The post I really want to post right now isn't this one. Not that it matters, but I am trying to stay positive and unemotional. The post I want to write is not really either. So, I am going to be positive. I am going to rest on the fact that God's got my entire world. He knows my longings, he knows my hurts, he loves me regardless and has great plans for me. A difficult list of facts to think about in my head, but also reassuring.
I love the book of Isaiah. I read little bits of it often, because it is seriously so encouraging. I opened up my Bible this morning, praying for some peace. I was flipping to Isaiah 43, but never got there. Isaiah 42:6 says, "I, the Lord, have called you for a righteous purpose, and will hold you by your hand. I will keep you, and make you a covenant for the people and a light to the nations." And, it spoke to me. In order for me to fulfill God's purpose for my life, I had to experience a storm. I had to experience difficulty, hurt and the enormous task of forgiving someone who has hurt me tremendously. And, in all of that, He is still holding my hand. I have to remember his hand is always on me, he will never leave me.
This sounds totally silly, but I am so thankful the girls were taught Joshua 1:9 at school. It says, "This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." The girls know it as "Be strong and brave, because God is with you." As they were leaving on Friday, Jess looked at me waving bye, and said, "Momma, I be brave." And, it seriously broke my heart and made me happy all at the same time. While it made me sad to think she feels the need to be brave to go to her Dad's house, I felt so encouraged, because at not even 3 years old, she is learning to rely on the word of God for protection and comfort. I must learn from her example. If she can trust God in all things, so can I.
The girls came home last night in low spirits. Happy to be home, but quiet. As the night wore on, little tidbits of the weekend came out, causing me to grow anxious and frustrated. Instead of finding a quiet spot and seeking God's strength and peace, I lashed out. Well, not really, but sort of. I laid in bed last night, slightly disturbed by my choices. And, again, I got to thinking about where I was 2 years ago versus where I am now. Which got me to thinking about where I was last year and where I am now.
Two years ago, I had more stress than I could possibly handle. I was getting ready to celebrate my baby's first birthday, get a handle on life, and was praying for a miracle I never got to see. God had given me a promise, and in my human-ness, I assumed the promise I had been given involved me and my now ex-husband, now I realize the promise was for me, not for him. I was sleep-deprived, in school, struggling to not drown, and praying that God would reveal the direction I was supposed to take before I lost myself completely. Two years ago, I would never have imagined the happiness I have now could be possible for me.
One year ago, I had more stress than I could possibly handle. I was waiting for my divorce to be final, struggling with getting used to a visitation schedule, child support, having panic attacks more often than anyone should, was not sleeping because of violent nightmares, and on a nice little prescription cocktail that was supposed to make it all go away. I cried out to God, but never stopped to accept His help. I was looking, but not understanding that to receive would also be to let go. To put it nicely, I was a basket case, not even thinking happiness existed. Feeling completely lost, alone, and honestly, miserable. I was so angry with God, because I felt like I was following his directions exactly, and yet receiving no break from the chaos that was my world. And, by only the grace and strength of God, that is not what today holds for me. While I struggle with some small issues, I am not the person I was then. That post will follow soon. :)
So, after a restless night last night, I woke up knowing I had to find some verse to stand on for today. I think it is really funny, because almost every time I am discouraged, the feeling ends after I flip through Isaiah. Promises of strength, courage and determination are everywhere in this book. Promises of protection, victory and redemption pour through so many chapters. One of my favorites says, "But forget all that - it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway in the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." It reminds me that my past is just my past. And, it is nothing compared to my future. It cannot come with me, in order to move on, it must stay where it is. In order to fully accept what God has for me, I must fully lay down my hurts and pains and frustrations. And, this morning, as the sun was coming up, I couldn't help but be reminded by new mercies each and every morning. If I get them, I must extend them. Doesn't mean I have to like what is going on, but it does mean I must forgive and move on. Difficult, but necessary. I am so full of emotions, both happy and sad this morning. And, given a few days, I will probably get most of it out on here. But, I now have the joy of two wiggly girls on my lap, so I am gonna enjoy them instead of write. I so love this mommy job!