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Archive for April, 2013

Well, it sure has been a while since I have written anything to “publish” on my blog. The last several months have been pretty dry for me spiritually. I have been struggling quite a bit with depression, anxiety and confusion regarding several things in life. To most people my depression would be confusing, because my life, from all outward appearances, is amazing!!  Freddo and I have a healthy marriage that has almost lasted 25 years, we have two healthy adult sons that are functioning well in life on their own, I have many caring friends and family, I have started some new “jobs” and am bringing in money to contribute to our family for the first time in quite a while, Freddo and I have been able to take some fun trips lately, (more on those in another post), and we have learned to laugh a lot, on and on the list goes…

But somewhere in all that, God and I had just lost touch. In all honesty that trouble has nothing to do with God and everything to do with me. I, like Peter out on the water, took my eyes off of Christ and began to sink into the deep waters of despair.

I became preoccupied with myself. I began to wonder who I really was now that I am no longer home schooling our boys,  helping my mom take care of my dad, and so many of my friends no longer attend our church (imagine that, church is not a social event for me anymore…what a concept), and a host of other things. It is hard to look back and see all the ways my life has changed in the last few years. Oh, and I have been frustrated because yet again, I had gained that same 25 pounds that comes and goes like a bad penny in my life. I have struggled all my life with feeling like I, Sheila, wasn’t good enough for anyone to love, especially God and my husband.

One thing I believe God would have me learn in this season is the Sheila that He created and loves has NOTHING to do with how I look, what size I am, what clothes I wear, what my house looks like, etc. Now this thought process is totally different from EVERYTHING the world tells me. So you can imagine the struggle that has been going on within my heart.

Also in this season a dear friend of mine passed away, which caused me to evaluate how I treated my friends…did I really treat them as though I loved them with my actions or was it just in my words.  It has been a time of deep reflection.

I say all of this to kind of give you glimpse of SOME of the things that I have allowed to run wild in my mind.

At times on this journey, God has given me a clear view of how He has never once left me alone. A day or two of reflecting on His faithfulness would really strengthen me, but I quickly fell back into being preoccupied with myself and all the ways I had failed or how life hadn’t turned out like I thought it should.

Over the last 3 to 4 weeks, God has been really ministering to me. He has really been drawing me close and I have realized that the first and foremost solution to move from depression to joy-filled living is found in reading His Word regularly. But as you may know, daily intake of God’s Word requires discipline and denying ourselves. Quite honestly, denying myself is not something I am very good at doing.

So many of you have been encouraged me by letting me know that you have missed the words I wrote each day last year on Facebook and the encouragement you received from my blog posts. When I decided to pull back from life a while back, I didn’t realize that I would possibly be affecting others…as I mentioned I have been pretty preoccupied with myself. I thank all of you for your encouragement!

Recently I read an email from (in)courage that asked what song is it that God has used to encourage you lately. And this brought to my mind a few songs that have really helped and encouraged me lately. So I decided to write about this also and ask you to share the song that God has used in your life.

One of them is “Need You Now” by Plum. (While whole song is great, the lyrics that really stuck out to me I “highlighted” with bold type.)

“Need You Now (How Many Times)”

Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now “

I realized this past year that it is easier to lean on God when times are hard and life weighs heavy, because in those moments I am totally aware that on my own I cannot make it without God’s strength and help.

And yet when life is good, and most things seem to be going my way, somehow I become delusional and think that I have this all under control. How I laugh as I write this, because truthfully I know I don’t have even one bit of control, but when life hums along, it is easy to deceive myself into thinking that I do.

The song “Need You Now” reminds me that I do better when I am in desperate need of God, even depending on Him so deeply as for my next breath.

A few weeks ago we went to a Casting Crowns Acoustic Concert. It was a great time of worship and renewal for me.20130321_192725 I have never taken notes at a concert before, but I did this night. God really ministered to me through several songs, but the one that stood out the most was “Already There”. I tried to choose the line or two that really spoke to me, but it was just too hard, so I listed all the lyrics. You can read them and/or click on the song to hear it for yourself.

Already There by Casting Crowns  (While whole song is great, the lyrics that really stuck out to me I “highlighted” with bold type.)

From where I’m standing
Lord, it’s so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You’re leading me

I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are going to play out
In a world I can’t control

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory

‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You’re already there
You’re already there

From where You’re standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life

And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece

Of Your picture perfect plan

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory

One day I’ll stand before You
And look back on the life I’ve lived
I can’t wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit

One day I’ll stand before You
And look back on the life I’ve lived
‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there

Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You’re already there
You’re already there”

You see, I have control issues, which is why I have such a hard time trusting God in all things.

Honestly, saying I have ‘control issues” is a nice way of saying “I’m so prideful that I think I know better than anyone how this should work out…including God”.   Of course I don’t use my words to say this, I would never say that out loud, but recently God has shown me over and over that my actions scream this when I try to control a situation, or fix things so they play out as I think they should.

It has been a very painful process, which, as I look back over my life, has been going on for an extremely, extremely long time! There are many things I have done and said that I wish I could change, but the reality is…I can’t.

So one thing I am working on these days is to take life one day at a time, often one moment at a time, and learn along the process that God alone is trustworthy and I am not. As this song so greatly states “all the chaos, comes together in His Hands, like a masterpiece, of His picture perfect plan”, but from my perspective I don’t know and and I can’t see how it is going to work out, but God, He’s got this!!  The words of this song bring me such a peace, as it reminds me that God is already where I am headed and I truly have NOTHING to fear!

So for this season, these are two songs point me back to Him EVERY TIME I hear them. They are ministering to my pain and sinfulness, right where I am. All that has happened in these last few months of my life have pointed me back to the words that I chose to be my goal for the year and have written in different ways throughout our home “Trust Him Alone”. Funny how God works, isn’t it?!

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So what is your story? What song is God using to help you along in your journey? I would love you to share in the comments, so myself and others can learn from what God is doing in your life, because I know He is up to something! I would be so grateful and encouraged if you’d please take the time to share!

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