takes place during the wait for results. Yet the wait also allows for a time of reflection. While I personally have rarely found it helpful to ask God, “Why?” I have come to experience great growth when instead I ask, “Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?”
He looked deep into my eyes before pulling me in close for a hug and kissing me on the forehead. My son, preparing to graduate from high school, now towers over my petite frame. “It’s going to be ok, Mom.”
I smiled, not quite sure who he was trying to reassure—me or him. “I know it is, Son. God has big plans for you and I can’t wait to watch you explore the path He has set before you. And no matter where that is, I’ll always be your biggest cheerleader!”
I sat with my head in my hands, sobbing. It just seemed that the past year had offered up trials on the heels of trials, without any time to regain our footing, and this time was no different. Tired, weary, and depleted, resolutions to our challenges were unclear and the path ahead was long. [more]