My head this morning feels a little like the sky outside. Gray and cloudy.
Last night, I was rummaging around in a box of my old writing journals. I have a journal, I believe, from every year between high school and the mid-2000s when Bray and I were dating. I wanted to find one to measure (as in, with a ruler) so I could use it as the “go-by” for what I’d like my marriage devotional to look like. The one I found was from 2003. That year I went through a break up with a guy I had been in love with (in the spring) and met the man that is the love of my life (in December). During the in-between months, I did some stupid stuff. Ridiculously, I chronicled it all.
As I read through it, almost against my will, my face grew hot and I became painfully embarrassed. No one else read it. No one else saw it. But I was still embarrassed. I couldn’t wrap my head around how immature I was and how I just passed up the warning signals that arose. I thought, how could you have written this and not seen the red flags waving???
I believe this hit me particularly hard last night because I am neck-deep in last minute preparations for attending a speakers and writers conference next weekend. One where I will pitch at least two book proposals to three publishers and meet 650 women that are similarly trying to get some form of women’s ministry off the ground.
I felt like the weight of the world had dropped on my heart. This morning my heart literally feels like it is sitting under a brick. And instead of clear words coming through my head to type out on this keyboard, everything is a jumble.
I fully know, in my head, that God uses people who fail. The Bible is FULL of examples. In fact, for tomorrow’s Flashback Friday, I already have a blog post I wrote on this issue from over a year ago. Sometimes though, even though I know that, it feels in my soul like it would be hypocrisy for someone who has made so many mistakes to be a messenger of God’s truth. Like something doesn’t match. So I hesitate. I question what I’m doing. And I wonder.
I don’t have a quick easy quip at the end to tie that all up in a nice neat bow. I do know that no matter how thick the clouds grow, there is always a sun behind them. I do know the clouds do eventually move on. I’m praying they take the jumble in my head with them.
Psalm 25 – Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
Psalm 142 – Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
Isaiah 61 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Hosea 14 – “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow.”
Romans 8 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation A)”>for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus C)”>the law of the Spirit who gives life D)”>has set you free E)”>from the law of sin F)”>and death…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.