Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet Sleep

For a very very long time I have been having a hard time sleeping. When I did sleep it was usually the restless kind that made me feel like I hadn't slept even though I had. I'd toss and turn all night and not want to get up in the morning.

Lately I was getting really sick of this pattern and have been discussing it with my husband and seeking God as to what might be the reason behind this issue. I remembered one of the teachers in the For My Life class that I had recently attended at Be in Health Ministries, mentioning something about having sweet sleep when you are able to lay down your fears and trust in God. From that I had started reflecting on the scripture that says: When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and they sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:24. So I figured that all I had to do was overcome fear. So I began to strive to work out my fears but they only overwhelmed me. Another scripture that I started thinking on says: Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

I knew I didn't have perfect peace in fact I felt like I was going insane. I also knew that although I wanted to and tried and sometimes was even able to for a short time, I had a hard time trusting in God and not listening to the fears that seemed so loud in my head. Then recently my husband brought home one of the 7000 Project Journals from Be in Health where he works. On the last page there was a section about failure to fast and take time out for God being a possible block to healing. I remembered in that moment the class on Blocks to Healing in the For My Life class and how I had come across that particular one and intentionally bypassed it because something in me hadn't wanted to hear that. This time I was all ears (0r eyes because I was reading) and my heart was open to the idea and I was convicted that I really had not been making any effort to even talk to God on a daily basis lately. I was letting life get in the way and excusing myself because I was "too busy." I thought that a day of fasting would perhaps get me back on track with my relationship with God.

Another thing that article said was that fasting wasn't intended for us to get things from God but for us to get with God and draw closer to Him. In that day every time I felt hungry it was a physical reminder to get with God either by talking to Him or by reading His Word. It really helped to restore something in my heart that had felt was breached for a long time with Him. It was a really good day and guess what happened that night. I slept! Soundly and peacefully! Yup I finally realized, the key to learning to trust God and to overcome fear is to take time out for Him and keep in relationship with Him.

When you think about it, you are hopefully in relationship with the people you trust most. Why should it be any different with God? Some times in order for me to learn why He asks us to do something I have to fall down a bit so that He can grow in me the realization of how much I need Him and learn so that I can be strongly rooted in my faith.

Employed by God

Recently I was filling out some paper work and I was asked fill in my occupation. I thought to myself, "Well I could be doing something important but nope I got married and had a kid and had to give that stuff up so now I'm just a mom... I guess I'll write homemaker to sound more important." Yup that's pretty sad but that is where I was at. You have to be honest with yourself in order to be able to allow God to grow you and change you.

I've been thinking about my situation for a long time now, swinging between feeling trapped, guilty and like a failure in almost every level of my life. The guilt and failure mindset was a bit of insanity crafted by the enemy to make me think I was failing God because I wasn't out there ministering to people and leading them to Christ because I was stuck at home. But then I felt guilty and like I was failing as a Mother as well. No wonder I've been battling depression and fatigue type issues lately. The Bible says that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

I have been praying about it and asking that God help me to be who He created me to be and to be content where He has placed me. I had no motivation to take care of my house, I'd try to slip out of cooking as often as I could (which for this time isn't so wise for us financially) and I really started just trying to get through my days instead of making the most of them.

God has been faithfully ministering to me over the past few month and gradually leading me back into relationship with Him. First I attended the For My Life class again at Be in Health where we live and that blessed my socks off, He really used those teachings to root out some deep issues that I had no idea I was still holding on to or that I had even allowed back into my life. Then through the following weeks as I've been walking out what I learned He has been showing me more and more things that have been separating me from Him, others and even myself. (I think I will write a separate post about one of those key revelations).

I think a real turning point to the issue of motherhood that I had previously mentioned was when a friend of mine who herself is a mother of four kids called me on Monday and asked me if she could come over and help me clean my house. At first I thought "She needn't trouble herself I can clean it myself... eventually." and then I thought "Having someone around will definitely motivate me to get things done, maybe this could be fun." So I agreed. She came over with a bucket of her own cleaning supplies and showed me how to clean quickly and effectively to make normally mundane chores a lot more bearable and doable. That in its self was such a blessing to me because everything in my house was starting to look so overwhelming and undoable especially with an eleven month old at my heals. She ended up staying long after we finished cleaning and I began to tell her of the issues I was having especially as a mother. She began to encourage me telling me of how important a mother is and the kind of ministry that God has given us not only to our families but to the friends and families of our children and to our fellow mothers. She reminded me that to bring up Godly children is a super important investment into God's kingdom and into the world around us.

Since then I have been meditating on and reflecting on what we talked about and just today I came up with an interesting revelation of my own (well not entirely of my own, I'm pretty sure it was Holy Spirit inspired). I realized that as a Mother I am almost entirely employed by God! I mean when you think about it He was the one who blessed us with and entrusted us with this child (and hopefully more children later). I don't have human employer although God has given me a pretty amazing partner (my husband, John). But I am accountable to God as to how I raise my children and how I interact with and bless the people He brings into my life. All of a sudden my life became a ministry opportunity, I realized that I don't have to work at a said "ministry" office in order to be useful to Him. I feel inspired and honestly although I loved my daughter big time through all of this battle, there is a new and deeper love and value for her in my heart now than before and I'm so excited to see the fruit of it. I now feel like I have a hope and a vision for our future, something to work towards. The Word says, Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

I definitely have the best employer that ever existed and I am so excited to participate with Him and His plans for me and the world. With Him all things are possible therefore the possibilities for my life and my family's life are limitless!