Oh friend…

Last week I was sitting in a pool of tears, overwhelmed by a cacophony of thoughts, especially on the concept of living the abundant life.

To be honest though, much of this discord is the result of having sick kids back-to-back for 10 days straight (not to mention many more previous months of health issues and a host of other unexpected things). If you’ve been following on my Instagram, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

But there was even more underneath the surface of it all begging for my attention. God finally hit me between the eyes and said, “stop pretending and let’s just start with how you’re really feeling.”

It’s hard to get honest with ourselves, amen? Especially when we see pain there in the honesty. Pain in the realization that my heart says motherhood isn’t as fulfilling as I’d hoped and dreamed it would be. Pain in the realization that I’d begun to let my calling in ministry to become more about me and less about God. Pain in the realization of sin, requiring me to confess and ask for forgiveness, again. It’s painful. But the aftermath? …clarity and surrendered peace.

With these realizations I began to sense (quite reluctantly) God wanting me to take a break from social media and ministry. Not just for a few days, but FOUR weeks. Specifically the four weeks I will be spending with my family on our “staycation” close to home. We did this last year and it was such a monumental time of growth and connection with my family, and even more importantly, God. I cherished this time last year; I believe God wants my full attention again as well.

Because I’ve been distracted lately, and not in a good way.

To be frank, social media in and of itself is not a bad thing. I’ve used it in healthy ways, but I’ve also seen the effects of using it much to my detriment too. Lately, it’s swung back over to the unhealthy side and become a distraction, a source I retreat to more often than is good for me. I’ve been checking out with it in front of my kids more lately. I have been checking Instagram or Facebook first thing when I wake up instead of allowing God’s Word to penetrate my soul. I’ve become restless and lay there scanning it an hour before bed, which I’ve noticed only gives me more anxiety, sleeplessness, and interrupts prayer time with Jesus (not to mention connection time with my husband). Times of stillness with my Bible, my thoughts are distracted with what awesome quote I should share next in my Instagram feed with others. It is, quite literally, sucking the life out of me lately and has been a source of anxiety again in my life.

It’s so easy to think we are staying focused on God, especially when we are doing “good things” and we were just “walking on water” with Him, until we realize we are in fact wet and sinking, like Peter.

In our submission and acknowledgement of sin, we cry out to Him in our fears, our pain, our submission and again we are met with a tender, helping hand.

“Oh you of little faith,” Jesus says to Peter. Less of a chastise and more a loving rebuke to his sinking.

Oh yes, I am that Peter, sinking when I thought I was still walking on water, thriving amidst the storms around me. You too?

 

I falter just a bit, and continue to falter as I focus my eyes on everything else crowding in around me: the pressure to perform, my failure as a mom, seeing everything as lacking instead of the abundance for what it is. I lacked making minor adjustments which now requires taking serious intervention.

I say this to show you my humanity. I am human, just like you.

Just because I lead people to wholeness in Christ, mentoring others to having a healthy mindset and encourage spiritual growth doesn’t mean I’m completely free of struggles as well. Perhaps they’re different, and seemingly miniscule compared to others, but I’m no better or worse than another. I still sin. I still covet after things of this world. I still care more deeply than I ought about what others think of me.

We all have struggles. Otherwise, why would we still need Jesus? We are human, and we fail… even when we as Christians know what is right and true.

Does this mean I can’t teach and speak and write and mentor others to Truth? Of course not! Far the latter, actually! By demonstrating my weakness to you as a leader, mentor, and Christ follower, it hopefully demonstrates even more how much we NEED Jesus in our everyday lives for the rest of our life!

To be that strength when ours is failing.

To comfort us when our sorrows are overwhelming.

To demonstrate, yet again, even as a person who is deeply in love with God, I am still incapable of loving Him unconditionally.

My eyes flit to the next shiny thing like Dory, and suddenly I’m focused (again) on all the wrong things. This is called humanity. It is in our nature. And yet, even in this, I am thankful for my weaknesses, my failures, my pain, and my tears because it is what compels me back to Him. To become Refined and Restored back to where my heart and mind need to be: in communion with Christ.

This is less an act of duty, and a deep desire of my heart. Although I’ve heard said, duty comes before desire. Perhaps, but perhaps not. Maybe this is the road God wants me to lean into… how to go from a life stagnant to walking on water with Jesus?

It’s why, now, I must put distractions aside. And I’m asking YOU to hold me accountable. After all, YOU are my people.

Yep, for the next four weeks I will be off social media and blogging regularly, BUT I will be emailing once per week to my e-friend peeps about my journey of with God during this time of forced stillness from unhealthy distractions.

And… I’m asking you to join me as I share my authentic journey via email about what God’s revealing to me along the way in hopes it will help you as well to discover the abundant life through Christ. Because what I’m realizing, after getting out of the safety of “my boat” over the past couple years and “walking on water with Jesus,” I cannot go back to my boat again. I cannot go back to living a life of stagnancy in my relationship with Him… or be so distracted… from the abundant life… which is exactly the path I was heading again. Until now.

I’m journeying back to a richer communion with God: life abundant not self-preservation.

It’s going to be deep, real, raw, and rich. So if that’s not your cup of tea, no worries. It’s why I’m keeping this journey personal through my email friends instead of blasting it all throughout blog space. This is not a gimmick to get you to sign-up for my email list either (I can only ask you trust me on this one). But I do believe this will help you, as I believe it will help me to stay accountable by setting aside distractions and becoming intentionally focused on my relationship with God once again. I want to get from my “do” mentality to the “be” in my relationship with God. Which perhaps is what God is asking you to do, too?

Then join me. I have no idea what this is actually going to look like, except that I will be writing a weekly email, probably every Friday (because who else likes fun mail on Friday?) about my journey and thoughts. I’m thinking there’s going to be a whole lot more revealed through this than expected. Which of course means you’re going to get a whole lot more out of this than you’re expecting as well. That much, at least, can be assured.

{Sign-up below to get my emails and join the Inner Circle club!}

 

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