Count It All Joy?

girl-1149933_1920I lost my joy yesterday. There is just no other way to put it.  I think I can honestly say that I have been having a crisis of faith. I keep wondering where He is in all this.

In James 1:2-4 it says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Yeah, I am having a hard time counting it all joy. I know there are those who have suffered harder trials than I and I can honestly say I don’t know how they endure it, but welcome to my pity party for just a bit. 

When my husband and I got married just one month after, he was in a bad auto accident that left us without a car, and a no fault judgement, which meant we still had to pay for a car that did not exist. Five months later I lost my job and at that time I was making a bit more than my husband who was working two jobs. We had no other option, but to move in with my parents. Don’t get me wrong I love my parents dearly, but I was 26 newly married, living with my parents and again had a curfew. We managed to pay off most of our debt (even when my husband also lost his higher paying job) and moved into a lovely one bedroom apartment 7 months later after two career changes.

Normally in a marriage, the topic of children comes up. It did for us too, but in my youth I had been very ill and I wasn’t sure that I could have children nor would the illness come back preventing me from raising them, so we decided that children were not really in our future. Two months later I got pregnant with twins. Go ahead and giggle most people do at this point………..ok laughter time over because the last 13 weeks of my pregnancy I was put on bedrest, once again living with my parents because my husbands hours at his new job prevented him from taking care of me at any time.

My wonderfully made children were born at 36 weeks to the day, however they both have a form of autism, which had us deciding that I would stay home full time. My two boys are some of the most caring, loving, aggravating, frustrating, God loving men that I know.

We then got slammed with one of the worst trials we have faced, my husband became addicted to alcohol and then threw in some drugs for good measure. I won’t go into the gory details, but we separated, I filed for divorce (let’s just leave it at I had biblical grounds) and we were apart for a year. My husband got clean and sober and we did reunite, but then my health took a bad turn.

I was born with a spine disorder and unfortunately I had a very bad car accident that exacerbated it tremendously to the point that I needed surgery. I am now the proud owner of 4 screws, two rods and three cadaver discs. That made working outside of the house impossible for me at a time when my children were grown enough and I could have rejoined the working world to help with the household finances.

A few years later and I was diagnosed with diabetes. It didn’t stop there either, in the space of 4 months I had 3 surgeries; a DNC, my gallbladder and appendix removed and shoulder surgery.

It had seemed to us that maybe a change was needed again, so we thought that moving out of the house we have been in for 17 years would be a good way to get a fresh start. Purging all the old and simply cleaning things up might air out the crud that had us down. We prayed before each step, we tried to obey when doors seemed to close and things appeared to be moving along. Then we got steam rolled yesterday and we are lost. Details aren’t necessary, but things have gone wrong and we are not sure what will happen. We thought we were being obedient, we thought we were asking in faith without doubts (James 1:6), yet here we are.

I know trials are part of life and there are lessons to be learned. Faith is stretched and tried when the trials come, but mine seems to be flimsy at best now. I know in my head that when a door shuts He isn’t preventing us from good things and He may well have something so much better, but my heart can’t seem to get on board this time.

Has your heart ever forgotten to listen to your head? I thought I had concurred that particular affliction. I guess I need more work.

 

Overwhelmed

11001826_10203464982367122_6936621571295453289_nGeeze Louise do I feel the weight of all that needs to be done pressing in on me today! It’s been a whirlwind since Memorial Day and it doesn’t appear it will stop any time soon. Part of it’s my own fault I kinda sorta started some of the swirling and I know I need to own that, but instead I want to be a four year old stomp my foot and say, “NO!”

Last year for our church’s VBS I helped with costumes (not much help as I can’t sew a stitch, but I am great at fetch and carry). They were short a person for a very small part, so I was voluntold (yes that is a word, ok my word, but a word none-the-less), hence my small partS (yes notice the large S I meant to do that) this year in addition to working on props. This normally wouldn’t have me in distress, but add the fact that I went casually looking for the possibility of a new home and now we are cleaning like fiends, about to put our house on the market and looking for a new home. Why didn’t someone stop me? I was hoping God would step in here and slam a door in our faces, but so far, nada! Even doors that seem to be closing, other ones are opening. GREAT (she says with extreme sarcasm in her voice)!

I have been trying to stay focused on the Word and reading scriptures to ease feeling so overwhelmed and I will be honest with you they aren’t helping much. I know it’s me. I will make a confession, one of my quiet times is when I am in the shower. I seem to be able to work things out in my mind and pray more fervently while in there. It could have something to do with the fact that it is the only place in a house full of men that I can find a bit of peace. When the boys were growing up they knew that I did not take long showers and whatever it was except for fire, flood or blood could wait till I was done. Lately though my shower prayers have been, “Oh Lord am I tired!” Nope, not much of  a prayer and more of a confirmation of being pooped.

I was looking all over for something to help with this feeling of stress and pressure, so I went to my go to place which is a website called Got Questions. Our pastor once recommended it when he did not have time enough to give us a full answer to what my husband and I thought was an easy question. It has helped me a lot even if at times I don’t exactly agree with everything. This time however, it didn’t have an answer for me that helped, except in one little sentence that brought up a portion of scripture, 1 Corinthians 14:33 (in part), “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace…” I think I forgot that somewhere along the way. Then it was a bit easier to remember Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.”

I am not sure that the pressure and stress will vanish, nor the feelings of being overwhelmed, but I have to remember that He has got this and I just have to trust that. Pray for me.