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Fire Tested


But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. – Job 23:10

Well, God is putting what I said in a recent blog post (Our Sanity Glue) to the test. I shared in that particular post that often as mothers, we don’t get our quiet time due to interruptions from our kids. Because of that, it is so important that we know God’s Word and memorize it, so when those times come, we have God’s Word in our hearts to sustain us. Apparently, God still has some more refining to do in me. I had some ugly stuff I thought was dead rise up in me this week, and it was pretty discouraging.

I shared that we had the flu at our house last week. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it through the week. It tested my endurance, patience, and physical and mental energy more than I can say.

Kendyl started with it but it was pretty mild. But then my 22-month-old (Cole) got it from her. He was SO sick. He had fever of almost 104, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, cough, and who knows what else was going on that he couldn’t verbalize. I ended up taking him to the doctor two different times because his fever lasted for a week. He would lay across my lap with his knees pulled up to his chest and moan. He couldn’t get comfortable and would just flop around in circles on my lap. It was awful.

Just when I thought I couldn’t feel any more overwhelmed, I got sick too. I was not nearly as sick as Cole, but it was miserable to be sick and still try to take care of him. My husband helped a lot, but the problem was that Cole didn’t want anyone but mommy to hold him. All the time. When I would put him down, he would scream and throw himself on the floor. Any time I would put him down, the screaming would start and the horrible mom-failure guilt would set in.

I hate that feeling.

One day I had to put him down for a minute to get his medicine and all the stuff ready for his nap. He started in with the screaming. My three-year-old Kendyl said, “Mommy, here give him to me.” I was desperate enough to try anything. I laid Cole across her lap on the couch. Cole covered his face with his burp rag, turned on his side toward Kendyl, and was quiet. I could hear Kendyl talking to him quietly, patting his head. She said, “It’s okay now, Coley. I’ve got you. It’s going to be okay. Mama’s coming.” I went into the bathroom and bawled. My sweet little daughter - but has it really come to this, Lord? Even my three-year-old noticed my desperation and stepped in to help! I felt despair at that moment, and just a bit hysterical. And something else was there too…

There was more to it than just being sick and tired. It was deeper than that.

I felt completely alone.

Do you ever feel that way?

Where is everyone, Lord? Where is my help, my relief? Lord, do you hear me? I just want to take a shower and brush my teeth! And sleep is always helpful!

Feeling alone is a daily struggle for me. The worst time of day is in the morning when the kids get on the bus and Michael walks out the door to go to work. My spirit feels instantly heavy. I have spent much time with God digging through the reasons why I struggle with this issue so much. We are still working on it together, and I’m so thankful for His grace toward me on the subject. Loneliness feels like a heavy chain that I drag around with me much of the time. Until I spend time with my Father each morning and fill up with His Spirit, I am empty and needy – and lonely.

When I don’t get time with my Father, I become irrational and anxious. I am vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks, and I feel exposed and unprotected. This is when my emotions tend to respond to what I believe about reality, not what is actually reality. This is dangerous territory. 

Cole is better now, but is continuing to get up during the night and wake up very early, which means no quiet time for me. He also still thinks I should hold him all the time. It has been this way for two weeks and I’m feeling a little crazy. I would love your prayers as I navigate how to weave in my time with God at a different part of the day.

Time with God is not optional for me. I must have it.

I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. – Psalm 119:30

Choosing to focus on truth will bring new hope and new life to any wounded and weary places in our hearts.

I have chosen to focus on some truth today, and let it bring refreshment to my weary heart. I pray it will bring refreshment to you as well.

Truth: I am never alone, even when I feel lonely.

Truth: God is the only One who can always be everything I need. He never gets too tired or overwhelmed by the depth of your need. REMEMBER YOUR IDENTITY; remember Whose you are. You are His child. (see my post called Who Am I Really?)

I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 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 41:9-10

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentation 3:21-22

We may be overlooked by others, but we are handpicked my God. – Lysa TerKeurst

I love this quote by Lysa.

Truth: Trials and struggles that feel unending will eventually end. When I run out of strength, He gives me His.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. – 1 Peter 5:10-11

To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works within me. – Colossians 1:29

Truth: God’s love for us cannot be measured by the amount of hard things He allows in our lives. After all, look at Jesus. He suffered most of all, and God loves Him so deeply and completely. Suffering and trials is what drives us to our Father.

He loves you in the trials and in the joys. His love for you never changes: it is always the same.

We must fix our eyes on these truths and on Jesus to sustain us in the really hard times, when it feels like we will not make it another moment.

We will make it, because of Him.

When I am truly struggling, as I was this past week, worship music is life to my soul. It is also something I can crank up real loud with my kids because they love to listen to it too. I ran across two songs that I love, and they speak beautifully to our topic. I hope they will encourage and refresh your weary soul as they did mine.

 

Click on the images below to hear the songs:

Lord, I praise you for your tender care of our hearts when they are wounded and weary. I can’t quite say I’m thankful for the trials, but I’m thankful for the refining you do in my heart through the trials. I know you love me and are with me every moment of my life. And I do believe someday, I will “come forth as gold.” Only because of You. 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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