Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Strength AND Weakness

There is a psychological syndrome that stands out so vividly from my studies in college. I had never heard of it until that particular day in class and immediately felt like all eyes were on me or like I was in a spotlight when we began studying the ins and outs of this problem. It is known as impostor syndrome.  I know that there are physical challenges and changes that can happen in our brains and/or body systems that cause true & serious mental and psychological diseases. I also fully believe that because of this, satan lies to us and fights a battle in our minds that often causes us to believe we are captive to issues that aren't really there. Please don't misunderstand my point - there are many real, diagnosable mental or psychological diseases that can affect any one of us, just like physical diseases...but unlike physical diseases, the enemy can mask things in our minds because a scan or blood test can not prove or disprove it and cause us to be crippled by what may be, within our minds. 

In no way do I "claim" to have impostor syndrome, but there are times, that the enemy wages a war in my mind that causes me to doubt every positive work, accomplishment or calling God has for my life and family. Many of you have spoken such kind words to me over the course of Mark's illness that have encouraged me and put a smile on my face as I share the things we have seen & felt. We've had the privilege of hearing that others have been challenged in a good way and motivated to keep the faith through troubles they are facing as well. That blesses us and makes me thank Jesus that He is bringing so much good out of this bad situation we've been walking through. There are still days though that I'm overcome with emotions, that I struggle to keep balance, that I don't lay my frustrations at Jesus' feet & don't always think before I speak. 

Those times, cause me to doubt. I ask myself if I've even really felt all the things I've been able to share through this blog. And then, on top of that, I can get down over doubting myself and the work God has done in me through all of this. I often think of and fear, in a good way, being like Jonah. Enduring a major struggle {living in the belly of giant, swimming creature seems pretty overwhelming and then being a part of projectile vomit seems like a pretty rough "rescue"}, then finding a way to complete the task God has in front of you, receiving a reward {huge vine growing up before your eyes to provide you shade and rest}, yet throwing it all away because of wrong attitudes and motives...this is NEVER how I want to live my life.

Yet, when I walk through difficulty, stay strong in faith, and then struggle, I wonder how different am I from Jonah?? Then the enemy piles on the lies and guilt, and feelings of being an impostor flood my mind. As I was reading a devotion earlier today, God gave me a beautiful picture that I hope I can convey to you clearly. My happy place is the beach. I literally feel like I breathe better, I think more clearly & peace flows more freely. I love to watch sea oats and after growing up near the Gulf, I feel obligated to protect them when I see them. Just ask my kiddos how I act if they even get near one...I'm sure they would say I act like a crazy person...haha! Sea oats do a huge job, yet even a gentle breeze can sway them and give them the appearance of being weak. These small stalks though, have roots that do an irreplaceable job. Without these weed-like structures, our beaches would never be able to with stand the continual battering they take from the wind and the waves. 

This morning, God so graciously showed me that being blown, feeling emotions and even struggling to stand is not a failure and certainly not an admission of being an impostor. If my roots are deep in Him, then when my emotions show or my frame becomes weak, I'm able to show my weakness and His strength. He is holding onto my roots because I've allowed them to grow deep in Him and He desires that we do everything we can to keep that growth going deeper and deeper.  There is no limit to the depth we can go in Him. There is a limit to the physical abilities we can accomplish and the length of life we can live on this earth, but there is no limit to what is unseen, to what happens in our quiet place, that only He and I know about. 

If you're swaying in the wind, look within, and check your roots. If they are showing, don't give up and allow yourself to be uprooted and fly away. Focus on your roots and on pushing them deeper into our Maker. When we can be honest about our weakness, He can be stronger in us than we ever thought possible! 

This week is truly an opportunity to put some more depth on our roots.We are hoping and praying that this will be the final week of IV meds for Mark. How will we respond if it isn't? How will we respond if it is? Then there are still several things ahead that we will just have to continue to pray and wait for the answer and the plan. One being the incision that just doesn't want to close. Another, will the pacemaker be necessary or not?  I often pray that I will live with stronger awareness of so many things that God has shown me over the past couple of months & I trust that just as He has kept us and worked through the unexpected, the near death & the unknown for us, He will continue, no matter what may come. A new phase of recovery is on the horizon, and we are thrilled to finally be at this point. We know that cardiac rehab will have it's challenges, but they are worth it for improved physical strength for Mark and knowledge to walk out the future plans God has for us in greater health!

I feel like so many of my endings are the same, but the feelings and heart behind them are always sincere - we are so thankful for all the prayers as well as tangible signs of love and care that have been shown to us. We feel unworthy of it all, but receive it with deep gratitude and pray that the reaping of those seeds sown by so many, will be far greater than imagined! 

1 comment:

  1. I guess we all are like Jonah in some way. How we perceive any storm determines the outcome. We all go through different storms. Its all in what you take from it and learn that matters. God will get you through the storm but its what you do after the storm that matters!


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