Let me be really honest with my blog world for a moment, lately life has been hard. HARD. Not in a shallow way or an over exaggerating way, it’s been gut wrenching, knee bending, tear inducing tough. The last two months have been a challenge, big time. It’s been a series of unfortunate events. Any one of the events on their own would have been tough but when you compile them all together it’s a little ridiculous. So I’m writing from a place of rawness today. Ministry is tough, walking with Jesus is tough, and people are really dumb sometimes.
I’ve been in that stinky, yet honest, spot where no amount of good platitudes are received well at all. I don’t want to be given a verse. I don’t want to hear a Christian “thought for the day”. In some ways, I just want to be mad for awhile. A pastor friend used oil to pray for me last week and I asked him to not just stop at my forehead but dump it all over me. At least there is laughter in the midst of it.
I know I’m not alone in being in places such as this. I know this journey is going to be one of my longer ones. In the midst of the journey I want to be found faithful. So while my cranky factor can vary from moment to moment, in my obedience to faithfulness I’m doing a few things. What the outcome will be remain to be seen but I’m doing my best to keep my heart and mind in a good spot.
- I’m listening to worship music. Almost exclusively. I like a wide variety of music and listen to it all. However, right now I’m intentionally filling my mind with edifying and Christ centering words and music. I want the songs that are playing on repeat over and over in my mind to point me to Jesus.
- I’m keeping myself focused on what I know to be true. God is for me, not against me. I’m here for him. He never leaves me or forsakes me. In the journey he is ever present and dear. I’m not allowing myself to get sidetracked by blaming the author of my story.
- I’m in the Word. How quickly we abandon what we need most. I’ve intentionally kept myself in the word daily (sometimes multiple times a day). I’m making sure I’m keeping myself fed and in a place where God can speak.
- I’m being honest. I have a hard time admitting when I’m not doing well. I’m pretty quick to keep up a good wall. I’m intentionally being honest and real about where I’m at. It’s okay to not be okay and for others to know that.
- I’m seeking wise counsel. I have a pretty amazing group of people in my life. My “board of directors” if you will. They keep me accountable, I run things by them, and they help keep my head straight. I literally dump it all out and they help me sort through it. Having their insight into the myriad of situations, voices, and emotions is invaluable to me.
- I’m taking a lot of screenshots. Friends and mentors have been killing it with wisdom and kindness in my life lately. I’m taking a lot of screenshots of their wisdom so I can refer back to it. I may not be ready to receive it in the moment but when I am it’s there.
- I’m not quitting. I know a large part of this is the enemy. So many good things are happening and are in the works. I know that the enemy sees that and is scared so he’s out to get me. I refuse to let him win. So I keep walking forward. I remind myself Who I belong to and I’m not quitting.
I’m not sure where you are today but if you’re in the midst of a hard journey, know you’re not alone and our sweet Jesus is so good.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.