For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Corinthians 1:5
Thoughts have been swimming in my head non-stop for the past month or so, but I haven’t felt compelled enough to sit down and write. I get paralyzed. I start pursuing an idea from the heart like writing a blog or learning to play the guitar and for whatever reason, or a hundred life reasons, I stop. The notes on my phone get filled with thoughts, but the computer stays closed and the folder of theory lessons and chords sit atop my unopened guitar case. I don’t know why this happens, but I want to fight through it. So here I am; sitting at my computer; hoping to pull together thoughts; make sense; connect.
When I started this blog of learning how to rest in the role God has given me, I didn’t realize that resting in God was not only unpracticed in my life, but completely foreign. It had always been up to me to get through a hard time or be better or do more or just plain survive. My knuckles are still white from holding on.
About a month ago, life took a turn. I had pushed the envelope too far in a direction I knew the Holy Spirit had been speaking to me for a long time to change. Nothing devastating happened that night, but I knew this was yet another crossroad on which He was ever so patiently offering to walk with me in a healing direction. After leaving my teaching career and learning the ropes of being a stay at home mom, I started to realize I had many shortcomings and many hurts that weren’t overtly felt when I was busy with both a career and a family. It didn’t take long for those to manifest themselves in the slower, longer, and quieter days. As many people do, I started to cope with my pain in the food pantry or on Netflix binges or with a bottle of wine. As Allen Carr says, “drinking isn’t the primary problem, it’s secondary. It’s the reasons we drink that are the primary problem.”
Holly Glen, author of Hip Sobriety, writes this as her first point of the Hip Sobriety Manifesto: “1. You do not need to hit rock bottom. Some 90% of folks who struggle with alcohol (in the US) are not clinically addicted. We have an idea that we need to be falling down and lose everything to address our relationship with alcohol. Not true. If you’re worried about your drinking, if it’s causing shame or fear or keeping you from the life you’re dreaming about, that’s more than enough to begin. And the sooner you start, the easier it is.”
The truth is I was worried about my drinking, and eating, and anything else I was using to numb or disguise the pain from the past and the listlessness of the present, so I decided to let the cat out of the bag and be honest with myself and some of my close friends from church; friends I know God strategically put into my life. You see, the reality is that God loves me way more than I love myself. He wants me to be complete in Him and His presence. He’s a good Father who wants to give me the desires of my heart! Psalm 37: 3-6 says: Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Although there have been times God has spoken to me quickly and directly, I need to realize I may not always get answers right away when I cry out to Him. I want to be able to rest in the fact that He hears me, that He is for me, and that He has not forgotten about me, even if the relief isn’t instantaneous. Life is a process, and for a girl who tends to have very little patience, the wait can be hard. There are two passages that are giving me great hope in this time of walking through the healing process without the numbing aids I was using.
The first is Hebrews 4:14-16
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
The second is Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
After making the recent decision to cut ties with alcohol, I went to a worship service and the woman leading worship was one of the former worship leaders at the church I went to before I got married and had a family; a time when I was a lot more dependent on the Lord and unware of ways he still needed to work in my heart. I was elated to get to hear Kelanie again and I was so free in worship that night. I spent some much needed time on my knees soaking in the presence of the Holy Spirit and hearing Him speak to my heart.
During one of the songs I heard the lyrics:
You’re pouring out the oil
You’re pouring out the wine
Whenever I call on Your Name,
You come running
With healing in Your wings
I heard God speak to me saying: “I want to be your wine.” As in He wants to be the one I turn to in every circumstance, good or bad. He wants to be my refuge, the person I hand my bruised heart to, the person to whom I scream out my frustrations and fears, and the person I thank when I realize He has moved on my behalf because He loves me.
He wants to be my all in all. The question is will I let him?