Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Hard Place

Ever hear the expression, "In between a rock and a hard place?"  I have wanted to be transparent in my musings.  I find that dating can be funny.  I always think about this experimental phase knowing that in a month or two, I will abandon it and take up a hobby.  I like learning the little things I didn't realize about myself and how I translate to other people out of my circle.  It has been a stretch for this little introvert.  I am branching out and attempting to eat healthy and work out.  I'm not doing this to lose weight.  I'm doing this because of the hard place.

I think about mental health a lot.  I think about it as it relates to Christ.  I think about it as it relates to students that I have worked with and currently work with  I think about how easy it is to fall into a depression or have anxiety.  Everyone feels blue every once in a while.  Everyone can feel anxious.  I think for some people, myself included, there are times when it is like a zombie, waiting, clawing outside your door waiting to consume you and take you over.

I have this scary thought.  In II Corinthians 12, Paul the apostle talks about not boasting in anything good that he has.  Then he talks about this "thorn in his flesh."  He pleaded with the Lord three times and the Lord did not take it away.  It says, "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'"  I'm scared.  I think about the nurse who gave me my epidural for my son.  What if she had said, "No epidural for you."  I would have given birth without it but I thank God for the rest that it allowed me.  I have worked a lot of jobs and some I have worked, you have to wait for the other person to come before you can leave.  There you are looking at the clock.  You are thinking about what you are going to do after.  You can't wait to leave and... the other person doesn't come.  You know that they are going to ask you to stay.  There is a heavy obligation on your heart to stay.  So, you stay, but you feel as if part of your soul just died a tiny bit.

I have a lot on my plate, Friends.  I am in a hard place.  Paul says, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake.  For when I am weak then I am strong."  In my head, I'm like, "Well, he's a better man than me!!!"  But what does that mean?  What does that look like to take pleasure in an infirmity?  I think of some friends who died of cancer thinking of home.  Is this what it meas?  What about needs?  I have to pay APS.  I have no money.  God provides.  Taking pleasure in the hard place?  I have to think about this.  I have to marinate.  I need to take pleasure in this hard place.  People tell me, it will pass.  Yeah... maybe... when I'm dead.  It may not pass this side of heaven.  I may miss my husband, mourn him and never marry, dying a widow's death.  How many years is that?

Paul also says, that when he is weak, God is strong.  When I am weak, then God is strong.  I lean on God in these hard places.  I confess my weakness before my mighty refuge.  I allow God to hide me.  I take all of my brokenness to him.  Apparently God is the best stylist, publicist and all around spin doctor.  He makes me look good.  Praise the Lord.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about and you have never had a sad or an angry day of your life.  If you have two loving parents and the love and support of your family all of the time, then by all means, pray for us who are a hot mess.  Pray for us and over us.  Ask us how to pray for you.  Now to those who struggle and have been struggling.  Ask people to pray for you.  Don't say, "God knows."  Pick a few people to go to and be honest about it if you want them to pray for you.  I needed help cleaning my house one day so I called my best friend, Glenda.  I told her to come over to help.  She came over.  She came into my mess.  She helped me clean it up.  Imagine if I told her to come over and help but didn't let her in?  What was she going to do?  Would she stay outside directing me?

I'm not trying to be mean.  I know that I am sometimes without trying.  I am trying to be open and honest for the sake of others as well as myself.  God is good all the time whether we feel it or not. And sometimes we need help believing it.  I pray for you, Friends.  Keep me in prayer.  God is good.

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