Another gorgeous day... I'm savoring every moment of it.
All our windows were opened early this morning- letting the cool morning breeze in.
I stayed up a little *too* late last night and thus didn't get up with my alarm this morning.
I didn't sleep well last night- it was stuffy and I had insomnia, and my mind just wouldn't stop going. Cluttered up with worries, wishes, and wants. And they just kept rolling and rolling through my head. I prayed for a clear head--for peace. For slumber.
And it finally came.
I woke up this morning, and took the dog out. Standing there, I realized I was humming "Create In Me A Clean Heart" and felt something in the air/breeze. Do you ever do that? You smell something; you're outside (or inside) at a certain time of day and it brings a flood of memories you experienced from a time in your past?? That happened to me this morning-- and I began thinking of my life only six years ago. Instantly, in thinking of it, my stomach knotted & my jaw clenched tight. I had a year or so where I hit rock-bottom.
It was very different...my personal life. Friends & family didn't know the true me then. I kept it hidden for the most part. My relationship with God was no more than "God, please let my paycheck be decent this month". My priorities were screwed up, my selfishness took over and I just wallowed in my own unhappiness. I became oblivious to the everyday blessings. I took much for granted. I became quite good at being whatever people expected me to be..stuffing my conscious deeper into my pocket if it started peeking out. I started having anxiety attacks. I hit the lowest of lows.
Thankfully for me, there was a turning point. Where someone who witnessed it all finally said "Enough, already." and with unconditional love, slapped me with reality. Someone who essentially said "Ok. Here's your Oscar-- amazing performance! Pathetic but amazing. But you're not fooling me and you're not fooling God"...ouch.
They opened my eyes and heart to see what I'd done and what I was missing out on. I felt desperate to just empty myself out-- to open up and let ALLLLL the junk out. And being scared beyond belief, I took a leap and did just that. I finally said how I felt. Even if it was hurtful. Even if it made me feel raw and vulnerable. And even though it didn't make everything magically better and make the ugly year evaporate from memory, it felt good. It was a relief to live openly, honestly and truthfully. I knew I couldn't ever go back. Mentally, physically- I couldn't take it.
I still felt somewhat lonely and sad, because I was humbled by my selfishness & actions. But things began to change. I knew I couldn't start fresh in my own strength. I was still deflated and beaten up from recognizing my failures! I knew there were a few people in my life who knew the nitty gritty and loved me anyway. I knew they'd be there for me, as I crawled out of this hole I'd dug myself into. But I knew ultimately, the one who'd get me through this was the one I first turned my back on. Jesus. Whe I was rebelling- He was the voice of my conscious; of reason. His truth was what made me feel so guilty- and so I got as far away from Him as I could. But He never left me. Not even while I was in the throes of poor decisions and despair. He was right there waiting for me with His arms outstretched, to draw me close.
After recognizing that-- I couldn't get close ENOUGH to Him! I began praying--but more conversationally--all throughout my day. Just spilling my guts to Him- even though I didn't have to speak a word out loud- He already knew my heart. But it felt good to say it out loud. I began doing Bible Study first thing in the morning- to start the day out right and with zeal & hope. I started digging into the Bible. I claimed Romans 12:1-2 for my own.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Anytime I felt burdened by the past, I would say this verse. Over and over. AND over. And life changed. Claiming His Word as law & love of my life. My outlook changed. My focus & perspective became what it should. This is not to say I didn't have (or continue to have even now!), moments of weariness or selfishness. I wouldn't be human otherwise. But I knew things were DIFFERENT. I knew that by laying down EVERYthing at His feet, He gave me strength to become who He created me to be.
My life is still bumpy. I still have things from my past that resurface and that "wounded scar" gets a fresh scab. But I continue to move forward. I refuse to accept despair and depression as a way of life. I refuse to find my happiness in things & people. I refuse to give up on the blessings God has given me, though I deserve NONE of it.
And so this morning- I smelled something in the air.. the sweetness of Spring, really. But it reminded me of a Summer morning where I was reborn through Him.
And I sang quietly with thanks and peace.
Isaiah 40:31 (New King James Version)
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.