Lately I’ve been spiritually spoiled. I’m not really sure if that’s even a ‘thing’ but if not, I think it should be. The past two weeks have been really rough for me and over the course of a couple unfortunate events, I have realized that I am, in fact, spoiled. My kids are healthy, my husband is awesome (like 2/3 of the time), our financial needs are met (because eating ramen noodles is delicious and cheap), no one that I love is suffering through illness. I’ve got it extremely good right now. Of course, this hasn’t always been the case. There have been loads of times where any of the above statements haven’t been true and I’ve had to cling to God and weather the storm. Recently though, I’ve been spiritually spoiled. I thought my relationship with God, and the condition of my heart, was fantastic. I pray, I read my bible and I go to church. What I wasn’t taking into consideration (because I had temporarily forgotten) is how easy it is to praise God and smile joyfully whilst sitting on top of the mountain.
I have been praying about a couple things in my life for the better part of the year. I naturally assumed that since I had taken it to God in prayer, he would open the doors that needed to be opened and I would receive his favor. So it goes without saying that I was totally taken aback when God slammed the doors shut so hard that I literally felt the wind in my hair. I would go into detail about what doors were shut but truthfully, it doesn’t matter. It could have been any number of things: a relationship, a job, financial situation, or a struggle with health. The big take-away here is that I thought that God would grant me my requests and I would continue basking in the sun from atop the mountain. But he didn’t. And I acted a fool. I mean I cried, I acted selfish and proud, I composed hateful speeches (in my head, of course) to all the people who I thought needed a piece of my mind. I was grouchy to my husband and children. I even did the thing that is so terribly human: I questioned God and his will for me life. So basically, I acted like what I am: a totally flawed human. I spent a full week running through a course of emotional meltdowns before I hit my stubborn knees to pray and repent.
When the prayer and reflection began I had to come to terms that I had basically failed God’s test of faith. When presented with answers that I did not like or understand I did not ‘practice what I preach’ very well. At least not at first. I read scriptures and devotionals, I even stopped scrolling long enough on facebook to read all the religious stuff people over-share (I’m not talking about you, of course. Your posts are all awesome.) But the fact of the matter is I was still just plain ole mad. God shut those doors for my benefit, of that I am sure, but at the time it felt like rejection. And I have deep, dark issues with rejection. I want people to like me, I want to say and do the right things to keep everyone happy. If people don’t like me or I’m faced with confrontation, an emotional warfare is waged on the inside and I dwell on it for days. It causes anxiety that I can’t even begin to explain. So when I am faced with rejection I basically crumble into a heap of emotionally damaged, blubbering rubble. My husband reminded me mid-meltdown last week that when we have sought God’s will then it is not rejection but divine intervention. This gave me pause for thought. Pause because I knew it was true but also because it served as a blatant reminder that I was acting ridiculous when I knew full well God knows what he is doing. In hindsight, I put off praying longer than I should have because I knew that I had failed miserably at putting my faith into action. And Satan just loves to torment us with that kind of ammunition. He had been whispering quietly in my head that I was not a real Christian and hadn’t matured spiritually at all. “Real Christians trust God and move on. They don’t throw little fits like you have. You aren’t saved at all,” I heard him whisper in my head. Forgive me for being frank but Satan is such a turd like that. He always kicks us when we are down. And sadly, I laid in a spiritual fetal position ready to quit life for a week. I’m painting a horrible picture, I know. But behind the scenes I had people intervening on my behalf, praying for me and lifting my name up to the Lord. He never left me, let me just go ahead and say that. It was my stubborn hind end that had decided to lay down and quit. I knew where my life line was, I just wasn’t ready to tug on it for help.
Last night was a breaking point for me. I hit my knees and hit them hard! My attitude was bleeding over onto every single member of my family and I knew I needed divine intervention. I cried and prayed and asked God to forgive my stubborn heart. I confessed that his plan is always the right one and I am nothing without him. I asked for help with my issues with rejection. I prayed that I would care what God thinks about me and not what man thinks about me. Most of all, I prayed that God would forgive me for failing the test of faith. WHAT I AM ABOUT TO TELL YOU NOW MIGHT MAKE YOU WANT TO SHOUT. God impressed upon my heart that it’s an open book test!! As long as I’m still breathing I can change my answers!! Incredible! I don’t have to settle for how I acted last week-it was a valley and I didn’t respond like I should have at first but praise God, it’s an open book test!!! God knows how very human we are and he has equipped us with all we need to follow him: his holy word. Rest assured that no matter how ridiculous you act or how far you stray, because of God’s grace and mercy we are free to go back and change our answers.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11