Disturbed, Satisfied, and Enough

Why are you crying? C’mon, you can tell me. What’s wrong?

The last click of high school[Day155]*

Photo credit: Chapendra (Creative Commons)

Has anyone ever asked you this, but you couldn’t answer? More than that, you didn’t know the answer?

I can picture myself on the floor by my high school locker, with my best friend, Andre’, patiently trying to figure out what was going on.

Poor boy.
Like he could ever understand a teenage girl. He had no idea what was wrong.

Problem is, sometimes neither did I.

There was so much comfort when I discovered David’s words,

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

David, king of Israel and called a man after God’s own heart, knew what it was like to be down and not fully understand why. Wow! As a confused, hormonal teen, that was music to my ears. Even today, that is so comforting.

Now look back at the beginning of the Psalm (verses 1-2):

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

It all begins with desiring God as a basic necessity for life. Like water to a living thing. Do you remember, as a kid, how you would play and play, not thinking at all about food or drink, when suddenly it’s hits you – you’re starving! And you’re dying of thirst! That’s when drinking from the hose tasted the best (yeah, I know kids aren’t allowed to do that anymore and this blog does not endorse such behavior, blah, blah, blah). But it’s only after being that thirsty that the water tasted best.

I love this song that we sometimes sing in Karis Church, Satisfied in You. It’s one of those songs that I often have to sing as a prayer, because I’m not often in the place where I can say I’m satisfied in God. I want to be. But I’m often not there.

Yesterday, Justin and Trisha Davis posted The Most Important Question on their blog. Please click over and read the whole post, but in case you don’t, here’s the question: “Is Jesus enough?…Is he truly enough or do I desire the things he gives me more than I desire him? If everything else goes away…is Jesus enough?” The post goes on to list specific scenarios. You may find yourself in one or more of them. I did.

So where are you today? Disturbed and downcast? Satisfied and thirsting for God? A little of both?

Will you, with me, live these words from the song?

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about Your faithfulness.
Let my pain reveal Your glory as my only real rest.
Let my losses show me all I truly have is You. Because all I truly have is You.

I’m linking up with

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Day 8: Rest right where you are

penguin_Omaha_ZooLast year, during the 31 Days challenge, I wrote a post on Rest. You’re welcome to read it, of course, but I’m going to share the meat of it here.

In that post, I talked about how some days of October 2012 were hard. There were days I didn’t have the emotional strength or energy to share anything else, especially a prayer for hurting people.  And I realized that I, too, was hurting, much like the people I was trying to pray for.

It’s another blessing of community. We hurt together. We cry together. We sit in mourning together. We wrestle through the hard stuff together.

If you feel alone reading this, with no one else understanding your pain, please pause a moment. Take off the blinders that keep you from seeing the hurting people right next to you.  If you don’t have anyone right next to you, if you have been isolated from the fellowship of community with believers who know and love God, go find them. We are not meant to live alone. We are not meant to hurt alone.

penguins_Omaha_ZooThankfully, God is calling us to rest. To stop trying to overcome our hurts on our own strength. Rest in these things:

One: God is strength when we are weak.

Two: God has put us in community to help one another.

Three: God meets us where we are, in the middle of our hurting and pain.

The lyrics of this song give me such peace. God the Father whispers to your heart and mine:

Hush my child. Fall into My arms.
I’ll give you rest right where you are.
Yes, I know, you feel lost and alone.
Let me hold you. How I love you.

If you’re reading this in an email, click through to listen to and view the video of this song by Derri Daughtery and Ellie Bannister:

31Days_Rest_thumb  ← Click to find links to each day in the series.

Trusting God When Dreams Die

Do you remember the old cartoons where the coyote paints a mural of the road on a brick wall and then ends up running smack dab into the middle of the wall? Like this:

That’s about the feeling when a dream dies. You’re heading full-speed toward the road that seems paved just for you, and then you’re slammed to a stop.

Three people in particular come to mind when I think of those who have very recently been forced to discard a dream and are now wrestling with what life looks like after running into that wall. There are probably more people out there who feel this way that I don’t know about, too.

Photo credit: drubuntu (Creative Commons)

Do you feel achy and bruised from hitting the wall? Are you trying to pick up the pieces of life and figure out how they fit together again? I recently heard someone refer to this as being heartsick. What a perfect, albeit lousy, word for this. If you are heartsick, this prayer is for you.

To God,

The Giver of Life,
The Sustainer,
The God who sees me:

Sometimes the path seems so clear. It’s as if we heard your voice saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” But what happens when following that path suddenly slams us against a wall? Did we not hear or understand your voice?

