You know...I just started this blog and already I have had a lapse in my posts. I am going to have to get better and intentional about this. These last couple of weeks have been a bit trying. I started a new work-from-home job doing data entry, (It's not as easy as it sounds) and I had some other things going on that in the bigger scheme of things seems minor, but to me, they are a pretty big deal. So a lot going on that came caving in on me all at one time. I was getting stressed out, and tired worn out from being stressed out, and had my confidence shaken in an area that I was very confident in (I will explain in a future post) and before I knew it, my heart was heavy, my spirit was crushed, I spent one whole day crying my eyes out because it was the voluntary response my body had to all my feelings and emotions about everything.
So I have been making it a point to make reading my Bible and praying my first response to these less than favorable moments rather than a last resort. There used to be a time when moments like this would send me running straight to a few glasses of wine and a pack of cigarettes, add some sad sack music in there that I would personally hand pick to feed my current state of being and I had the perfect pity party. I can honestly say, I have been delivered from acting out like this, and I don't even know when it happened, I just realized one day that I had no desire for any of that anymore and I know God had everything to do with it.
So the day after my crying spell, I decided that I didn't want to stay in that sorrowful headspace, so I make it a point to make sure I spent quiet time with my bible and for prayer. However, just like that carefully orchestrated playlist that spoke to my situation I used to queue up, I also wanted to find a passage in the bible that would feed my feelings. So I decided to read the book of Lamentations...I had never read it before and let me tell you...it's some heavy stuff! I wasn't ready. Here I was thinking it was going to be a collection of passages of crying out to God about "Woe is me," and "Come save me," "Where are you in this God?" I forgot about my situation real quick as I tried to understand the sorrow of Jeremiah. That's what the book of Lamentations is about. Jeremiah is grieving, if you will, the destruction and complete ruin of the city of Jerusalem. The language comes from a place of raw emotion and heartbreak. Jeremiah speaks of Jerusalem like the city was a beautiful and powerful Queen that has been violated and overthrown. "She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave. Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies." (Lam. 1:1-3
Then, we fast forward a bit and Jeremiah starts lamenting about how he is experiencing God's wrath: "He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; He has weighed me down with chains. even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer." (Lam. 3:5-9)
So, pretty quickly after Lamentations chapter 3, I decided that at this particular moment this may not be the book I need to try to digest. I will re-visit it later but I think I should read the book of Jeremiah which is right in front of Lamentations to get a better understanding. So I hopped on over to the book of Psalms and the was more of the salve I needed for my spirit.
It is my assertion that God is completely okay with us having moments of despair, as he had them also when he walked among us, he knows everything we are going through and why and there is nothing he can't solve or fix. I can say this because I am a person who lives with high levels of anxiety. I'm always anxious about one thing or another, and these past couple of weeks my anxiety was in overdrive.
I believe because I went to God with it, instead of my usual destructive behaviors (it did cross my mind) he gave me his promised peace about the situations. When I prayed about it, I made my requests known but I also ended it with "I'm leaving this with you and I'm leaving it alone because I'm tired of stressing about it and I'm tired of being weighed down about it."
After that, every time the thoughts and anxiety tried to show its unwelcome face, I just repeated my prayer and re-focused my thoughts. "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you." (Peter 5:7)
I know it's hard because when you are going through something the last thing you are thinking of is to pray or read your bible, you want a solution and relief and answers quick. Trust me I know, but sometimes it's never as bad as I (we) make it out to be if we take it to God first. There's a reason behind it if we trust God and his process and his timing. Even when it doesn't seem like it, he is there every step of the way, and so easily, so easily we get wrapped up in our feelings and the wave of the moments and we forget that. Also though, go ahead and cry, scream, holler, vent...lament! Get it out, the bible says "Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you." (Psm 55:22) Take a page out of Jeremiah's book, because I had to go check myself after reading what was going on with him! I had to rescind his invitation to my party because he was stealing my thunder!