Life is overwhelming sometimes. You think that once you achieve your goals eg graduate from college, get that dream job, buy that dream home, get married, and have children that you will be fulfilled. You persevere through challenges and trials to realize your dreams. Once you get there you are temporarily fulfilled but then you feel that void yet once again. How do you figure out what can fill that void completely? Nothing of or in this world can fulfill you. The bible says that the Lord placed eternity in our hearts. What does that mean? It means that only God can fulfill you. We are here temporarily expecting to be complete. But the truth is that void wonít go away until you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, get baptized and when you are called then go home to heaven. Peter said it best to the crowd in Acts 2:38
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
My journey with God started (from my point of view) as a young child by learning about God at church and praying to him at my bed side. But Godís journey with me started even before I was born. He chose me. He created me. He is my eternal love. As it says in Psalms 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Do I struggle with insecurities, doubt, fear and sin? Of course I do. This is what makes me human, a sinner. The amazing thing about being a follower of Jesus is that I am set free from it all. He was human but didnít sin. He lived a life that I can aspire to imitate daily.
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Recently Iíve been struggling with the superwoman complex. Iíve been denying myself and meeting the needs of mi familia with little time for myself. As a result of all of this, I had a melt down. I verbally lashed out towards my family. I left the room and went to my cave. I decided to pray and read the Bible until I was more self controlled. In Ephesians 6 is reads, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Challenges will come, but what will you do when they do come? You will fall, but the question is will you get back up? After calming down, I then apologized to my daughter and husband. It wasnít easy to admit that I was wrong, but I had to make things right.
I was fearful of where I went emotionally and the images that flashed through my mind. The images of the past all came flooding back. Those of a single mother with 4 children doing the best she could but at her wits end. She disciplined us with ďtough loveĒ. Looking back I see why she did what she did. At the same time I donít want to discipline my child harshly for it can lead to bitterness in the end. In Ephesians 6:4 it says, ďFathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LordĒ.
After confessing the situation to my girlfriends, they all advised the same thing ďmommy timeĒ. I spoke to my husband about the suggestions and we decided that I will have time for myself once a week for a couple of hours. Time for what you may ask? Time for me to rejuvenate myself. Not time to cook or clean the house but time to relax, read, write, get my hair down, pamper myself. This is quite important as it will help to prevent future melt downs. My friend Janet shared that itís the equivalent of the instructions given on an airplane flight, the oxygen mask should be put first on the adult and then the child. She lovingly shared, that you canít take care of others if you donít take care of yourself. I really value her input in my life and the advice shared by my other girlfriends. Some of them are mothers and others are not. But itís important to have a sounding board and have an objective look into my soul. So I talk to my friends and listen attentively to their feedback. I then pray and share these with my hubby who helps me as well to make decisions about how changes will help us work more effectively as a family.
Jesus too had lots of needs he was asked to meet and below describes how he handled the overwhelming needs: John 6:1 1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" 10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. Jesus turned to the Lord for strength. Jesus turned to his friends for support. Jesus withdrew by himself to get refueled. If the Son of God finds it essential to do these 3 things, then I should see the value in this lesson and apply them as well..
As I was putting my daughter down for a nap, she clung to me as she screamed. She did not want to be without her mommy. I tried to comfort her with a blanket, bottle and bear. She didnít want what I was able to give her, she wanted me. Do you cling onto the Lord for dear life? Do you want God or only his blessings? In Psalms 27:1-6 it says
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. 4 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Evaluate your motives towards God. When you pray what is the content of your prayers? Is it mostly about what you want, as a kid with a wish list for Santa? Or is the content of your prayers like David who wrote the previous Psalm? Next time you pray, I challenge you to not ask for anything but to spend time adoring God and basking in His almighty presence. As it says in
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Once I was at peace with God then I was at peace with myself. By taking time to commune with God, and time for myself, I am a happier, better equipped mommy, person, and daughter of the Almighty God.