Hi everyone! How have you been? I trust you are all keeping well in every sense! I'd been dealing with an infection over the past few days; thankfully, I'm well on the mend now, praise the Lord.
At the start, when it looked and felt particularly nasty, I must admit to giving in to some freaking, self-pity, and emotionalism (have you noticed how sometimes, when you're going through something especially challenging, you have this pathetic "poor me" feeling that you're the only one who has ever had to endure?). This may be connected to my wacky postpartum hormones, but I'm aware that freaking and worry are bugbears I'm still in the process of conquering. However, as Joyce Meyer always says, I'm not where I need to be yet, but thank God I'm not where I used to be!
Well, after a bout of freaking self-pitying emotionalism, I collected myself, sat down to earnestly pray, and had a sudden revelation. I felt in my spirit that the root of my anxiety was twofold; first -- an unrealistic, extreme sense of perfectionism (in this instance, not being a perfect mom because I was unwell), and therefore, second -- a fear of being alone and unloved because I wasn't perfect after all.
As I prayed, I felt with increasing conviction and clarity that I was not alone and unloved, that God was with me, and that He had in fact never left me; I realised -- as my whole life right up to the present moment flashed before me -- that I have in fact always been in His keeping, and He literally holds me up and carries me when I am weak.
I felt Him trying to impress upon me that I am never alone, however I may feel, that not only is He always with me through all the imperfections of this fallen world, but He has surrounded me with people who love me as unconditionally as humanly possible despite my flaws and weaknesses, and who will always be there for me as earthly reflections of God's divine faithfulness. In this life, I think, that is all you really need. Even if you aren't a Christian, the unconditional love of even one faithful friend is such a blessing, providing an invaluable strength, help, comfort and encouragement through life's various challenges.
This verse kept coming to my mind: "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deut 31:8). I have been meditating much on it, trying to really wrap my head around it and get it on the inside of me, rather than merely mouthing it at a superficial level without any real conviction.
Coincidentally, I am re-reading the book of Joshua at present; four times within just one chapter the Lord says, "Be strong and of good courage". Indeed, He says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Josh 1:9; italics mine).
In quite prosaic terms, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, "Stop freaking. There is really no need to freak about anything, nor is there any point in doing so. Life is simply all sorts of things one after another -- just take them as they come with sanguinity, a divine peace, and also with gratitude -- better that than panic and worry, which only make one uselessly miserable. Get your mind off yourself and remember that this too shall pass". When I also hear my husband, and even Becky, telling me the same things, I feel certain God is impressing on me a life-changing revelation.
I was on the phone with my girlfriend during this time and in the course of the conversation asked that she please pray for me (I am quite certain her prayers are largely inspired by the Holy Spirit, for she is never even half as eloquent or wise in her regular speech -- sorry K, haha!). Well, I expected her to pray for healing, which she did, but then at the end, she suddenly branched off into something else altogether -- she prayed that my thinking would be renewed, that I would focus on the positive, and that I would always be thankful for my strong marriage and loving family. It was a reminder of how blessed I am, something one can easily forget in the midst of self-pity or worry.
I remember Mother Teresa once said, "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty". I am so thankful for a husband and children who tirelessly remind me that I do not have to deal with either of these. I recall, too, reading an article where the actress Anne Hathaway said, "Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I'm most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me". I personally am fine with solitude and, indeed, sometimes welcome it; but since being married and having children, I have realised the joy not only of rowdy family, but also of solitude without loneliness.
Well, these have been my thoughts over the past few housebound days; I thought I'd share them with you, for they might perhaps be a word in season for someone, somewhere. These posts -- here, here and here -- came to my mind as well; I myself shall be re-reading them!
P.S. A more fun post coming up soon -- yay!