Friday, September 14, 2012

Trouble

by Cindy Hester

So I woke up a little blue this morning. I'm not really sure why. Maybe my heart is still tied to memories my mind thinks it has already moved past. Have you ever experienced this? It is that feeling of something being wrong without quite being able to put your finger on the problem. I am beginning to understand after 51 years of being on this earth this is why we cannot rely on feelings alone.

 
I am not sure why I still let the imperfections of this world upset or even surprise me for that matter. I guess we are all searching for that ever elusive state of contentment, especially in our current troubled world. I am a peacemaker by nature, so whenever there is conflict anywhere...whether in the world, my country, on the job, in my marriage, within my extended friends and family...I somehow tend to feel this overwhelming need to make things right.


Young soldiers at the airport in
Washington State about to be shipped abroad.
This sensitivity to the feelings of others, this want - possibly this need - to encourage or help stems from a good trait that can easily go bad. God bluntly brought that to my attention this morning. He reminded me that I become so tied up in the details that I sometimes fail to look at the whole picture. I am about to get really honest and let you in on another secret about me. I am a worrier. Yes, would you ever have believed it? Me, a worrier! The fact that I developed an ulcer at age seven may have let already let those closest to me in on that fact. Dear Lord have mercy!

While I'm making confessions, I may as well tell you that I tend to be a people pleaser and a perfectionist...not with cleaning, just with work and my own actions. I can let others off the hook and even make excuses for their actions, but I can beat myself up for three days over something as silly as breaking my diet by eating that snack size Reeses (okay, so it was 6 snack size Reeses, but that's not the point!) Plus, the more I try to be perfect, the more mistakes I seem to make.



 Perfetct Family Christmas Picture?
While many of you women from the south are shaking your heads thinking, "bless her heart...," I can hear my brother saying, "Suck it up Cindy. This is embarrassing!" What can I say? I tend to naturally be an anxious worrywart running around with my T-Shirt on backwards trying to keep everyone happy and constantly apologizing. I am not telling you this in an attempt to come off as a martyr. It is embarrassingly pathetic whenever I see it in writing. However, it is what it is, and I have to call this one as it is.

My husband, children, Mom, and siblings are probably asking where this sensitive, people-pleasing person is around them. They get to see the more honest side of me. What is so sad is they most likely  end up getting the short end of the deal a lot of the time. What is even worse is that during my deepest spirals, God often gets the least of the best parts I have to offer Him. I get so focused on the shoulds - what should I be doing, what I should have done or have said, or what I shouldn't have done or said, whose feelings I may have hurt, etc. - that it becomes all about me instead of about how God's natural gift of love for others was meant to be.

My reason for sharing these wonderful truths with you? Only to let anyone else out there who may be battling with these or similar issues know they are not alone. We each face our own set of strengths and weaknesses. We each have some area where we reach our limits. God reminded me today that He created us this way for a purpose. Because we each have our own set of strengths and weaknesses, we become inherently dependent upon Him and upon one another as a human race.

No matter how much we wish it to be true, we are not meant to be totally self-sufficient. We are meant to be God-sufficient. It is in and through Him and His grace that we can truly be healthy and whole enough in our spirits, our minds, and our hearts to work together - and God knows we need one another. This world is not meant for perfection. God has been whispering this to my heart all along. In Jesus's own words he says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33.


 
So no matter what your heart's memory may be bringing to the forefront of your emotions on this particular day, you can rest assured there is a God who understands. He is able to bring us to a place of wholeness, and He can become our strength for those places of weakness we all possess. My prayer for us all today is to feel His presence, His peace, and His unspeakable joy no matter what shadows our feelings may be casting over us. God bless, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." ISAIAH 40 : 28 - 31



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