This week has left me feeling a little overwhelmed, exhausted, and crazy. Totally worth it, but by last night, I was pretty much over life. VBS was amazing; I always love the feeling I get watching these kids learn more about Jesus. I think the final count was 66 little kids dedicating their lives to Jesus. Totally worth every struggle and ounce of exhaustion. I will admit though, this was the hardest week I have dealt with in a really long time. By yesterday afternoon, I was really looking forward to bed last night.
Sara didn't want to go to VBS. She continued to tell me it was silly to go, when she couldn't participate last night. I kept on her, explaining we don't go for the fun night at the end. We go to learn about our awesome God. She quit complaining, but her heart wasn't entirely in it. Makes me sad, but I know deep down, she had fun. The pictures that were taken throughout the week prove it. I am so blessed for teachers who encourage and engage a little girl who has behavior issues, attitude problems, and a desire to give up at the first sign of things not going the way she wants them to. I am hopeful that she will come home with excitement, not frustration.
Cassie was so excited to be a part. I can honestly say she loved every second of it. Even on Friday, she was still ready to go back and be a part. It makes me heart so thankful that I am part of a church that focuses so intently on the lives of children, reaching them and helping them to know that God doesn't love them less or differently because they are little.
Jessica was ready for the week to be over by Wednesday morning. She was done. I am sure she was fine after I got her in and dropped off, but she cried when we pulled into the parking lot Wednesday morning, Wednesday night (for nursery), and both Thursday and Friday mornings. I have seen several pictures of her, smiling and playing, so I know she was fine, it just made going hard, when I felt like I was forcing two of the three girls.
By last night, I was a mess. Between exhaustion, anger, sadness, and a few other things, I just about lost it. No, I did lose it. And, looking back, I think it is okay. Losing it every great once in a while isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially when you can focus in on the important parts of life instead. Not exactly what I did last night, but definitely what I should have done. I really feel the need to share a few things. Last night, coming home to an empty house, reallysucked. Really, really, really sucked. I was so incredibly discouraged. I felt alone and punished, to be honest. I felt like I had poured out so much into the lives of so many kids, then coming home to complete silence was like being sentenced to prison. I know it probably seems over dramatic, but I really was struggling. A few other situations left me feeling angry and hurt. Almost betrayed. Instead of immediately realizing I needed God's help, I tried to do things my own way. Almost immediately, I realized it wasn't going to be my way, and that I needed help. I reached out to a friend, who was nice enough to talk me through my emotions and thoughts, as well as give me some kind advice. I am so thankful God has given me friends who can relate to the struggles I go through from time to time, and remind me that I am not the only person that struggles. God is so amazing that way. Anyway, by the time I went to bed, while I didn't feel as great as I wanted to, I felt a million times better.
Woke up this morning (after sleeping an entire 12 hours!!!) a little sluggish, but ready for the day. I started today with my devotion, which blew me away. It talked about staying on the path God has designed for me. That this path was specifically designed just for me, and that only I can accomplish God's goals for me. As excited as I am about the connect group I am starting, I am so nervous. I have this insane peace that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing, but all of this is requiring my to step out of my comfort zone and walk down this path that is a little scary. I have been really praying about where I need to start, what parts of my testimony need to be shared, and what needs to be kept private. When I am comfortable with someone, I tend to not share my deepest thoughts, as I don't want to lose the relationship. When I am not comfortable with someone, I fear opening up will make them run screaming in the other direction. Three times in the last week (well, four if I count something from this morning), I have been told hold nothing back.
Hold nothing back. For me, this is the scariest sentence on the face of the planet. By this morning, I was seriously doubting that these people had the slighest understanding of what they were saying. I knew that I had a little more insight to what not holding back really meant, and they must be wrong. I wanted to read a specific part of the Bible this morning, and knew I also needed to start getting prepped for my first session of the connect group. I say it often, and am saying it again. God is amazing. I opened up my Bible, and was reading when it hit me. Hold nothing back. God has given me an opportunity to minister to a group of women in a way I have never been ministered to. If I can (and, I pray that God gives me the strength to do what I need to do) do what I think is being asked of me, I can allow others to see what God has done in my life. If I do not share, these women (half of which I do not know) will never understand exactly what God has done in my life. They will not understand that I am doing this connect group because I struggle with esteem issues on a daily basis. If I share, God gets glory. End of story.
To this day, I do not know why I allowed myself to be degraded and humiliated the ways I was. I do not understand why God did not restore my life the way I thought he would. However, I do know that because of my past, I have my present. I have this amazing journey that I have walked through, all because He never let go. He held nothing back from me. Why should I hold things back from Him? The answer to that is don't. There is no reason. There is no God glory in that.
You know I hate most? When someone totally kicks my butt, tells me what will change me, how to handle this better next time, and then they are proven right. But, I hate it in a good way, so I hope that really makes okay. :)