“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not,
and you will not be condemned; forgive, and
you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37
It’s been a while since I sat down to write anything other than a review or a biblical story. Not because I didn’t have anything to say. As any writer can attest to, I live in a world of stories and blog posts constantly battling it out for space in my brain. But sometimes God just doesn’t let me put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. Life gets in the way and the things I have to say just pile up in the corner.
It’s been a rough year for me. I spent New Year’s night in the emergency room in what was to become a roller coaster of emergency room visits, a weeklong stay in the hospital, and doctor visits after doctor visit after doctor visit. I had to cancel every plan I had made to visit kids and grandkids. I had to make far too many “I’m sorry” phone calls. Can I just say that it has been a pretty yucky year so far?
To start it all off I got an ulcer. And then pancreatitis. And then Sphincter of Oddi Dysfuntion. And then H-Pylori.
All because of stress.
Stress. That five letter word that can take down the strongest person.
The truth is that about that time I also stepped away from God and started trying to manage my life on my own. “I got this” was my motto. I was certainly not going to let anyone know that I couldn’t handle my life. Asking God for help never really entered my mind. Even though everyone around me was watching me spiral downwards, I couldn’t see it. All I could see was that everyone was going to think I was a failure. Again.
Pretty much my whole life has been a series of catastrophes held together by a wing and a prayer. Because I wouldn’t let God be in charge. I couldn’t just let Him love me. I didn’t trust Him enough to let other people’s opinions of me stop mattering. I just couldn’t bear that people were thinking that I had failed at yet another phase of my life.
Failed at mothering. Failed at being a wife. Failed at being healthy. Failed at being successful.
Not because I am a failure. But because there are “religious” people in my life who can’t let go of who I used to be. Who don’t understand what grace is. Who think that God is punishing me for some perceived sin from long ago. Who hold up a piece of scripture to beat me down with, forgetting that Jesus never called the sinners hypocrites. He called the pious religious people hypocrites. He pointed out that religion will not get you to Heaven to live with Him again. Only a relationship with Him will get you to the foot of the throne.
So these five months have been painful. Not only physically but also emotionally. I have been holding on to the idol of other people’s opinion of me. Holding on to the control I wasn’t supposed to have. Holding on to things that kept me turned away from the only One who can make my life right. One by one He has forced open my fingers so I would loosen the grip on pride that I was clenching like a prize that I needed to hold aloft for all to see. The only thing He wants to see in my hand is His hand.
Where am I now you might ask? Finally finished with all the medications. I am back to walking, back to healthy eating, back to spending my mornings with the Lord. I have let go of the things I can’t control and have placed the rest into His capable hands. I have a great therapist, good friends, a wonderful church family, and a best friend who is also my husband. I wish I could say that I no longer care about what people think but I am a lot better at not caring than I used to be. I just finished my sophomore year and Monday I start my junior year. When I finish I will have a degree in Christian Ministry and a minor in Family and Child Development. So I would say things are going pretty well. God is so good to this undeserving daughter. His grace and mercy are what I hold onto these days. That and He did let me lose 10 pounds. So yeah. My life is good.