When We Are A Stressed Mess
I was having one of those moments in the kitchen this week while getting ready for the day, in an effort to keep up with my toddler making a bee line for the front door.
As the coffee was brewing, I reached down to put my socks on and in this moment, a familiar stress met me and I thought to myself, "weird - it's just socks".
Then it hit, the months of motor home living and all the extreme heart work that took place, flashed before me.
Putting on socks meant that I was both cold and hurried in those days. Trying to keep the family above water with school, making meals, pep talk conversations, and literally chasing a two-year old all over the camp's creation...was necessary but the post stress is real!
The blessing of a place to live - though tight, was a huge gift. The way God worked out his will for us during that time was not a vacation but absolutely a tool for refinement.
I would wake up with the little one and grab his cereal and drink, trying so hard not to wake up the other five sleeping just feet away (and carrying guilt for when it just didn't work out).
I made sure my clothes were accessible the night before, with socks tucked in shoes - ready to head out the door to get the day started.
This was the R.V. camping life of seven.
Satan used this time trying to dirty up my soul with his deception but the Spirit of the living God was with me and crushed those words.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." - 2 Corinthians 3:17
"Where is this church job you've been looking for?"
"There isn't anything better for your family."
"The suffering will continue."
"Where is your Jesus ...the one who Saves?"
Oh the echos of evil. They were in stereo and honestly each step of my day for three months was an actual unseen war.
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." - Ephesians 6:11
Rather quickly, I realized that my stress was deeply rooted in the fear and lie that I wouldn't ever see community or comfort.
I perfected the art of cleaning up breakfast, slipping on jeans, a hoodie, fleece, scarf, and gloves at record speed. There was no time (or room) for mirrors, make-up or hair fixing. My days became a survival game. Mostly we conquered victoriously, but there were moments where we drowned in defeat.
How in the world do we handle hard seasons that wear on us physically and emotionally?
In the middle of our hardest days in transition to our new job and state, we logged some exhausting hours. Many conversations did not go well and we struggled to be on the same page. Sound familiar?
We also lived in the glory of days filled with excitement and expectation, of belief, and of trusting the goodness of the God who called us to His greater story! So much good surrounded us. I combatted all the junk with truth. The truth of scripture, truth of worship, and truth of new voices speaking into my life.
Darkness despises light - so we claim His goodness, His providence, and His protection as the evil party busts up.
Don't know what is going on in your life right now?
Aren't sure how things are going to pan out?
Fearful that your hope and faith isn't strong enough?
Worried that Jesus may not want to bless you?
Some of the things that carried me in the "make-me-wanna-throw-up" times were:
- Make a huge, fun deal about doing the little things. Be grateful for the small stuff.
- Don't worry about a big plan, just take the next best trust step. Be where you are..
- Embrace your God-given passions and do those things. Be insightful.
- For heavens sake get yo self outdoors...like now. Be adventurous.
- Find scripture that speaks hope and pray those words over your day. Be faithful.
Inviting Jesus into all of these places friends - to the daily normality of tasks is how He demonstrates His love and power in the middle of our crazy stories.
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? - Psalm 139:7
I took my time getting those socks and shoes on that morning... and we made it out the door just in time to catch the sun parting the clouds of Seattle.
I watched my kids enjoying the outdoors of our new home - and thanked God for promising to see us through.
The truth is y'all...He also wants to walk with you.