In September, we got hit hard with the sickies. And it just never left us.
October and November while still battling the sickies, I thought it would never end. The chronic fatigue and endless nights of no sleep due to sick kids all the time, on top of never getting fully better myself, brought me to my knees in constant prayer. I wondered if I would survive this storm.
Not only was our family in survival mode trying to keep up on the basics of life, I had a full speaking schedule in September and October, a blog series I was writing out every day for one month, and book edits due to my publisher by the end of November. On top of this I’ve been working bit by bit on another project God wouldn’t let me sleep on. I’m also preparing for the launching of my YouTube channel come January, and I’ve been pursuing a few other side projects I felt God nudged me to say “yes” too. Let’s just say no sleep and a lot of coffee has been my life.
It’s why my blog has been eerily silent for a while. I just couldn’t do it all.
Until recently, feelings of defeat hung over me like a dark cloud that wouldn’t let up. I kept focusing on all the things I didn’t get done or things I hadn’t gotten to yet instead of looking back at all the things I DID do and accomplished during such a crazy time of unexpected.
Isn’t this so normal for us? To think about all the “should-of’s” or “could-of’s” instead of celebrating all the successes amidst the storm?
Sure my blog writing has been nonexistent lately. Sure I haven’t completed a few projects as early as I wanted too. Sure I’ve been “winging it” a lot lately and there’s been a lot of things left undone. But God has DONE so much more through me than I thought I was able to handle on my own. Which is exactly what I need to remember when the unexpected hits, and what you need to remember as well.
We are not meant to carry the load on our own two shoulders. We are not even meant to do everything that we set out to check-off or do. There will be failures. There will be things left undone… but then… was it ever meant to be done in the first place?
I fully believe God will help us see what’s most important in every situation. There were times when I was so exhausted and yet God gave me the strength to keep pressing on until 1 in the morning. Then there were other times God said “sleep my child” even with the never-ending list of to-do’s unchecked, but I dozed peacefully off to sleep before 9 pm ever ticked, trusting in God’s bigger plan. There were times when priorities shifted and my family required 100% attention while all other things were left undone, unmet, and unkempt. I kept trusting and saw a ray of light the end of November… until December hit us with a vengeance.
Oh the horror: house issues of an unknown water leak resulting in airborne mold in the home sent my heart into a panic, doctor’s appointments for my twins resulted in unexpected surgeries just before Christmas, and driving to my in-laws house earlier than expected for Christmas due to no heat and construction in the home, all right after their surgery made my head spin. All I could do was pray God would help me survive.
Survive I did. And yes, survive is the best word to describe it. There are times I’ve felt empowered during times of survival mode where instead I actually thrive through it. This was not one of those times.
And yet, I sit here now amidst the layer of dirt and grim in the house from all the construction thanking God for these storms because it’s humbled me so much as I see again how much I am not in control. He is, and rightfully so. He has the better plan. I can trust in His guiding hands. This season’s enabled me to notice how much I can do through Him, even when it’s simply crawling past the finish line. God’s presence enables me to sit in this moment and feel the peace and surrender after experiencing such a severe storm, recognizing how even when it felt bleak and painful and hard, never once did He leave me. God was with me.
And He is with you too, you know. Really, He is.
In the storms, it’s sometimes hard to see His face when the blizzard is so thick. But when the storm begins to fade and blue skies break through the clouded gray, you’ll look back and notice the footsteps in the snow NEXT to yours in the glistening light, realizing the truth… He never left.
Maybe 2016 had been a hard year, or maybe not. I think each year has its challenges and successes. Some years weigh more than others. But no matter what, we can look forward to a new year, a new season, a new day which is coming. Because His Word says, “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)