Sorry for this week.
I fell so short in so many ways.
Please forgive me.
I hope you know that I’m doing my best
and that I love you very much.
If I had to write a letter to my family about the last five days, that is what it would say. I tried to write a funny, light-hearted little blog about the start of school and how I am rejoicing with moms everywhere…but I felt God asking me to be honest and share this instead. I have spent most of the holiday weekend lamenting my not-so-stellar week; asking God to forgive my shortcomings and give me the strength to do better. To be better.
I’ve already written a blog about how tough football season is for me. Every year at this time, I go a little crazy… not the good kind of crazy either. The hard to live with kind. Every August, it’s the same: the adjustment to being “in-season” is rugged. I get crabby. And negative. And less grace-full because I’m tired and it’s hard (impossible) to juggle everything.
Proverbs 24:10 says “If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.”
Every year, I fail under the pressure of football season. My strength is too small. I get overwhelmed and crabby and negative every.single.year.
But this weekend, I felt more inadequate than I ever have before. It was like a dark cloud hanging over me that I couldn’t shake, reducing me to tears on many occasions. No matter what I did, that cloud stayed over me. Finally, last night I got angry. Angry at the circumstances and people around me that were contributing to my feelings of inadequacy. Misplaced anger at its finest. I had to apologize for my attitude more than once, which is humbling to say the least.
And the hardest part is that I’ve been chasing Jesus as hard as I can and clinging to his strength but STILL falling short. It’s so frustrating. So discouraging. So overwhelming.
I am NOT telling you this to get sympathy.
I am NOT telling you this looking for more help. I have a fabulous network of friends and family who are more than willing to help me when I come unglued.
I’m telling you this because I believe there is power in being honest about my struggles, so that the light of Jesus can be seen in my life. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God and not ourselves.”
I am a fragile clay jar. A tired, worn-out, fallen-short, clay jar. Trying to let my light shine.
And failing. This morning I did what I know I have to do when I reach the end of myself: I got on my knees and began to praise and thank and pray to my only Source.
I had a revelation as I was ugly crying on my knees and it was this: Sometimes it’s not so much about the falling short (even though I do), or the strength being too small (even though it is), it’s about spiritual attack.
Ephesians 6:11-12 reminds us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
This is one of those times. I am under attack.
Because I am letting my light shine. Because my hubby is letting his light shine. Because as a family we are intentionally SHINING THE LIGHT OF JESUS and satan is not thrilled about it.
He never is. He never likes when people decide to get all vocal and passionate about sharing God’s life-changing truth with others. In fact, he hates it. And he FIGHTS it with everything he has to stop it.
So he’s been the cloud hanging over me: taunting me that I’m not enough, reminding me I never will measure up, and shouting at me to give up because I’m a failure and I am not worthy of sharing God’s truth. He’s launched a verbal and physical assault on all fronts to try to silence me, attacking every weakness I have. I can’t even list for you the number of things that he has attacked this weekend but it includes a terrifying, perilous situation for one of my kids, added financial strain, migraine headaches, an unreasonable amount of conflict coming from outside sources, and sleeplessness. It’s almost funny the number of things that have gone wrong… almost but not really.
Because it was working. I wanted to quit everything and hide in a closet.
Until in his mercy, God revealed to me what was really going on, which gave me the grace to get up and start to fight back. Friends, I was fighting the wrong battle, trying to overcome the things in my life that I could see were going wrong and it was going nowhere. Instead, I needed to be fighting what I could not see: satan and his scheme to take me down.
There is a sign hanging up in our family room from Judges 6:12 that reads, “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.”
And He is.
He is with me. He loves me. He is full of unfailing love and faithfulness for me, because I am his child. His love never fails, even when I do. His strength is sufficient. His grace is enough. His love knows no end. His power is greater than any other power. Victory is already His, which means victory is also mine. That’s truth.
I will not give up. I will not give in. I WILL WRITE.
I will put on my armor (Ephesians 6) and stand in the battle because the God of the Universe is with me, and he is Mighty. I will press in and keep praising, keep thanking, keep praying for his help. I will overcome.
My dear and faithful friends, I don’t know what your week was like. I don’t know where you are in your faith journey. I don’t know if you are being attacked, like I am, or if you are flying high. I don’t know what battle you are facing, or if you are discouraged or want to give up…but I do know that victory is found in the Lord and we must keep clinging to him for strength.
The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior. Keep your chin up.
If you need prayer or need encouragement for the week ahead, please email me and let me know. Let’s do this faith journey together.
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