"Bathroom Floor Moments," (Part 2) - A Few More Thoughts

When I finished my post last week, it didn't feel done. I felt like God wanted me to say more.

I wanted to share where God has brought me through my "bathroom floor moments." The experience I shared last week was when my husband nearly died and I had three miscarriages all in about five months (after eight years of infertility). This experience left my soul screaming, "Lord, no more! I can't take any more!"That was in 2003.

But my "bathroom floor moments" didn't stop in 2003.

Over time, in this broken and sin-filled world, I knew there would be more. And there was more...

Adopting a very traumatized and neglected child at age two from across the world. Lord, how do we connect with him, help him heal, love him well? How do we give him all that he needs when we don't know what he needs?

Driving to a psychiatric hospital with the realization that I was going to visit my own child who has Autism, who doctor's said had a "psychotic break due to a medication imbalance." I can't describe how out of control and helpless I felt.

Getting a call that my dad collapsed on vacation in Florida, and that he was unresponsive and may have had a heart attack- and then spending over two weeks in Florida watching him fight (actually, God did the fighting) for his life.

Sitting in the backseat of our car, holding my baby son Cole, wondering if he was going to die on the way to the hospital after having an anaphylactic reaction to milk. This also happened one time to my daughter Kendyl because of eggs, and an additional time to Cole for peas (yes, peas!). If you let it, fear can be a constant and unrelenting companion when you have children with life-threatening food allergies.

Experiencing the daily struggle of having children with various medical and mental special needs, adoption hurts, and deep losses. Feeling completely unequipped and overwhelmed as their mother-dealing with my daily exhaustion, frustration and isolation. Always feeling like a giant mom failure. Comparing myself with other moms never takes me to a good place.

Lonliness that permeates every area of my life until I feel like I can't breathe underneath the weight of it.

And there are more moments like these...but I think you get the idea.

What are your "bathroom floor moments?" What has happened that threatens or has threatened to consume you with pain, fear, anxiety, doubt or grief?

But wait! I have good news! God doesn't leave us on the bathroom floor. That's what I want to share.

He is always with you on the bathroom floor, or whatever floor you are on. He will stay there with you, and when you are ready (by His grace), He helps you get up, and gives you the courage to choose to live again.

I've said it before, but I believe it's worth repeating: God uses those terrible moments to make me, to make us, desperate for Him. He is the only One who can fill those empty and hollow places in me; those places that ache and feel restless, broken and unsettled.

I was reading about Adam and Eve and "the fall" in a book called, "Covenant and Kingdom" by Mike Breen. I found it very helpful:

"Created in God's image, his first people had his imprint upon them. But as they pulled away, the impression made by this imprint emptied, and they felt naked." (page 8)

"This caused a deep longing. The empty space within them desired the presence of their Creator. The imprint left by his hand longed for the touch that would fill the emptiness." (page 15)

We have longings and empty spaces in our souls that only God can fill, that only He was meant to fill. The problem is that we try to fill those spaces with so many other things that are not God. And then we wonder why we feel empty and unsatisfied, and often so alone.

God is always with us. He never leaves us...

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10

Do you know what that means?

God is there with you on the bathroom floor. He is there in the hospital, in your car, in your kitchen. Wherever you are heading, God is already there. If you turn around and head a different direction, He is there too. Because He never left.

God knows our weary and "raw" thoughts. Even when others often run from the depths of our pain, He isn't scared away by even the worst of them.

It helps me to picture God holding me on His lap, like I hold my children (because that's what He does anyway). I can snuggle in, cry, and be completely honest. "He will cover me with his feathers, and under his wings I will find refuge." Psalm 91:4 He never meant for me to carry my worries, my pain, my doubts, or my broken heart all alone.

If you are someone who needs a physcial "flesh-and-bone" person, go find that person you love and trust completely, and ask them to be God's love and comfort for you. Have them hold you while you have a good cry. If you can't think of such a person, ask God to send someone. I believe He will do that for you.

Life's "bathroom floor moments" can suck all of the joy out of your life if you let it.

