I am a woman whose heart yearns for realness. Realness for myself, but also realness for women around me, for I know with realness comes freedom! I long for greater confidence in Christ and hope to inspire those I come into contact with to feel the same. This is a blog about my journey to transform into something more beautiful, something more real, like a butterfly. These are ponderings from a willing heart.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I will be still

     This summer has been quite a whirlwind!  I feel like I have run 100 miles and hour since the weather began to warm.  I really like it that way if I'm being honest, I like busy, I like scheduled events, I like to have something to do. (Maybe that's life with a 4 year old and 2 year old, busy is sometimes better...)  But over the course of the past week or so I could feel the busyness really beginning to bear down on me.  I wanted to check out, sleeping more often, feeling more anxious and irritable.  After a few days of this I could see that my body was responding to what my heart really needed.  To slow down.
     We are coming up on the one year anniversary of Levi's accident. If you don't know about that event check out last year's blog post.  But in short, my 18 month old baby was struck by a car, he is okay and fully recovered today.  Sorry to take the wind out of your sails so abruptly, I have yet to figure out a way to say that without it being super dramatic.  There are some events in life like that, dramatic.  This was one of them for our family.  God was so faithful to protect his little body and I am so thankful.  We saw Him in ways that we had never experienced His presence ever before.  We came home, life went on, more hard things happened... Then this month rolled around.  I knew it was coming.  July comes around every year.  So it shouldn't have surprised me when I rolled the calendar over and saw that the month was in fact July.  But I could feel my heart in my throat and my breathing shallow as I read the month, July.  It felt like a weight pressed down on my chest, I could feel it rising, panic, fear, anxiety.  Memories washing over me like a flood.  I pushed them down, cleared my throat, and began making lunch for my two hungry little blondes.  I slept more that day, napped when the kids napped, went to bed early.  The next day, more of the same.  Though I couldn't place my finger on it I felt more irritable, more on edge, I wanted to sleep.  When I woke I still felt exhausted.  I did this for three more days.  Constantly swallowing the lump in my throat, my stomach uneasy, restless sleep, unfocused.  Then yesterday as I'm standing in the choir loft of our church worshiping The Lord it started to become more clear.  I fought back memories that were flooding my mind, images, sounds, and emotions that I felt that horrible day in July.  And as they were coming on I felt defenseless, like waves rushing over me.  I went home immediately following the service and went to sleep.  When I woke I knew I needed to speak it out, to find help, to process the emotion I was unable to control or fully understand.
      ...Tell my husband, he needs to know what my heart is experiencing.  After doing that and seeing tears well up in his eyes I realize that he too may be experiencing these emotions and dealing with them in a different way.  We decide that talking to someone professionally will probably benefit me.
     ...Tell a close and trusted friend.  There is a lot of scripture that explains that we are to bear one another burdens.  To love one another the way Jesus loved.  This includes sharing in celebration and sorrow.  I have been so fortunate to have a group of Godly women in my life that are faithful to love me in every season.  I shared, asked for prayer, and knew that they would do just that.
     ...Seek out Godly counsel.  Someone qualified to deal with my emotional state that can help me wade through the experiences of the past year and the emotions that followed.
     And then make the next right choice, I knew I needed time with God, quiet, uninterrupted, alone.  So I asked God to wake me up this morning, no alarm was set, I asked Him to wake me in time to meet with Him before my family rose.  6:45 this morning my eyes opened and for the first time in days I felt energized enough to get out of bed without a fight.  I put on my pot of coffee.  Grabbed my Journal and Bible (and my favorite purple pen) and sat down on my couch, complete silence, sun rising over the trees, worship music in the background.  I was ready to do some work with God.  I just knew He was going to put me through the ringer, that He was going to remind me of my sinfulness and anxious heart.  And surely He was not pleased.  After all this time with Him you would think I would know that He is holy and just absolutely, but gentle, kind, loving, full of grace and mercy.  And as I began journaling, pouring my heart before Him, confessing my sinfulness, asking Him to meet me, a song began resounding in my heart.
Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power in quietness and trust 
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are King over the flood
 I will be still and know You are God
     And as I was singing those lyrics in my mind I began to feel my heart beat begin to slow down.  I had been very aware of how it had been racing and pounding for a few days.  I began to journal my thoughts, images of times that I felt safe, calm, and peace filled.  One specific memory came to me, I was a child, probably 4 or so, laying with my Mom in her bedroom "napping".  (I was never a good napper, sorry Mom I now know how sacred that time is!)  She was laying in front of me with her back to me, I was nuzzled against her. (Again, sorry Mom I now know how it feels to have a child plastered to you every. single. moment. of. the. day.)  But I was lying there, watching her back expand when she would breathe. I could feel her heart beat.  And I was lying there I tried matching my breathing to hers, feeling my heart beat and wanting it to be the same as hers.  And as I remember that moment, I remember feeling completely content, safe, and at peace.  I was with my Mom, the person I loved more than anyone on this planet, I was in her presence and she was resting so I could too.  And then I knew, that was God's desire for me too.  Just to be in His presence, lean against His chest, match my breathing to His, and know that I am safe, I can stop fighting the emotions, stop being afraid.  And that is what I have spent my morning doing, just being with God.  No agenda, just a little worship music, eyes closed, and rest. 
     I am not sure why I felt God prompting me to share this experience on the blog today.  Maybe it was to be completely vulnerable, real, and honest.  Maybe there is someone else that needed to be reminded that God just wants you, not the shiny, put together Sunday morning version... But the real, messy, human version.  And He just wants us to meet Him in His presence.  To rest in Him.  To be still and know that He is God.  
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord:
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, 
out of the miry bog,
 and He set my feet upon a rock,
making my step secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.