life, My Faith

The time I almost gave up

The story I’m gonna tell might scare some folk. I’m aware. (ie…Mom…I’m fine. You don’t need to pack.). But stick it out to the end; it’ll be worth it.

Last night I found the bottom of the pit. I told you this week had been bad. I was not feeling well, I was overwhelmed, I’ve been frustrated for a hot minute, and I was done. I reached the point where I was ready to give up. And I felt very much alone.

I got in the shower for two reasons: I wanted to be ready for bed whenever and I was cold. (Thanks to heart medicine, the shower is sometimes the only way to warm up.). I did the shower things and then I sat down and stared at the tiles. Why? I don’t know. I have a touch of OCD (does anyone just have a touch of that?) and an artistic eye. Whenever I think about things I start making patterns out of things while my brain spins in all the directions. As I was trying to make a pattern with my tiles, I couldn’t get it to even out. So then I counted them.

Seriously, God?! You can’t even give me an even number of tiles?! You can’t even give me that?

Even typing that, I’m a little embarrassed because that’s a really dumb thing to be mad about, but that’s not even really what I was mad about. It was just the latest in a string of injustices, real and imagined. (Yes, the odd number of tiles does fall into imagined injustices, but keep hanging with me.)

And I said it. God! I’m done. I’m giving up. I don’t even care anymore. All the preparation for next weekend, all the people, ALL THE THINGS…I’m done. I’m tired of being tired and not feeling good. I’m tired of being alone. And God while we’re on the subject, why did you give me people just to strand me here alone again? Did you just want me to know what I was missing?

And I sat there and I stared at my mismatched tiles and I planned how I was going to quit all the things. And I was mad.

Eventually I ran out of things to be mad at and I got tired of looking at mismatched tiles and I got out, got dressed and came to my couch.

I started hearing thunder. Seriously!? God it’s January. Are you going to send a tornado too? That’ll be a good way to be done with all the things. (That was sarcasm by the way. When I get mad, I go all in.)

I didn’t get up to see why it was thundering or what kind of crazy wind and torrential sounding downpour I was hearing in January. I rolled my eyes and said, well there’s the storm. I guess I should have bought provisions at Walmart. (I still don’t know what was happening outside. I really never got up and looked.)

I was going to watch tv and that annoyed me too. (In fact, basically everything would have annoyed me in that frame of mind.). I decided to pick up the book I’m reviewing because I need to get the thing read. (Secretly…or not so secret…I really was liking it.)

As I read, God spoke to me, right where I was, mad and all. He used that book to scoop me up and hold me while I kicked and screamed. Then I put the book down with the intention of going to bed, but I didn’t. I stared at the air vent for a while and then I started talking to God, out loud, about all the things. And by the end I realized some things.

So before bed I scribbled in my non-public journal about it. But because I don’t know if I can say it better than I said it, I’m gonna just type it out for you. Here goes:

“I almost gave up tonight.

What I almost gave up, I’m not sure of. I considered canceling Goals Weekend and leaving my people and all the things. Why? I don’t know. Other than to say this week has been hard and I feel so alone in it. But I also think because God will do a mighty work with GW and in my people, Satan saw me as an easy target. I usually am.

But God knows that and used the book I’m reviewing to speak truth and calm my soul. To settle my spirit.

‘God, I don’t know if you’re good anymore. But I know that I still want you. I don’t want to live without you…’ which is my heart on the page and the struggles I’m having with God. Because at the end of the day, through it all and no matter what, I know that I need Him.

Tonight I changed my prayer.

God change my heart if you’re not going to change my circumstances. Give me peace in the present and make me worthy of a broader reach.

As I cried out to God and prayed specifically for each of my people, I know God is gearing up to do a mighty thing. And I hope we are never the same. I hope relationships are strengthened or restored. Because ‘I feel it in my bones you’re about to move!'”

Those are the words I wrote last night, after sitting on my couch crying out to God (and literally crying) while He held me and let me say what I needed to say, much like a parent does.

And I no longer want to give up. In fact I have stronger resolve to allow God to use me next weekend. What happened this week I can describe as nothing other than Satan trying to stop me. I have felt from the first time I heard about this Goals Weekend that I was to lead it with my people. I’ve looked forward to it for a while. And I was so close to letting Satan cancel it and ruin me. But now I’m praying that God holds me strong against these things this coming week. “Because I feel it in my bones you’re about to move. I feel it in the wind you’re about to ride in.” And I want to be a part of it.

The prayer that changed me was for God to change me. I stopped praying for God to fix something or change my life or change my circumstances. I prayed for God to change MY attitude. I prayed for Him to change MY heart.

And God met me on the couch last night, alone in my living room. I woke up this morning and I didn’t feel dread for the day. (Literally one day this week I cried when my alarm went off to get up for work…real tears, y’all. I told you it was a rough week.). I’m not gonna lie and say I bounced up at 5am excited to tackle the day because I’m still not a morning person. But I woke up with a peace in my heart.

Every work day before I get out of bed I pray, God make this a good day and don’t let staffing be terrible cuz I can’t take all those patients again. Y’all the struggle is real.

Today, before my feet hit the floor, I reiterated my prayer from the night before. God, change my heart today. God use me to bless someone today. And that was it. I didn’t pray for extra staff or less patients or any of the things. I prayed that I would be used by God. You know what one of my patients said tonight before I left? “Bless you. I don’t know what we would do without you.” And I smiled at God because I feel blessed today.

And this fight is far too important to give up or to let my feelings or my weaknesses or my pride get in the way. The stakes are too high. And the win will be too great. So today, I’m good. I’m tired but my soul is at peace. My soul is ready to fight even if my body isn’t.

So what I ask from you is that you pray for my people and I as we enter Goals Weekend next Friday because God will move there. He’s promised me too many times for me to think otherwise. Pray that we will all stand strong against the enemy. Pray that he won’t go after someone else next week. Pray that I can stay strong as well.

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