Rick Warren gives a definition of joy that has really helped me:

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation." -Rick Warren, Daily Hope (April 2, 2012)

I had the definition of joy all wrong. I thought it was a lot like happy. It turns out it's nothing like happy. It has nothing to do with my circumstances, and everything to do with choosing God. Choosing to trust Him, even when we don't see or understand why something is happening.

I've learned a formula over time and through trials that I believe is absolutely true:

Worship God = Joy

No matter what is going on in my life, when I choose to worship God, it is there I find joy. The kind that fills the empty places in my soul. It goes way beyond happy to a place of soul satisfaction that I cannot find anywhere else.

You have made known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. - Psalm 16:11

What does worshipping God look like?

It's not just worship songs, although that is a big one for me. Music moves my soul and my response must be to worship God. But not everyone feels that way, and that's okay.

Some people are loud and expressive when they worship. Others are quiet and reflective. We may worship God in a beautiful church, at home in our living room, or outside in our backyard. It doesn't matter so much in what way you are worshipping or where you are doing it, it's the state of your heart that matters most. It's that you mean it. Worship comes from the inside, not the outside.

"A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth." - John 4:23

Here are several other ways, besides singing and listening to praise music, you could worship God:

Reading God's Word out loud or listening to God's Word being spoken.

Keep a gratitude journal. Write down what you are thankful for. Put photos of what you are thankful for throughout the journal.

Find somewhere beautiful to go in God's creation. My favorites are anywhere with mountains, hiking trails in a woods, by a lake and somewhere with tons of wild flowers. I immediately feel God's presence when I look at His awesome handiwork. I feel His peace and comfort, and my heart calms.

Make a prayer wall in your house (or anywhere). Hang up scraps of paper with your prayer requests. Then put up scraps of paper with all the ways God has answered those prayers.

Confession. Worship reminds us that God is holy and we are not. Worship Him for His endless mercy and because of His forgiveness.

Communion. Remember Christ's sacrifice for us. Thinking about how God saved us from our sins is at the very core of why we worship Him.

Rest. It's one of the Ten Commandments, ranking right up there with "Do not murder." I need to pay attention to that (and I often don't). Resting in Him can be a way to worship.

Respond to Him as He speaks to you. Embrace the joy that His presence brings. Hang on to it beyond when your worship time is over.

Worshipping God brings life. It brings hope when there wasn't any. It brings joy; fullness of joy. And in time, it may even bring a big smile.

Worship = Joy -- Even in brokenness. Joy comes as you "soak" in God's presence and His love pours over you, even in your deepest places of pain. It is a miracle, something only God can do.

God's Word is a healing balm to our weary souls. Some of my favorite Scripture:

The precepts of The Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of The Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him (Jesus) to be head over everything for the church, which is the body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:23

You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7

You are my hiding place; you will protect me and surround me songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Do not grieve, for the joy of The Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

And just a reminder of last week:

I am praying for you today. I may not know your name, but God does. Hang on to Him with all you've got. Joy is coming. It may feel like a million miles away, but it will come. Choose worship. Choose Him. Keep looking up, and never give up. The joy that comes from giving God your gift of worship will blow you away!

Here are some of the songs I've been listening to during my worship time with God. It does make a difference what mood I'm in when I choose the songs I listen to. My moods fluctuate from day to day, and I think that's just fine with God. Some days I want to listen to something that makes me want to dance (like when I'm running), and other days I just want to be quiet and listen to something more slow and calming to my soul. It's all okay, He just wants us to bring Him our hearts...

Lord, you are beyond worthy of my worship. May you get every ounce of the glory for who you are and for what you have done for us all. You bring me joy and you fill up the empty places in my soul. Whether I come to you once a day or one thousand times a day, you are always there, filling me up. Thank you for teaching me to choose joy, even when I've just gotten up off the bathroom floor (or maybe I haven't even gotten up yet). When I choose to worship you, you work a miracle in my soul, and "joy comes in the morning." Thank you for this miracle! I love you, God. I think You are awesome. Amen.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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