I said something about posting weekly in my last post, didn’t I? Hmm. Clearly, I still need to work on that goal.
That last post, or the headspace I was in when I wrote it, was, as it turned out, a brief reprieve from a bit of a dark tea time. I can’t even tell you exactly what my problem has been these last several weeks. It was a combination of factors, certainly, most of which have spiffy acronyms: SAD, PCOS, PMS, ADHD and DST. Also, tension headaches, allergy attacks, hypothyroid fatigue, not eating right, not getting enough exercise, not getting enough sleep. Blah.
I really am feeling better and coming out of my funk now, though, especially now that I’ve had some time to adjust to DST. As much as losing that hour messed me up for a week, I think overall having that extra hour of daylight in the evening is helping me feel back to normal. So is the warmer weather.
So this post is coming a couple of weeks after I’d originally wanted to write it, but the following thoughts still apply.
I had been working through this devotional, Trusting God with Your Dream by Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson. I’m done with it now, and I think it also helped get me to a more positive place. I think I’ve mentioned before in this blog something about how I seem to have trouble believing that God wants to bless me. I’ve never doubted that He’s able to, but I have a difficult time with the concept that he wants to.
There are a lot of things at work here. Part of it is having grown up with the prosperity gospel, and then growing into a more mature understanding of God, that He is not a genie who exists to grant our wishes and make our lives on this earth awesome and painless, but that we exist to please and glorify Him, and sometimes pain is part of that journey to becoming who He created us to be. I think maybe I’ve pulled so far back from the idea of the Health and Wealth God that I’ve begun to err on the other side. And some of it is that, well, I’ve endured a LOT of pain throughout my life — much of the worst of it crammed into the last five years.
So it’s a struggle for me, at times, not to dwell on the past, or on our present difficulties re: finding sufficient work. And if you keep getting knocked down every time you try to get up, eventually you’re just going to want to stay down. But I’m believing that God wants me to keep getting up, that He’s here to help me. He’s never left me, and yes, he wants to provide good things for me.
As I was reading through this devotional, one verse in particular stood out for me in stark relief:
“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” ~Deuteronomy 2:7
Part of why this verse resonated so much is that I’m turning 41 in a couple of weeks. And in a lot of ways, the first 40 years of my life have been something of a desert. Oh, there’s been the odd oasis here and there where I’ve found some rest and relief. My marriage is one such oasis, and for that I’m so incredibly grateful. But without going into too much detail, going back to my childhood, I’ve survived abuse, bullying, loneliness, depression, loss, grief, financial hardship, health issues, betrayal by my own body… nothing that a million other people haven’t endured, but that doesn’t make it any less of a struggle.
But I know that God has been with me. I can look all the way back to my childhood and see God’s presence and the difference it made. The difference it’s still making. It’s the power that lets me be a victor over all of my past pain, and not a victim of it. It’s the source of the strength I’ve always had to get back up again.
These forty years, the Lord my God has been with me, and I have not lacked anything.
That promise is comforting. The one that proceeds it is encouraging: The Lord my God has blessed me in all the work of my hands.
See that? “Has blessed.” Past tense.
I’ve been struggling along, frustrated that none of my work for the last several months hasn’t seemed to be bearing any fruit, and letting myself doubt that God wants to bless the work of my hands, and wondering why. But he has already blessed my work. I need to accept that. I need to stand firm on it and believe it. I need to trust it.
This passage of scripture was written to the children of Israel when they were still wandering the desert following the Exodus from Egypt. Soon afterwards, in the forty-first year, they entered the promised land, and they conquered it and became a great nation.
I’m believing today that my forty-first year is going to be a year of promise, in which I’m going to start seeing the fruits of my labor. I’m going to exit the desert of my past and leave it behind for good, and I will be an overcomer, and by the grace of the Lord my God, I will be victorious.