Have you ever awakened in the morning with your teeth clinched, and you could just feel a bad attitude crawling up your back resting on your shoulders making knots out of your muscles raising your shoulders to where your earlobes normally are? Snarling and biting your tongue the best you can because the least little thing is jumping on your last nerve? Oh, how I hate it, and I woke up like that for the past two mornings. Anybody going where I'm driving?
Sunday morning Satan was all over me, and I felt overwhelmed, raw, and on edge – And that was the good side of me. One of the greeters at church who is also on my women in ministry team asked me how I was doing. I was honest. I said, "I'm making it." It is just all over my heart. I have nothing nice to say to or about much, and that is just not me nor do I like it.
I went on my way setting things up, and I headed to my office. There she was again. "Kristy, I sense your joy is gone. I know this because I feed off your joy, and it's not there this morning. What's going on?"
I had just blogged on our Women IN Ministry's blog at www.connectinghearts---onewomanatatime.blogspot.com about choosing joy, and here Satan was all over me robbing me of my joy. I've been fighting him ever since. (I really hate it when something I've said or something I've written comes back to bite me on the backside.)
I began that I had awoken in a funk, and I was tired of single-parenting. I felt like I wasn't being a good mom because everything was rubbing a raw nerve. I knew I wasn't much fun to be around either. How could I possibly encourage anyone today? How could I possibly be used of God?
Last night my family and I went to our church's Thanksgiving meal, and I have to say the fellowship went a long ways in encouraging me and lifting my spirits. But the next morning, here I was back down in the dregs with knots on top of knots. I keep telling myself, "I'll have 24 hours by myself once Patrick and the kids leave for Mississippi tomorrow morning. I'll use that time to get refocused before joining them."
I then turned to my quiet time because if I ever needed one it was today. I was reading My Utmost for His Highest, and as if he were speaking directly to me these are the things that stood out:
- "What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. 'Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.' Malachi 2:16. Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God…Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives." I NEED QUIET ALONE TIME WITH GOD WITHOUT INTERRUPTION OR DISTRACTIONS.
- "Another thing that distracts us is our passion for vindication. St. Augustine prayed, 'O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.' Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul's faith in God." YES, LORD, HELP ME TO SUBMIT AND RELEASE.
- "When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."
My encourager did it right. She took me aside, raised my eyes to focus on what is important in life without criticizing once, but ultimately, it's up to me to keep my eyes focused in the right location. Sooner or later, Satan will leave me alone, and this weight on my shoulders, this heaviness of spirit will be lifted. There is always hope.