I Want to Run Away
"If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV)
One of the worst feelings in the world to me is feeling stuck.
Stuck in a situation where I can't see things getting better. I look at the next five minutes, five hours, five days, and all I see are the same hard patterns being repeated over and over.
I try to give myself a pep talk and tap into that part of me that chooses to see the bright side. But it isn't there.
Life suddenly feels like it will forever be this way.
And a dark funk eclipses me.
This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when Ashley was born. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I loved them very much.
But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor's appointment or in conversations with other mommies.
In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.
This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Needy cries.
One night I went to the drug store. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations. They had on cute outfits and fixed hair-dos.
I looked at my reflection in the rear view mirror and I cried, thinking, this is my life. Forever.
Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.
And then guilt slammed into my fragile heart and I convinced myself God was going to punish me for feeling this way and take one of my babies. Smite me for being so stinkin' selfish.
I cried until I could hardly breathe.
I thought about this recently when I started feeling stuck in a different situation that seemed so big and made me so sad. I felt myself on the edge of that dark funk thinking this is the way it's going to be forever.
But then I remembered that night crying in my car. Those days of diapers and no sleep weren't forever. It was a season that came and went. And this would play out that way, too.
It's the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.
I closed my eyes and whispered, "Are You here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me."
And in that moment I realized all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love Him. Acknowledge Him.
In the midst of struggles. In the midst of victories. "God, I don't love this situation. But I love You. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get to the other side of this."
"If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow — to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him — then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." (Deut. 11:22-23 NIV)
I love how this scripture says, "hold fast" to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow. Make God the last thing when I'm stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, "God ...," at the utterance of His Name He "dispossess" things trying to possess me.
Then, I can see this is a season. This isn't how it's going to be forever. Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. And if my mind can rise above, my heart gets unstuck.
Dear Lord, thank You for being so loving and understanding even in my weakest moments. Help me see that no matter how big or small, You are in control of all situations. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Write the key verse and power verse down in your journal or on a notecard.
When you feel overwhelmed by circumstances, read these verses and remember to hold fast to God. He is waiting for You to call out to Him.
Isaiah 41:10, "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." (NIV)