“You always have it together and look so polished.” “I don’t know how you do it as a single mom with two kids.” That is what a friend at church said to me this past Sunday. “Girl, if you only knew” was my response. I figured it was best to keep it short and sweet.
What I was really thinking was how much of a mess I am. For instance, last week I forgot to brush my little girl’s teeth before sending her to daycare. Some days, on the days I actually wash my hair, I forget if I conditioned it. So, I do it again just to make sure. My closet looks like hurricane Hugo went through it and never recovered. (That was a hurricane in 1989 by the way) And, a few weeks ago, I struggled with feelings of emptiness and little joy.
Let’s go back to this dry season. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My life was as it normally is. Nothing tragic happened. My children were happy and healthy. I was doing everything we Christians do. I read the Bible, prayed and attended church. Why did I feel this discontentment?
Maybe I’m not doing enough for God, I thought to myself. Or, maybe I need a change that would spice my life up. Several weeks went on like this. I prayed for Him to rid me of these depressing feelings. Eventually, it dawned on me how self-righteous my prayer was, so I asked for a heart change.
And one afternoon, while working out at the gym, I felt Him move. As I listened to a song by the group Red called “Pieces.”
I’m here again, a thousand miles away from you
A broken mess, just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard, thought I could do this on my own
I’ve lost so much along the way
Then I’ll see your face, I know I’m finally yours
I find everything I thought I lost before
You call my name, I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole
Tears filled my eyes. I was hoping if any fell, the sweat beads on my face would camouflage them. I didn’t want everyone to think I was a complete nut. In that moment, it was as if a 50 lb weight had been lifted from my shoulders. “Thank you” was all I could say.
I got so busy working for Him that I lost sight of who it was I really needed. It’s oftentimes when we get stuck in a routine, God will shake us up. When our spiritual lives begin to be check list items, we have a tendency to think we can handle things on our own. Our shake up is a wake up to let us know who our dependence is on.
What can we do when we may look like we have it all together but we don’t feel like it?
Continue seeking Him through prayer and His word. Ask God to reveal himself in a fresh way that opens your eyes to see wonderful truths in His instructions. (Psalm 119:18) Pray He would fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Recall previous times when you’ve gone through trials and God listened and attended to the voice of your prayer. (Psalm 66:19)
Confide in trusted friends and pray for each other that you may be healed. (James 5:16) A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
If you’ve found yourself parched from a dry season,I invite you to whisper this prayer to our King, the spring of living water, who refreshes the weary and satisfies the faint. (Jeremiah 31:25)
Daddy, I don’t know why I’m in this low place but you do. I need you. I ask you to help me learn the lesson you are teaching me. Instead of changing my circumstances, change me. Help me to be thankful as I continue seeking you. Amen.