God has His ways of leading us and teaching us along life's road. Being a pilgrim in a foreign land, we know we are here for a short time. We know we are here for a purpose and we want to make our days count. Counting our blessings is something we often forget to do.
This past year has been full of many adventures, many trials, and I feel like I learned a lot. I have a personality to jump the gun sometimes, I must admit. I run with things. I guess the biggest thing I learned was humility.
Humility of Heart...
It is a big temptation when you get into a spot where you minister publicly to put on the facade that you have it all together. You do not want to mislead, disappoint, or offend the people that you feel called to minister to. I see the trap. There is a fine line between doing the ministering out of the love that flows from your heart and doing things to be seen of men. It can cause us to become people pleasers instead of God pleasers.
I felt uncomfortable when people think that I have arrived or that I was someone at some higher ground. Because I am not! I am just like any one of you out there. There is no supernatural water in the well over here. I still stumble. I am still given the same free will to choose joy or sorrow. Actually all public persons in ministry do, too. In my blog, I have always tried to share my faults and how I am trying to overcome. I tell my struggles to show you I am human. And yet people still think I am a wise woman of God. It makes me uncomfortable even thinking such a thing when I still struggle. God is still teaching me and I am still trying to learn.
I fail. I am weak. I am not always a good friend. I am sometimes very immature. I just wanted to confess that I am far from perfect and point you to the one who is perfect, and that is Jesus.
What is a Recluse?
A recluse is a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people. Why does a person hide away? They hide away because they do not want to deal with people. People have disappointed them, people have used them, and people have just been very difficult to deal with. Life hardens some people.
I had this same temptation lately. I thought I was nearly impervious to it. I felt so used, beat down, and worn out to the point I wanted nothing more than to be a recluse myself. I wanted to avoid people and just live a private life.
I even became very depressed. Sometimes you just want to hide away rather than admit that you chose to allow things to take root in your heart. It is way easier to pretend you are okay when you are not. Especially if you are like me and you wrote a certain book that teaches how to overcome in that area—hint, hint!
The funny thing I realized is that my book, Living Virtuously, was for me! In my deepest hours of confusion and pain, I read the words that I typed with my own hands. As I read, I felt like the message was written for me. It was like a love letter right from God! It is funny how God works. He knew I would reach this point and that I would need a good lesson along the way, so he ministers to me through my own words and the words of His WORD (which is the Bible). That is a mystery to me, but I am thankful. It was like a kick in the pants. It helps remind me where I was, what I have overcome, how God taught me to choose joy, and how to get back up and stop thinking about "ME".
It is a rut that I believe a lot of us can get into. Trials of life and circumstances can weigh in heavy causing us to crumble beneath it. Instead of counting our blessings we count our failings which is of no profit to us, to the cause of the gospel, or to anyone else. It is needful to remind ourselves daily who we are in Christ.
Lately, during my struggles with the "ME MONSTER", there was a younger lady who came to me. She was very depressed, even to the point of wanting to end her life. She was sure that her life was meaningless. Oh, I know that feeling, I have been there before in my life.
Just teaching her, taught me who I am in Christ. I wrote this letter to her one morning and it was like I was writing it also to myself as a reminder. And I want to share it with you as a reminder. It is long, so you do not have to read it all at one time, but I thought there may be someone out there who struggles with depression, anxiety, and also maybe even the feeling that you do not matter. Click the following link to download a copy of my letter...
I hope and pray that this is an encouragement to you.
I am thankful that I am reminded who I am in Christ and that I can be an overcoming saint of God. It is truly a precious gift I never want to take for granted. Christ has done so much on our behalf to provide a solution to the ruts we get into in our minds. The hardest part is taking hold of those precious gifts and allowing them to work in us to the hope of Glory in Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that these words would not be my own, but a reflection of the truth I have found in You! I pray that all who read these words would take hold of the same truths and live a life free from the bonds of depression and the sin of selfishness. I ask that you use these words to minister and heal. In Jesus name!
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you."