I had one of those moments a few days ago. I posted this on FB:
This weekend my man and son were diagnosed with pneumonia!
Fearing my turn is here.
Frustrated I can’t focus to write. But thankful I can finally get through the friend requests. So is that a win? Or more like a silver lining?
When things are challenging, painful, or just plain old stink, I’ve learned to utilize a trick my Great Gram taught me—
“Look for the silver lining. Every cloud has one. That’s where you’ll find the beauty of any situation. It’s where God begins to work.”
As usual, Gram was right.
These past few weeks were rough, torrential to be honest.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with everything and keep everything in balance: Writing, blogging, social media, mentoring, family, friends, community, sports, getting the boys ready for school, sending Camron off to college (that’s more emotional), etc.
Anyone else? Oh, I see hands wagging. Many of you are right there with me.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s all great stuff. I am so thankful! My life is full. And many of these new things are answers to long-time, tear-soaked, persistent prayers. And God is answering and blessing beyond my wildest imagination! My cup is running over, and I’m trying to learn how to balance and prioritize it all in this new normal. It’s kind of like the day after Christmas and you’re trying to find a home for all the wonderful gifts you received, except I’m trying to arrange my schedule and “normal” to create a new one.
I was trying to do it all. Alone. I. Me. Myself. All-by-myself. I had the attitude of, yeah I got this, stand back, I’m good. WRONG!
Yeah, not so bright. I was stressed and strained. I was asking God to give me energy and strength to do it all—I wasn’t asking for His wisdom to focus on His priorities. I was laboring to my end, not His. I was rushing through my quiet time and prayer time “to get it all done” instead of letting his Spirit fill me to accomplish what He has set before me. And I wasn’t even asking for His Spirit to guide my writing as I usually do.
While trying to do it on my own I was caught up in the whirlwind of stress. I was allowing the external demands to rule over me, control my situation, scatter my thoughts, steal my joy, and direct my path. I was looking at the chaos around me rather than the one guiding me through it. The only one who’s able to bring order, I might add.
Then my family got sick with pneumonia.
There’s something about those you love getting sick, isn’t there? It makes you slow down a bit and change your focus and perspective. It gets you out of your own head so you can care for others.
Their illness was life stuff really, nothing grandiose. At first, I viewed it as just one more thing on the plate to balance. It didn’t affect me too much aside from reduced sleep and a little less help with housework and running errands. But somehow checking temps and refilling water bottles and tea cups was enough to break into my fumbling trying to find a new rhythm. A new normal. However, I couldn’t see what God was up to yet.
Well, at least not until I started to experience the exact same symptoms Thad and Tyler did at the beginning of their illness. No matter how hard I pushed through, I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t keep my eyes open—exhaustion overcame me. All I could think was, I’m going under, see you on the other side.
Then I started to feel like a failure. Like I couldn’t do anything right. You know that downward spiral? Mine was more like a plunge.
To add insult to injury, I was also disappointed because I had a golf tournament the next day for my sons’ wrestling program. I wasn’t disappointed about not golfing; I’m horrible at golf! Seriously, I’m awful. I wanted to be there to support the kids participating in this great program and have the opportunity to meet more of the adults involved in it.
I was desperate for the silver lining. The positive. The upswing. A light. I was looking for something productive I could do while sliding down into the druthers. I was choosing to stay optimistic but losing ground.
It was in this state that I posted on FB and decided to go through all the new friend requests that I’d needed to get to. See, I go through these requests one-by-one to purge the bad sites, porn, or people I don’t know trying to sell me things like weed.
I assumed few people would see my post let alone comment. Maybe a like here or there, but that was it.
Immediately I started receiving comments that people were praying for me, my health, and the health of my family! Maybe it the prepping God did beforehand. Maybe it was my exhaustion. Maybe it was the fact I was feeling poured out. Regardless, it brought tears to my eyes. The outpouring of love from friends and strangers alike blew my mind! And I didn’t even know I needed it. But God did.
That night I slept the best I had in days and when I woke I felt almost 100%, mostly because I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I wasn’t sick! I even golfed the next day with perfect energy. I had a blast and met 3 other amazing women I was blessed to golf with—3 other Sisters I might add!
But more than that, God used their prayers to restore my weary soul. To bring me back into focus on Him rather than my to-do list.
I believe the most important thing you can do for someone is to pray for them.
It’s a priceless gift.
Because every time you hit your knees for another,
If God leads you to pray—DO IT! Now! Don’t put it off.
You have no idea what that prayer might do, but I can tell you it will move Heaven and make Hell tremble. Your prayer can change a day or a life.
And if you need another reason to pray for others or in general, Satan hates it when we pray.
The more I walk in obedience in writing, mentoring, teaching, and loving on others, the more I need them. Thank you for your prayers, for walking on the battlefield with me. For holding your shield of faith up as a barrier to Satan and his hoards.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for those who are faithful to you and to prayer. I pray you will encourage all of us to Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. I ask Jesus that you grow their faith, whether their faith is strong, mature, new, or just starting to flicker. Draw them closer to you and your love. Heal their brokenness, business, and hot messes. Give them order in their chaos and help them look to you for direction instead of the whirlwind around them. I thank you for those you have gathered into this community, into The Vibrant Relevance Tribe. I pray I will be faithful to them and you will give me the right words to minister to their lives. I ask that you will continue to help our community grow to your glory, and those who are part of it will see your word come alive in their lives. Amen.