Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Self talk, Soul talk," Chap. 9; Be at rest...

I opened up this book on Sunday afternoon, after crying all morning at church.

And when I say crying… I mean more like sobbing next to my friend Cindy. I didn’t dare look at her, because if she had given me a hug right then, I would have dissolved.

Over the weekend I wrote in an email to her, and then later talked on the phone about how tired and empty I was feeling. Done in, burned out, nothing left to give.


Without even words to write here… and that is rare for me.

I managed to squeeze a couple of posts out in the last couple of days, out of desperation and need for prayer from others. They were short posts, but at least let people know where I was at.

In church Sunday, I got a distinct impression of sitting in Jesus’ lap and seeing Him wanting to take that piece out of the box and heal it back into my heart. I just remember shying away from Him, hiding my face against His chest, not really wanting to submit.

Afraid of the pain.

After the service was done, I really wanted to go up to the front of the church, walk the aisle and fall on my face before God right then and there. Our associate pastor said that some of us had some work to do with God this afternoon, and I was thinking in my head, “no, I know that He wants me to do it now… I shouldn’t wait.” But the moment was over, and I walked out of the sanctuary without doing any “business” with God.

[Side note: I later found out that our associate pastor almost gave an alter call for anyone needing to do business with God right then and there...]

That was when I went to the coffee shop after church, and started to read this chapter in “Self Talk, Soul Talk.”

Like Laura said, I just about burst into laughter, if it weren’t for the tears that were stuck in my throat. I was struck…. in awe and amazement at how our God orchestrates things.

I read most of the chapter, and then I had to go home to get a bit of rest and go to my choir rehearsal. But as I did, I realized that God had used the time of the coffee shop to start my time away from “stuff” to start to still and settle my soul.

On the way home from choir, I took a long way home, country roads, rather than through town or on the highway. I prayed some, thought about Tricia a lot, and tried to figure out a way that I could get alone with God, in private to work through this somewhat. At least to start the process of mourning.

God provided the time.

Dave didn’t have to work on yesterday, so once he was done with his errands and goals for the day, he let me out of the house. He told me to take the rest of the day (bless his dear heart!!!)

I headed for our church. I knew of no where else that I would be able to get away without phones, kids, or anyone else interrupting me.

When I got there, Cindy helped me get set up in the library of our church, near a fireplace, and prayed for me and then gave me something to read that would help jump start me in my time with God.

I ended up on my knees on the floor in front of the fireplace, in front of God. Not exactly on my face, but finally allowing Him to start to minster to me. I really finally surrendered to Him.

I cried out to Him. I told him just how much I missed Tricia. Just how much I hurt, how much I really needed His help, because I was so empty.

I cried.
Used a lot of Kleenex.

I finally was able to just rest before Him and receive.

I was able to do exactly what Jennifer talked about. I was able to take the time away with God and rest before Him. I do tend to try to take some time with Him each day, or try to do something to unplug a bit, but I must have been pushing myself the past few weeks, and not realized it.

At some point during that time our Associate Pastor, Brad came in and talked with me a bit. Cindy (with my permission) had shared some of what was going on with me at a staff meeting where they pray for each other and members of the congregation who request it, so he knew a bit of what was going on. I was just sobbing when he walked into the library. I couldn’t hide it and didn’t try.

Brad shared with me some of what he had gone through a few weeks ago, where he too was at a place of emptiness and fatigue, with nothing left to give. He shared how God met him in a place of peace and withdrawal… a vacation with his family. Hmm. Sound familiar? (Abandon Annually??) He prayed with me before he left me alone again, that I would receive a word from God, and that I would find the rest that I needed.

Oh girlfriends, God is so good.

I was speaking to my soul, without realizing it. Between my time off at the coffee shop on Sunday, and my time at church yesterday afternoon, and dinner with Cindy afterward.

“We must choose for our wills to take a break from striving, for our minds to quiet the noise of thought, and for our emotions to detangle our knotted feelings.”

I choose to get away, and take a break. I voiced that desire to Dave, and God made it happen.
The enemy was having his way with me.

“When we are physically and emotionally spent and worn, we become susceptible to the enemy’s attack. We become easy targets, sitting ducks. Our enemy attacks us with despair, depression, illness, impatience, and myriad other maladies…all results of a fatiged soul and body.”

Jennifer is right that speaking rest to our souls is critical. There is no other way around it. If we don’t allow ourselves to rest… more than just physical rest, and tell our souls to, not just hope it happens; well, we are going to find ourselves in dire straights. There is no other way around it.

We need to be still and know that He is God.

I learned that yesterday. Though I didn’t think I was being “quiet” before God, I guess I really was settling my soul down before Him. Everything that was in me poured out before Him. I left nothing unchecked (at least as much as I could at that point in time).

I woke this morning exhausted.

However, I also woke knowing that God was with me.

Knowing that God was faithful and that God would keep His promises towards me.

Still physically and emotionally tired and drained, I know that I am experiencing more peace today than I have in a while. I still feel a bit on the edge emotionally, yet still have more peace than I have had in about 3 weeks or so. I am still struggling with depression, and struggling with motivating myself to get some things done around the house that need doing, or even doing things for myself to make myself feel better. But I have peace.

I truly don’t know how to explain it other than I still am depressed. I still am tired. I still am aching and hurting (and yes even crying right now) over losing the relationship with Tricia. But I still have this PEACE.

Maybe it comes back to Philippians 4:7
“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

There is no other explanation.
I am going to continue to tell my soul to find rest in God alone.
Nothing else will do.

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