Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Firm Place to Stand

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 


It's always been a bit of an issue between me and God. It's not that I don't trust Him. I just don't trust Him fully. I kinda feel like I need a little bit of a back-up plan--you know...just in case He doesn't work out.

The better I'm getting to know Him, the more I see that I don't need a Plan B. And my Head believes that. It's even advice I would give to anyone else: Forget your Plan B and go with God. But my Heart is a little slower in believing that He is all He says He is, especially when I think that He really should show a little extra support in a certain area of my life or I feel like He hasn't come through for me. My Heart says "I don't get it. I thought I could trust Him, and here He has let me down." It's disappointing, and my initial reaction is to write Him off like I feel like He has done to me.

I've had a rough week. It's been very emotional for me, and at times I felt very uneasy (ok, scared) about where my emotions were heading. I always have that reaction, even when I cry over something, because of my past struggles with anxiety and depression. I don't ever, ever want to go there again. So when I feel like I'm really struggling over something, I feel like I am on High Alert. So this past week. Was it hormones? Or my own very emotional make-up? Or was it the situation? Or, perhaps, was it due to the fact that I'm a girl? Or maybe a really nice emotional combo of all four...that I'm an emotional girl with hormones processing a difficult (to me) situation (oh, if this is the case, then my poor, poor husband...). In any event, I felt myself going numb. I didn't feel anything, didn't want to feel anything, and I was so distressed over feeling distressed and anxious that my memory was gone (the proof of that is that when I got home from the grocery store yesterday I discovered that I had bought 2 milks, which I don't normally do. So, not believing I could possibly buy 2 milks and not actually remember putting them into my basket, I checked my receipt, and sure enough, there was the second milk. I just stood there for a second shaking my head. Unbelievable.).

As I began processing this numb feeling, I started feeling so angry at God. I began questioning Him. How could He bring me up out of a depression just 8 months ago only to let me slide back? How could He let me down like this? Then, after a bunch of yelling and angry words, and yes, even a few of the four-letter variety (only in my head, of course. I was taught that Southern Ladies absolutely do not curse, but it really did make me feel better for a moment), I let my "Plan B" thoughts come into play. For just a few minutes, thoughts of anti-depressants and doctors rolled around in my head, but for me (and I'm only speaking about what's right for me right here), I know that is not what is right for me. God brought me up out of my depression and off my medications after much prayer, so my Head knows I can trust Him. Why, after only a few days of hardship, was I ready to abandon ship and go back? I think because my Heart isn't quite there yet.

My friend Jennifer mentioned Psalm 103 as a help for sadness and depression, so this morning I decided it was high time I got my behind in gear and read it (just as an aside, I can't read this Psalm without hearing the song "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman. We sing it all the time in church, and it's a great way to remember some Scripture without really having to memorize it).  And what I found was a reminder to:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
From there, I moved to Psalm 40, which is a great reminder to wait on Him:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

What did I learn? That He hasn't let me down, that He didn't turn His face away from my distress...not even when I was yelling angry explicit deletes at Him. He "heard my cry, He lifted me out of the slimy pit [of depression, numbness, and anxiety], He set me feel on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
My Head and my Heart may not be on the same page yet, but I know that I have a choice to make. When I'm having a week like the one I just had, do I choose to trust God, even when I don't feel like it, or do I choose my own Plan B (which generally doesn't work out as well as I think it should)? As hard as it is sometimes, I'm choosing to believe His Word over mine. I'm "waiting patiently for the Lord", because I need a firm place to stand.

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