As I packed up my bag after a silent weekend getaway, the last words I wrote in my prayer journal were a simple cry,
“Lord, I want to fully submit to you. And when I don’t want to- I want to want to.”
My feet were dragging as I walked into Poustinia Lodge Friday afternoon. I was heading into a weekend of silence-just me and Jesus. No distractions, no excuses. My heart was weary and I was exhausted. My body doesn’t let me sleep all that much, and that always catches up with me. So physically drained? Check. Emotionally though, I felt beyond depleted. So many doubts, fears, and worries have been swarming my mind lately, and at some point I must have thought that I could “handle things” better than God could. Of course this wasn’t a blatant thought I had, but as my time spent with Him grew shorter, my knuckles grew whiter from trying to control everything going on around me.
This virus, that has completely altered everyone’s typical way of life.
Lies filling my head that I am too much, not enough, insignificant, a waste of space, etc.
The fear that I will fail miserably as a wife and that marriage won’t be great and that maybe Jerry could do better.
My car getting totaled last month and all the ramifications coming from that.
Getting let go from my job last week because of the aforementioned virus.
The list could go on. As could everyone’s. Everyone has a list, and I know mine is no worse than yours. Typically I’m a list-lover, but not when it comes to this one.
Through this set-apart time I’ve had for prayer and reflection, I’ve realized that when I break it all down, the reason I’ve been so emotionally distraught lately is because I’ve been trying to do God’s job. I haven’t been sitting at His feet like I need to. The less time I spend with the Lord, the more selfish I become, and ironically, the more frustrated I get with people who are being selfless. It’s because I feel guilty.
Lately I’ve found myself comparing myself to my fiancé and I’ve grown agitated when he shares with me how he is serving, and then points out to me an opportunity where I could serve. That is exactly the kind of relationship I prayed for, but when I’m not right with God, and when selfishness is taking over, the suggestion to serve upset me.
I am called to submit to the Lord. I am called to love others. I am called to serve when it’s inconvenient. I am called to be patient, gentle, and faithful. All of my feelings are valid, but they aren’t an excuse to not be the woman I am called to be.
I am a feeler. I feel everything so deeply and if I let it, it will often effect my judgement. Something I was reminded of this weekend is that my feelings are all valid- the anger, the stress, the joy, the fear, the excitement, the resistance-all of it is okay to feel. But my feelings are not facts and often times I must override my feelings and select whatever is true, noble, excellent, and praiseworthy. My feelings can’t dictate how I act, but my feelings are still important. I should probably tape that to my mirror or something.
I long to be a woman who submits to God even on the days I’m really not feeling it. That’s who I want to be. And I know it’s going to take work, and I know I can’t do it perfectly, but what I’ve forgotten in the past is that time devoted in prayer and scripture directly effects who I am as a woman. It takes dedication on my end.
So as I move into the weeks ahead, despite what trials I am up against, despite the raging storm of emotions within me, I will first remember that I am loved and pursued by my Savior, and second, that the way I can best love Him back, is by submitting to Him-and to pray for the desire to submit when all I want to do is kick and scream.