15 Nov
Standing Tall - Week 28

 Figuring out what to write about this week was difficult on so many levels. It was a week that suffered in prayer and a week full of timely distractions that kept my mind at race on the things of this world. While the first half of my week may have started off in confidence, it soon ended in a way that completely drained me of all the strength I had. I was hurt by some off the cuff remarks inside His body, consumed by a workload, and tried by the ways of my own mind. I found that this weekend came and went without relief and I was taken back by the amount of weight a lack in communication can bring. Even now, finally finding interest to write, I struggle with these words on prayer as if my engagement was broken and my communication was nonexistent.

Over the years I’ve noticed a change in surroundings (and a change in self) when my time with the Lord falls short. I become anxious and doubtful, tired and confused, looking at life with a troubled annoyance. Without prayer, I get lost in my own head and grow increasingly bored. In lack, I try to make sense of the heartache this world endures and take for granted the everyday blessings, which our Creator provides. Thank God for His constant grace and the reminders of His unending love, for even in my troubles He alone remains a stronghold.

By Thursday, when I really began to feel the fatigues of life gnawing away at my joy, God knew I needed a draw back to Him. He wonderfully introduced me to a stranger with kindness, having a person who I never met before request to engage with me over the phone because they thought I was such a delight to talk with. Unfortunately, those compliments I received took a back seat to the driving exhaustion my day was already in, and it’s not until this moment do I give praise for the gentleness of His ways.

Ignoring that gift, come Friday, God sent yet another loving reminder my way from someone I hardly talk to. I got a text from a sort of sporadic friend, very late at night, to ask what good prayer could be said. My word! This request came to me from a person who isn’t necessarily a believer and from someone who I never would have expected to reach out in that manner. Unfortunately, because of the chaotic day I had just come off of and all the dramatics involved, the only thing I could manage to respond to by way of text, were the words, “Psalm 23.” It was later that I received a thank you and I gave no response. What a way for Jesus to draw me back to Him! Even though my mind was completely worn and no ounce of energy was left in my body, He gave me a gentle nudge to remind me He was there. How grand! I’m amazed at how little I paid attention to these gifts God was giving me and how little I thanked Him for doing so. Please forgive me oh Lord, for Your majesty is delightful, and I am nothing but indebted to You and Your merciful grace. In You I rejoice, even when my attention is lost.

With no good transition, Saturday finally came, but it was quite possibly the worst day of them all. Early in the morning I was attending an Easter event sponsored by my home church. It was supposed to be a day full of cheer, preparing our hearts for the gift of Jesus on the cross, but I was in no such mood. Doing my best, I put on a smile, but the first words said to me that day hurtfully came from my assistant pastor. These words I usually would have brushed off in a joking manner but today, on this morning, they pierced my heart in a very painful way. I responded in a manner that admittedly wasn’t the best and tried to engage as well as I could, but he followed up his first hurtful statement with yet another upsetting one. After this, I was put on child duty (something I specifically didn’t sign up for) and set to watch after 2-13 year olds climbing up an inflatable slide two at a time. Needless to say, I was not in a good place. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if my week had gone better, or if I had spent the morning in engagement with the Lord, but an hour and a half into it, I left the event after being asked if I wanted to take a break. Honestly, I was sad to go even though I didn’t want to be there. I was sad because of the way the whole day went down and by the way I felt disregarded. I was sad by the way I had been talked to and the ways in which even our shepherds, people of God, can act in unintentional passing.

After that, I didn’t go to church on Sunday. I hoped to spend the day at rest because I needed some sleep and some personal alone time with the Lord. Unfortunately, those needs weren’t met until one day after the new week. I spent the majority of Sunday at work from home and had some other unexpected troubles come my way. However, in this time God’s love was always in my heart. Christ gave me strength to finish two papers I needed to complete for new school admittance and gave me wisdom on how to write them. I’m extremely appreciative for these gifts despite my bad way. I hold on to the trust that our King is always at work and He knows exactly what we need. Time with Him! I ask for more of that in the coming weeks and the ability to share with you the answering of prayers that our Father is always providing. It’s in His name I share, amen!

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