It's the tough stuff in life that we learn from the most. And it seems that God brings me to my knees quite often just to remind me that HE IS THERE for me and He WANTS me to rely on Him....especially through the hard times. But also in the good/easy times.
God has been showing me just how powerful He is and how mighty He is to work in my life and in my heart, almost instantaneously.
This past month has been one of the most emotional months of my life. I'm still in this really weird and uncomfortable transition phase of life between graduation and figuring out life's next step. I have struggled with knowing that my friends are spread out all over the place and are not anywhere near by, making physical friendships hard to maintain. I make very little money and live paycheck to paycheck, like most people my age, but I barely make enough to pay all my bills and I really don't have all that many bills! It has been really hard for me to be comfortable knowing that unlike other 23-year-olds my age I can't afford a place of my own, nor a new car, and I rarely pay for any groceries. It's hard for me reconciling knowing that others my age are able to afford to really live their lives while I pay my bills (student loans, car insurance, phone, etc) and rarely have extra money to do much else than pay for gas and maybe $100 spending money for the month. That has really been weighing huge on my heart.
On top of that, the devil has been attacking my heart. It seems whenever God blesses my life immensely, that's when the devil really starts to attack. And why not?! He doesn't need to worry about those who don't believe in God nor turn to Him....Satan has already won battles in pulling those people away from God. Rather Satan worries about those close to God, he wants to cause rifts. So when God blesses my life, that's when Satan finds little cracks in my heart to plant false seeds in the form of thoughts, doubts, fears, insecurities, and play on those already in my heart.
And this time around, I can admit that Satan has had a little advantage. I have been made vulnerable by this weird transition in my life and I have started to make my heart more vulnerable in general. For years, I have been the strong one, the caretaker, the happy one who solves all others problems and does all within my power to serve those around me in every way possible or asked of me. I have started to be more open about my own needs. And I have fallen deeply in love with someone who protects me and loves me. In order to keep our relationship healthy, I have had to learn to be vulnerable and open...something I'm not used to at all. And Satan has played on that. He has taken advantage of that part of my life I'm not used to and is not the most comfortable to bring a whole ton of insecurities to the forefront of my heart and mind.
And so a very emotional and hard month has ensued for me. A very emotional battle, one that has encompassed parts of my spiritual life.
I found myself again trying to take care of myself and my heart on my own....again to no angst and have been brought to my knees asking God to help me through it and to calm my heart and give me strength. Which is exactly what He wants to do for me anyway. But I don't learn this lesson very well, so I am constantly being taught to just really give everything over to God.
Yesterday was such a shining example of that. Yesterday morning was one of the toughest mornings for me that I've had in a long time emotionally. I have been beaten down and my heart has been in agony over a few issues, all of it coming to a head in my heart, making me question my worth and value. On the way to work, it all came crashing down and the tears came pouring out. I had to pull over and was crying out to God, literally. After going home to redo my mascara (you can't go to work with mascara going down your cheeks) I went to work and decided I needed to "fake it til I make it". I did an hour of work and hopped in my car to head to Fort Collins to get my hair done. I spent the whole way up praying, and letting country music comfort my soul. I prayed to God to take over all my emotional states, to comfort my heart, to give me a peace so that I could logically think through everything and work through problems. And I asked that God would take care of my issues. And sure enough He did!! I had some good conversations with friends that looking back was God speaking through them to me. And I prayed all day, having dinner by myself and talking with God all day long.
It paid off. One issue I was able to work through and resolve in my heart, I decided that I need spiritual counsel for a past incident in my life that Satan really uses to make me think that I am not a person of worth, and God placed a small calm upon my heart. I was able to give forgiveness for a few issues and able to ask forgiveness from someone for my own mistake.
But what struck me the most is when I asked God yesterday to take my heart and take care of me, HE SPOKE BACK!!
When I pulled over and broke down crying in my car, I picked up my bible, asking God to just give me a passage to cling to. I asked Him why I wasn't worthy of love and respect and asked Him that if I really was someone to be loved, that He would tell me in a passage in my bible. I opened my bible....and out fell a small piece of paper. A girl in my youth group my freshman year of college had given this to me and apparently I stuck it in my bible and forgot that it was there. Smashed between the pages, it hasn't ever fallen out until now. On one side she had written me a quick note and on the other side was this verse.
" The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph 3:17
My God loves me! He told me right out when I asked Him, He told me through that piece of paper. He loves me and I am worthy of that love. And he will quiet me with that love. And He rejoices in me, He takes delight in me, and he does so by singing over me! That is God talking to you, if not physically, that is God giving me a verse to hold in my hand to answer my question. And that in itself brought me to tears again.
Later on in talking with my sister-in-law as she did my hair, I was pouring out my troubled heart to her. And she gave me this verse, and it couldn't be more fitting for how I was feeling.
"No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us form the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39
And in this God showed me that nothing can separate me from His love. And nothing can make me any less than the amazing woman that He meant me to be. While Satan might pry on the weaknesses in my heart, my insecurities, it will never separate me from God and His love and He will ALWAYS be there. He will always keep his hand on me, and He will never falter when I ask Him to take my problems and my issues and to work in my heart.
Thank you Lord, for never letting me from your grasp and for being a loving God who is always by my side, always loving me and taking delight in me.