From Stuck to Surrender. This is how I would describe my wellness journey over the past year and a half. I was letting life’s circumstances make me feel stuck. Initially I would say I was stuck in grief. A very good friend of mine had died and it knocked the wind out of me. But at some point the journey changed from grief to distrusting God.
I was at a place where I wasn’t sleeping well. I wasn’t eating well. I wasn’t carrying my share of the family responsibilities. I was short tempered with my kids and my husband and lacking concentration at work. I felt like my heart was getting hard with very little peace, joy or hope left. I was sinking back into my selfish nature. I was not in a good place and didn’t have much hope of how to change. I didn’t know what to do. Finally, after far too long, I came to the conclusion that, for the first time in my life, I was unable to change how I felt.
As 2019 was beginning I asked God for a word to focus on for this year. He gave me the word ADVANCE – which I loved! I didn’t know how to move forward, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I made the decision to do the work, asking God to direct my steps.
I asked God to send me some wise people who could help me process what I was feeling. One wise lady had a grief journey of her own. She understood how I felt and gave me words to express how I was feeling. She prayed that I would be able to lay the grief and mistrust down. That I would surrender it completely.
She encouraged me to pick one bible verse that I could meditate on and start spending time with God. A few months earlier I had posted a verse in my bathroom.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8 (NIV)
So I started saying this verse out loud in my bathroom every day. I needed to tell myself, to tell God and to tell the enemy that I have put my trust in God. I made it my daily choice to trust God and look for His way in my life. I needed this reminder of how much God loves me, even when I felt very far away from Him.
The very next week at church our pastor spoke on repentance. Wikipedia defines repentance as reviewing one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to change for the better. In my relationship with God, this means I had to decide to stop what was moving me away from God and start moving toward Him. I needed to lay down my grief and mistrust and choose to trust again.
The pastor invited those who wanted to repent to come to the front of the room as a symbol of repentance and surrender. I am usually not one to respond to these calls as I am way too proud. That day was different, I wanted to advance with God and could feel Him pounding in my heart to take a step. So after everyone left, I went forward and knelt before God. I was broken and I needed to lay my brokenness down at the foot of the cross. The cross changed everything because it was on the cross Jesus died for my sins.
The Bible says in James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. – James 4:10 (NIV)
In a pile of tears God lifted me up and replaced my hard heart for a soft heart. I can’t really explain it any other way. I just felt lifted up and like the burden had been taken away.
Since that day, I have felt God’s joy, peace and hope again. I’m no longer pretending to be happy and ok. When I see people, I am authentic. My husband told me recently that I am more alive and engaged in life again. Another friend gave me a huge compliment and told me I am even more radiant than before.
It sounds silly, but one tangible difference is I started meal planning and cooking meals for my family again. This has taken pressure off my husband and restored some balance to our family responsibilities. I have more patience with my kids and concentration at work is much better. I feel like I have made progress, mostly because I gave what was hindering me to God and He took the burden away.
I know I still have a lot to learn, but I am thankful that because of Jesus I am moving forward. I am choosing to trust God and advance with Him leading my life. This is how I am truly well.
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