Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"Self talk, Soul talk," Chap. 10; Press On...
If you want to read any other posts about our chapter, visit Lelia and check them out.
I recently have been writing on and off about how tired I have been and how much I feel like giving up. Those feelings have lessened somewhat since I spent time a week ago with God and just allowed Him to fill me up. They have come back from time to time, depending on what I have been doing, and how tired I have gotten. If I have stressed myself out, emotionally/spiritually fatiguing myself, I have, of course gotten more tired, and felt like giving up.
I tried to remember our last chapter in our book, “Self Talk, Soul Talk,” and speak rest to my soul, which worked pretty well.
For my LPM Scripture Memory verse for March 1, I picked from Hebrews.
“Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:35-36; 39
I was given much encouragement from my friend, Cindy, to keep on going. To keep doing the next right thing. To keep taking the next step.
Then I read this chapter. Again, like last week, I just about fell over in shock!
God must really like to do this to me, to many of us, hey?!
All week I have been getting the input from almost every source to persevere. My pastor’s sermon, Cindy, this book, the scripture verse God led me to… everything pointed to needing to persevere.
I guess I need to pay attention!
I can totally identify with Jennifer when she said,
“Running the race makes us weary, and sometimes we want to just sit it out for a while.”
Another section of the chapter that I could practically re-write here is the section she titled, “Affirm Your True Identity.”
One of the biggest things I have learned these past few years is who I am in Christ. I mean, before I knew I was God’s child, but really didn’t know what that meant. I think I am starting to get it now… at least, a little bit better grasp, though I don’t always remember. I tend to act out of my feelings rather than my identity, which is just what Jennifer was talking about here.
No matter what I feel, it is who I am that is important, and more than that, WHOSE I am.
“Don’t let feelings define you; let who you are define your feelings…. Don’t let the struggle define you; use your true identity to properly define your struggle.”
As I have walked step by step through this week, I suppose I have done just that.
I have felt depressed and insignificant and incompetent. I have struggled with weakness and tiredness and anxiety. I had to lead worship rehearsal on Wednesday night, and then, I had to lead the worship team, and worship in front of the whole church on Sunday.
I was at church an hour early or so for rehearsal on Wednesday. I worked on the music, prayed through it, and when the team came, though I was feeling overly anxious, I hid it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to get through the rehearsal.
I came home absolutely exhausted. And the next day felt like giving up and throwing in the towel and just sitting still and doing absolutely nothing.
I got through the weekend, only because I had a lot of things going on over the weekend, and some things to process through.
Then came Sunday.
I got to church and was able to pray over the service, music, the building itself, and we did our run-through rehearsal. After the rehearsal was done, I sat down with Cindy to wait for the service to start (we were singing together on the team). I sat there for a few minutes and wanted to curl up under the chairs in front of me. I looked over at her, and she had her bible open to Ephesians 6, the armor of God verses; she was praying through them. I leaned over and told her I thought I was going to be sick I was so anxious. I think right then and there she started to pray for both of us.
I took a page from her book, opened my bible and prayed… I worked my way through my memory verses, also Romans 8, the part about nothing can separate us from the love of God… and just tried to spend the time committing the service, and myself to God, asking Him to speak His words through me. I started to feel His peace before we had to get up and sing.
Once I got up to sing, I was ok. Not great, but ok. I eventually was able to relax enough that I was able to truly worship and feel a bit of connection with God.
Just leaving the seats to get up there was the next step I had to take, because doing the whole service seemed beyond me at the time. I just took each section of the service, a step at a time.
I kept feeling like I was incompetent for the tasks set out before me. I kept feeling like I was a failure and I should give up. I kept feeling so depressed and anxious that I thought I shouldn’t even be attempting to lead the worship team, much less leading the church in worship.
I know who I am. I am a daughter of the King. I am adopted by God. I am loved by Him. I am accepted by Him. I am loved by Him. I am blessed by Him. I am redeemed by Him.
I don’t know that I specifically thought of those things either.
I just did the next thing I was expected to do.
It isn’t going to be easy.
It isn’t going to be fun.
At least not all the time.
But looking back, I can see how faithful God was to get me through the weekend. He gave me strength when I didn’t have it. He gave me words when I didn’t have any. He gave me strength when I was weak. He helped me keep going when I really didn’t want to. He showed me when to draw back and rest, and when not to draw back but reach out to others and ask for prayer.
My God is everything for me. My God is everything TO me. He is my all… He is more than enough for me.
Though I stayed up late last night, He has sustained me through this day. He helped me do what I needed to, and helped me hold onto Him. He filled in where I felt weak.
This is going to be a week or so of really learning what it means to persevere. I think I have slowly been learning that, but for some reason, I feel like I have entered the “perseverance boot camp.”
Anyone else with me?
“Sometimes rest is more important that revving up, and sometimes pressing on is more important that pulling back.”
I am praying that God shows me when it is time to rest, and when it is time to press on… press on with His strength running through me, through my weakness… so that His glory is shown to all.