I have been going through a lot lately. I know, everyone has their struggles, but I like to often deny my stress and worry. I hate asking for help. But as I saw in the last couple of weeks, I was working myself too thin and realized I am extremely blessed to have people in my life who lift me back up when I fall down.
I work full time for CASA (a local non-profit organization that advocates for domestic violence and provides victims with shelter and resources). I am in an intensely strict online graduate program in order to earn my masters of social work and hope to someday go into counseling. I work out 4-6 days a week. I meal plan and meal prep. I live alone, pay bills, and attempt to have a social life and live the life of an average twenty-something. I value my health and my relationships. However, there is one relationship I have neglected, and that is my relationship with the Lord.
It happens to the best of us. We get so caught up in our ways that we forget about His plans. We completely shut out all opportunities for the Lord to enter our lives and show us all the glory He has to offer us. Sometimes, it takes the worst of times for us to truly see what we are doing to ourselves.
As of two weeks ago, all this work I was doing mentally and physically became routine and I was working myself too hard, putting insane amounts of pressure on myself and trying to become something I was not meant to be. Long story short, I was admitted into the ER for the first time in my life and I was terrified. I truly saw the Lord working in my life that day and the days that followed as I was forced to rest and reflect. I had so many people pouring love and concern into my soul and I was in awe. Praise be to God. I could not have gotten through the past couple of weeks without my Radius community and friends who expressed their concerns and love for me.
Last Sunday, Pastor Blake finished our series on the Life of David. The thing people remember David and his experiences by are that he was “a man after God’s own heart.” Many people criticized David at first because he was a measly shepherd boy. By the end of his life he was remembered by the legacy he left. He went from a shepherd boy to a giant killer and from an outlaw to a king. David was not a perfect person. God chose him because He saw that David was imperfect, and knowing that, had the ability to accept that and live a life serving the Lord, who is perfect. One of the things that hit me really hard while listening this week was when Pastor Blake said, “If you want to be productive in the present, forget the past and have a forward focus.”
David left a legacy by investing in the future and those that came after him, like his son Solomon. David invested in God’s plans and was remembered for that. Pastor Blake used a lot of consistent analogies about life as a race this past Sunday. He said, “Its not how you start, its how you finish that matters.” If life is a race, and it is our duty as Christians to run this race and serve the Lord to the best of our abilities, how will we do that while carrying so much other weight? The weight of guilt and shame slows us down and can even stop us sometimes. We are our own worst critics. We need to stop living in these whirlpools of guilt and shame as they rob us from living in the present, and taking advantage of all the Lord has to offer us. We are not meant to carry these weights. We are not perfect and never will be. God is perfect, and God fills in the gaps where we are lacking.
My prayer for all that are reading this is to meditate on the lyrics of these songs that really stuck with me this week;
“You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God.”
- No Longer Slaves, Bethel Music
“Slow down take time
Breathe in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
And He’ll reveal all to come”
- Take Courage, Bethel Music
“I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands
Of the Maker of Heaven
I give it all to You, God
Trusting that You’ll make
Something beautiful out of me”
- Nothing I Hold Onto, Will Reagan
Gather with us this Sunday as we begin a new series called Love Does. Invite a friend!