Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hard times and hope...

I have read across several of my bloggy friends sites that this weekend, these last few days have been hard for many of us. I couldn’t agree more from my side. The up and down moods, the quick distraction from focusing on God alone. The major temptations to despair and run away. All of them were there.

Amy had a post that she just recently wrote about hope, and she could have been talking about me. Wanting to run and hide and pull the covers over her head. She talked about worry… and how we should turn to worship instead of worry. It sure changes our focus doesn’t it? She mentioned that in the midst of all the things that were pulling her down the past few days, she started to make the decision to “lock eyes with Hope.”

The verse that came to mind was the one in Romans 15
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Our God, my Jesus and your Jesus, will fill us with hope. We have but to ask. He is hope. So if we lock our eyes on Him, we lock our eyes on Hope. If we trust Him, He will fill us with all the joy and peace we can handle till it overflows us… as a stream of hope flowing out to others… because of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

I know that my most recent posts haven’t been very hopeful. I haven’t been very hopeful. I have not been focusing my eyes on the right things, or the source of all hope. All I have been seeing are the obstacles in the path. I see trying to change myself and deal with things I need to, but that not changing my over all situation. Though I might change, how does that help anything else in my life…. I have been giving in to huge sensations of hopelessness, fear, despair; of being a victim… (this always happens to me, nothing I do will change it anyway, so why try…)

I am going in for a 90 min counseling session tomorrow morning early, and need to sleep now so that I will be relatively alert for it. But I am trying to choose to worship God rather than worry about how it is going to go. I have to choose to trust that God knows what He is going to do… that He knows what needs to be taken care of so I can get through the next week; so that I not only “survive” the next week, but actually “thrive” through it.

My devotional talked yesterday and today about having times of rest, and times of change. How do we respond to both. I have recently experienced a time of rest, and finally was able to enjoy it and settle in it, even though I knew it would be brief. I am now experiencing a time of change, not looking forward to it, fighting it some, but I know that it will be so profitable… because through each period of change, God has met me at the end of it with rest… and He has brought me just as far as I can handle, in manageable chunks, blessing me as I try to work through the changes… change myself to become more like Him.

It’s not easy. It hurts. But it is so worth it.

So, despite the despair and depression I feel now, I am going to my appointment tomorrow. Even though it means changing again.

God, as I go tomorrow, please help me to be willing to let You change me. Help my heart and mind be willing to let You in, and deal with the hurting parts of me. Help me sit back in Your arms and let You do the healing that You want to do in my heart, in my mind, in my emotions. I have to choose to allow You access to all those hurt parts of myself. There is no other way that You will go there, because You are a gentleman and will not enter where You are not invited. Give me the strength and courage to invite You in to heal me, my Jesus.

Guard my mind and heart and physical body tonight and tomorrow. Guard and protect Tricia’s heart, mind, and body tomorrow as well. Give us both wisdom and discernment to know where You want us to go, and what You want us to focus on. Help get us both out of the way of what You want to do. I surrender all my plans and hopes and dreams to You. I surrender all preconceived notions I might have about how tomorrow’s counseling will go, and just ask that You make it all happen in Your will. Including my coming home to my family, and the rest of the day that we spend together. Bless us all and protect us with Your might power and love. Amen.

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