The wall has been hit. Dreams have been crushed. Why did you let them believe that was the path for them? You let them get so passionate and excited for what you had in store, why did you then take their dream away? You’ve left them broken. You’ve left them heartsick. Were they hearing your voice? Did they misunderstand something? Were they misled somehow and it wasn’t you speaking?

And then, Lord, what is next?

They have broken pieces of a dream how do they recover? How do they know they can trust when they think they hear you speak again? Lord, would you help pick up the broken pieces? Will you step into these broken dreams, these hurt lives, and will you show them that you have a plan?

God, we are not in control. But we know that you are the God who created the world; the God who holds all things, including our lives, in the palm of his hand.

All we can do is trust you.

All we can do is believe that you are who you say you are and that you will do what you say you will do.

God, would you heal this brokenness? Would you plant the seed of a new dream? Even though it will be young and tender and fragile right now, would help this dream to grow? 

I’m linking up with the soli deo gloria sisterhood:

Day 30: Continue To Pray For Others

Need Prayer I

Photo Credit: Matt Carman (Creative Commons)

Are you ever afraid to pray for someone? You don’t think you have a powerful enough prayer for it to be answered? That if the request isn’t answered it means you failed somehow?

Or you want to pray with someone but are afraid you won’t have the right words to say or that you’ll sound silly?

It’s a little like Julie Andrews in Sound Of Music, when she forgot the younger boy’s name: “God Bless What’s-his-name!”

I’ve felt that way at times this month. (more…)

Day 26: When Empty Arms Ache

pregnancy test - negative

(Photo credit: Konstantin Lazorkin)

Guess What!?! It’s a BOY!!

Sigh.

Those words are supposed to be joyful and celebratory. A new life is beginning! Probably 99% of the time they are met with cheers and “woots” from friends and family.

I would rather find a quiet corner and cry. Not always. But sometimes.

As the body of Christ I am supposed to rejoice with those rejoice. And no one wants a downer when they have good news. So, I smile and wish them well. I do wish them well. I’m not the woman who wanted the baby cut in two, so that no one would have him. I rejoice with them.

But…

Today, would you mind if we paused for a moment to weep with those who weep? (more…)

Day 25: When You Believe The Lies Are True

Smoke & Mirrors

(Photo credit: Alex Clark)

Every day, millions of us wake up, groggily shuffle to the bathroom, and look in the mirror. But what we see isn’t exactly correct.

The person who looks back at us is not a true reflection of who we are.

I have never run across a single person who didn’t want to change at least one part of their appearance. For some of us, it’s a more consuming issue; but I see so many people affected by image problems. I don’t even have to list them. You’ve probably already got yours in the forefront of your mind.

You do, don’t you?

For a while, I was a moderator for a food and exercise tracking web forum. (more…)

Day 24: Fill In The Blank

Star trails and Star tails.

Photo credit: Joe Dsilva (Creative Commons)

__________________
(Insert pain here.)

The thing you can’t escape.
The suffering that constantly returns to haunt you.
The secret agony that no one knows.
The public pain that makes everyone stare or look away.
That is your pain in that blank. (more…)

Day 23: We Are Called To Rest

downpour

(Photo credit: stuant63)

October has poured out some hard days. The missed days in my 31 Days series are not from forgetting or even laziness, but from having no extra strength or emotional energy to share. I’ve stared at a blank page and haven’t been able to put anything down. Not for lack of ideas. I’m trying to push past it; but as you similarly emotional people out there know, it’s not always easy to do. (more…)

Day 19: When We Finally Give Up

Continuing yesterday’s more quiet reflection with a little Sufjan Stevens:

(The artwork in this video is by Chris Koelle.)

This song was first introduced to me when Karis Church sang it during a Good Friday Gathering. Isn’t it hauntingly beautiful?

Here Comes the Rain

photo credit: Vinni123 (Creative Commons)

There are times in our pain when we (more…)

Day 18: When The Spirit Groans

What an interesting journey this 31 Days has been so far! Before October 1st, I brainstormed topics and settled on 31 Days of Prayer for the Hurting.

I thought, “Lots of people are hurting, lots of people need prayer, this should make it easy to write every day.” Little did I know the challenge ahead.

Knowing that blogging daily would still be a challenge, I plotted out topics to talk about every day of the week and then thought through some potential focuses for each day. I decided to stay flexible about choosing the specific topic, but this way I had ideas ready to go in case I felt stuck.

Oh, yes, I love my green pen!

My careful planning really only got me about 5 days in and then things started happening.

How do I explain… (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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