Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting my Head in the Game

Mom's friends surprised her with an indoor tailgate party....special ladies!
 My nature, sometimes to a fault, is to be an extremely guarded and private person, but I feel like I should share some of the things I am going through lately in hopes that maybe some of what I am experiencing may help someone else. 

In keeping my posts real and honest, I have to admit to you that I am having a difficult time lately focusing on what is right in front of me.  I feel like I am living separate lives, and I am not transitioning well at all from one to the other.  When I am in one place, my brain is still in the other and vice versa.  The result is just a big mess and a lot of worry.  And what good does worry do?  No good.  It certainly cannot fix anything.

I am realizing the problem with letting my mind wander to other places rather than staying right where I am in the moment is that I miss the extraordinary things happening right in front of me.  I say all the time that my faith gets me through life.  And while that is absolutely true, it's hard sometimes to know how to do that.  

It's easy to get lost when we are caught up in the emotion and logistics of our highest of life's highs, our most boring of life's plateaus, or our lowest of life's lows.  So, what does having faith really mean?  How do you live a life of faith?  How do you call on your faith and lean on it when you need it most?

What I am talking about is a loaded question that I ask myself all the time.  I wonder if I am doing things right for the God I love so much.  

As I was driving home from taking care of my mom last week, I realized that I was spending so much time worrying about what was going to happen next and what I needed to do next to take care of things here and there that I was completely overlooking all the ways God is trying to take care of me, and they are RIGHT in front of me, no matter where I am or what time of day it is. 

I have to remind myself that faith is letting go and letting God meet my needs in the moment, not just sometimes, but in every moment of every single day.  

Faith, however, is NOT believing and hoping that God is going to do what I want Him to do.

In fact, what I want may be completely wrong for me, and I have to face those facts.  Faith is loving God and trusting His path for me enough to put His direction ahead of my own best thought out plans.  And I know I fall short of doing that more often than not.  The hardest thing about being a Christian and being faithful, at least for me, is that despite my best intentions and efforts, I am selfish, and I like to think that I can somehow control my circumstances and help them turn out the way I think is best. 

Thank goodness God is smarter and much more powerful than me because I do not know what I am doing.  If it were up to me to fix things, who knows how things would end up, and I'd kill myself getting there. 

If faith means I have to trust God and His path for me, then I have to talk to God in prayer about EVERYTHING.  

At this point, some might wonder how I know I am not talking to air, especially considering all my family is going through right now.  My answer is, give it an honest try for yourself.  I promise that if you make the effort to talk to God and ask him to help you, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  

You will feel His presence and peace when you look for it.  That's how good things happen, even in the worst of circumstances.  God will wrap me (and you) in His arms if we look for Him in everything that is around us.  

As Michael Hobbs puts it in his daily devotional A Servant's Song

"There is no problem for which God does not have an answer! The secret is to let God give us His answer, not insist that He accept ours."
So, as much as I am heartbroken by what is going on in my family right now, I know God is using this brokenness.  He is the ultimate Healer.  I have to trust that what is in front of me each step along the way is orchestrated by God to turn the bad into good.  If I blink, I might miss the hands or face of Christ at work in my life, and I know I don't want to miss something that extraordinary!

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  -Romans 10:13

*That picture at the top of this page is one example of the many ways God is reaching out to me when I needed reassurance right now.  How is God reaching out to you?

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