Discouraged. Overwhelmed. Frustrated. Filled with dread.
Not exactly the glowing feelings of hope and joy I was experiencing on New Year’s Day.
Where did that all go?
The truth that refreshed my soul is still as true today as it was that day, but I’ve slipped back into unbelief.
Why does this happen?
One step forward, two steps back.
Clinging desperately to truth one day and gobbling up lies the next.
I’m weary of it. I’m tired and I wish my Heavenly Father would see that and swoop me up into His arms.
Just last night I was pouting about this to Andy…we desperately need a date night but cannot seem to sort out the logistics to make it happen, so weeks pass one after the next and we remain deeply entrenched in child-rearing and whack-a-mole.
Last night we planned to eat a nice steak dinner after the kids went to bed as a sort of “date night in”. Sadly it didn’t play out as we had hoped.
Drew didn’t go down to sleep easily and ended up crying through our whole meal. We brought him out to sit with us while Andy finished eating and I basically sat at the table holding him and pouting.
WHY OH WHY can’t things go according to plan ONCE IN A WHILE. Why ON EARTH can we not seem to spend some nice, quiet, child-free time together??
Why OH WHY won’t this cranky baby boy GO TO SLEEP??
After many more tears, Drew ended up succumbing to the sleep he so desperately needed. Andy made a Moscow Mule for himself, but my stomach was upset and I had a raging headache, so I couldn’t stomach the thought of a cocktail.
There we were on our “date night in” and already a fussy baby had spoiled it and now I felt like crap.
Thanks a lot, God. This is just spectacular.
I KNOW I was being a spoiled brat about the whole thing. I truly do.
In between my pity party, I was condemning myself for being so ungrateful.
“Poor little middle class stay-at-home suburban mom doesn’t get a night out and has to stay home in her warm and comfortable house with her exceedingly sweet and patient husband eating filet mignon.”
If I even take 10 steps back from myself and look at my life and circumstances, I’m tremendously grateful.
But somehow I get so deep into the forest that I cannot see the trees.
I’m leading a Bible Study table at church on Tuesday mornings and we are working through Pricilla Shirer’s book Armor of God.
So far the focus has been on the spiritual warfare that’s being waged all around us and the importance of prayer in fighting the things we don’t see.
I’m quite certain the emotional turmoil I’ve been experiencing is more than just parenting woes and seasonal depression. In the moment it’s hard to recognize that, but I know it to be true and I’m working on remembering that there’s much more going on that what I can see.
It’s as though the enemy is like the Wizard of Oz…”Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
If I don’t acknowledge him, he has a leg up on me and can wreak even more havoc.
That’s why he works so hard to beat you down with discouragement. Rag you into discontentment. Lie to you about who God is, causing you to doubt the Lord’s all-good intentions toward you. Hammer you with accusations that place a burden of shame and guilt on your shoulders too heavy to carry. Trick you into thinking your situation will never change, and that God doesn’t hear you or care when you call out to Him. Soon your fire of passion starts to burn low. You grow lackluster. Disinterested. Low in spiritual fiber. Your spiritual armor goes unworn and unused.
That all sounds a little too familiar.
She goes on to say,
Maybe you kind of don’t care anymore. You’re not even sure you want to. But through prayer, you can get your “want to” back.
YES. I want to get my “want to” back. I don’t want to be lulled into spiritual apathy. I don’t want to give up and settle for just surviving.
But man is it often tempting to give up.
I have no tidy little bow to wrap this all up in. I really don’t.
I’m feeling better today than I was yesterday and a WHOLE LOT BETTER than I was the day before that. Church this morning was a really good reminder of truth. It’s important for me to show up each week just to be reminded that God is good. His ways are perfect. He loves me more than I could possibly comprehend. He hears me when I call out to Him. He has won the battle and the victory is irrevocable.
I’ll probably start to forget those things again tomorrow when my day ramps up and parenting threatens to hold my head under water.
I’m not going to give up though. I’m going to keep calling out to Him however weak my voice may be. I’m going to keep believing and keep begging Him to help my unbelief.