Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Go On

  I've been going through a certain circumstance lately that I know God is using to change me, strengthen me, and improve me in general, but it is unequivocally the most challenging situation I've ever been in since my walk with Him began and until today, I felt anything but strengthened.  I cried the entire way to work recently because of the situation and in my tears I softly told God that I couldn't do it anymore. Through words I'm not even sure I spoke out loud, I told Him what He already knew - that my very last ounce of strength was gone and I was at the end of my rope.  I felt numb.  My husband called that particular day to check on me and I could hear the emptiness in my own voice as I responded through a blank stare with "I'm fine," but the truth was - I wasn't fine. I have been at a new level of spiritual turmoil unlike any I've ever known and I've been completely beaten down by the task of enduring through the pain (2 Timothy 2) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ (v. 3).  "God, I can't do this anymore. I've got nothing left. Please help me," I softly whispered not long ago.  Though I knew He was there and with me, I felt like I could barely breathe, and the painstaking effort that goes into the daily act of living threatened to suffocate anything left in me.  "I simply can't go on," I thought to myself, but then? I go on. 

In all my life, I can think of only a few past times when I've found myself sitting motionless with the blank stare that I wore most of my yesterday.  It was as if my mind couldn't process the reality of what I knew I had to do, and even if it could, I didn't know how.  I just wanted to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and shut out the entire world, even if only for one day, but preferably for more.  My words escaped me, my heart broke within me, and my spirit felt crushed, though as I clung to 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, I knew it was not. As I considered James 1:2-3 that says to "consider it pure joy" when I face trials and tribulations of many kinds, I only felt more weary and increasingly catatonic while my fingers brushed across the keyboard on blind autopilot.  Eyes closed while I typed, I silently pleaded for gratitude to fill my core as I strove to put the weight of my focus on the perseverance that is being produced from the testing of my faith (James 1:3).  "God, I'm trying, but it's just not there," I grimaced in painful defeat.  And then I go on. 

At the onset of the last moment, I didn't think I could make it to the next.  But I did. I went on and kept going on because I am a child of God and I am crazy in love with Him and He with me.  His very power runs through my veins, His blood over my soul.  I am His and He is mine, and where I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9), and not only is He strong in my weakness, but his "power is made perfect" in the very weakness that aims to destroy me.  I know what it means to suffer and I know the challenge of praising Him in life's storms, but because I've seen the outcome of saying "God, thank You," during my hardest moments, I will praise Him more (1 Peter 4:16).  He has never once failed me, abandoned me, or forsaken me, and though my times may threaten to break me, I know He will save me (Zephaniah 3:17). So I go on. 

Whatever you're facing, whatever trials you're enduring, He is with you.  You may not feel Him, you may be unable to sense Him, and you might even believe He has departed from you, but He's there (Genesis 28:15).  Sometimes we just have to stop being a victim of our circumstances and go on.  You may not be able to control what has happened to you or how that person made you feel, but the choice to stay where you are in any given moment is always up to you.  What are you feeling in this moment?  Sadness? Despair?  Anger? Resentment?  What about unforgiveness?  Leave it behind and go on. You have a life to live, and no one but you can decide to live it bitter, angry, and hurt.  Blame another human being or environment all you want, but the truth of every circumstance is that you are the only one who can decide your mood, your words, and your actions.  I've experienced in recent days the difficulty in moving past that catatonic state of despair, and it's hard, but you're not alone because if you've turned to God, then He promises to strengthen you and help you (Isaiah 41:10), and He will.  He pulled me up to sit here and write to you, didn't He?  So go on.

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1-3)

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Peter 4:16)

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go..(Genesis 28:15) 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10).

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