Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After Christmas blues...

Forewarning: This is gonna be a kinda depressing blog, sorry.

I hate the day after Christmas every year! KSBJ and 99.1 turn back into normal music, department stores no longer play Christ-filled music thru the Christmas carols (un-beknowest to them), decorations begin to come down, holiday cheer disappears, and the excitement wears off. I hate December 26th! And this year was no different. My usual after Christmas sadness snuck in and then a shocking, unusual, tidal wave of depression blew in. A certain scenario played out and I was left feeling REJECTED...once again. Rejected is a familiar term that I have grown all to accustomed with. And when that feeling comes over me, so does self-pity, un-worthiness, me feeling un-loveable, etc. Satan has a field day! I have learned how to walk victorious over the enemy through Jesus. I have grown a lot. But to be honest, I am weary now and tired of growing. Do you ever feel that way? You get tired of the fight? Tired of Satan coming after the same achilles heel over and over again? I do. That's where I am now. I wonder why did Jesus leave us with all this pain and suffering and under the prince of this dark world? Yes, I know the truth of scripture and I believe. He is in fact Sovereign and has a good plan! He came at Christmas and gave us Him so December 26th is just the beginning. And I know that the victory has been won through Jesus on the cross! But I'm tired now and sad. It won't last long. Healing will come yet again. But in the meantime, the pain is very deep and very real. I feel alone and I long to just leave this world and be with Jesus. No, I'm not suicidal. And I'm not that selfish. I know we are here to be salt and light to a dark and hurting world. I'm not the only one with problems. But I don't feel like a light right now. I'm done venting now. Please pray for me bloggy friends. I am sad. And to end on a cheerier note, here is a devotional that I read this morning. Just what I needed. May it encourage you as it did me. He is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. May I feel you now, Jesus!

Arise from the Wreckage
29 Dec 2009
Micca Monda Campbell-Proverbs 31

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28 (KJV)

Recently I had an ah-ha moment as I was reading Acts 9. At first, the familiar story seemed dull. You know how it is when you've read or heard the same story over and over. Then a new revelation merged from the content. In my minds-eye I began to see the word "rejection," although it was not in written form. Perhaps I saw what I was feeling that day—rejected.

I was at the part of the story where Saul, a murderer, had just been transformed into Paul, a disciple of Christ. Even though Paul was a changed person, many rejected him because of his past reputation as a murderer. This was only the beginning of Paul's trouble. Throughout his ministry, Paul not only experienced rejection, but great suffering and harassment too. For a changed man, his adversity seemed unfair.

Paul was devoted to serving Christ. He sacrificed his education, his life, and remained single so he could better serve the Lord. And yet, he was shipwrecked on several occasions, falsely accused, and thrown into prison more than once. Doesn't that seem odd for a man called of God? Wouldn't God's favor protect him from such adversity?

I thought about an illness that lingered with me all summer. It was so severe I was all but bed-ridden for months, unable to do life and ministry. I began to feel rejected by God. It didn't make sense. I was serving God in more ways than I could count. Then, without warning, strong winds blew in. Clouds hung overhead and it began to storm. Before I knew it I was "shipwrecked." You've been there, too.

Some of us have been rejected by family, friends, and co-workers. Others have been falsely accused. Some are imprisoned by finances, or blown around by the consequences of someone else's sin. It seems so unfair. You've tried to live right. You walk in obedience the best you can. You take God at His Word and trust in His promises. Shouldn't faith like this call for smooth sailing, instead of stormy, shipwrecking seas?

Isaiah reminds us that God's ways are not our ways. His thoughts and plans are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8; paraphrased). It's tough to figure God out when He doesn't play by our rules or have the same agenda we have. We forget that God sees a much bigger picture.

If we follow Paul's journey, we find God working through the rejection, the trials, the prison time, and the shipwrecks. God used these hardships to position Paul. Not for fame, but to increase the Kingdom of God. Paul witnessed to the Pharisees through his rejection and imprisonment. People saw God's power at work when Paul survived the st orms, when the snake bite didn't kill him, and when the jail shook, opening the doors and loosing chains. The Lord used these difficulties so others would witness His power and believe.

Paul allowed God to use him as a vessel. He didn't sit on the sidelines, full of self-pity and doubt. Instead, as Acts 16:22-31 tells us, after being stripped, beaten, severely flogged, thrown in the inner cell of a prison and his feet in stocks, Paul prayed and sang hymns to God. Others around him were listening. The power of God came in such a way, that the prison guard begged Paul to tell him, "What must I do to be saved?" He replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (NIV).

God doesn't waste our pain, our rejection or our "shipwrecks." He uses them to bring about His plan—to position us so that others can see His transforming power at work in our lives and believe in the living God.

If that's true, and it is, then our challenge is to rise from the wreckage, like Paul, so tha t our lives will give testimony that draws others to the Master. Today I will no longer sit on the sidelines of life full of self-pity. I choose to rise, pray and praise, so that God can position me to shine for His glory, and so that others will believe.

Dear Lord, forgive me for wallowing in self-pity and rejection. I trust that You see the bigger picture. I believe there is a purpose for my pain. Strengthen me to rise from my ashes so that others will see You are my help and my salvation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
God has called us to live by faith, not by sight. Even though we don't always understand our difficulties, they don't have to overwhelm us. Choosing to trust God helps restore a sense of hope and stability to our lives, and also allows us to rise from our ashes.

What will you choose to do today: will you wallow in self-pity or rise and praise the Lord?

Power Verses:
Nahum 1:7, "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (KJV)

Psalm 121:1-2, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth." (NKJV)

And, don't laugh at me, but a song from the Jonas Brothers that my nieces and nephew gave me to encourage me:

A Little Bit Longer (You Don't Even Know) lyrics

Got the news today.
Doctor said i had to stay
A little bit longer and i'll be fine
When i thought it'd all be done
When I thought it'd all been said
A little bit longer and I'll be fine
But you don't know what you got 'til it's gone
And you don't know what it's like to feel so low
And everytime you smile you laugh you glow
You don't even know, no, no.
You don't even know

All this time goes by
Still no reason why
A little bit longer and I'll be fine.
Waitin' on the cure
But none of them are sure
A little bit longer and I'll be fine
But you dont know what you got 'til it's gone
You dont know what its like to feel so low.
And everytime you smile you laugh you glow
You dont even know, no, no.
You dont even know, no, no.

And you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.
And you Don't know what it's like to feel so low, yeah!
And everytime you smile or laugh you glow,
You dont even know! yeah! oh!
You don't even no

So I'll wait 'til kingdom come.
All the highs and lows are gone.
A little bit longer and I'll be fine.
I'll be...fine

God, I hope so!


Kristi said...

thanks for typing all of that out.. it is a good read. praying for you sweet friend.

Jon Tucker said...

My hope is that God enables you to embrace your suffering. I've known you to be one of my most resiliant friends, and the salt and light to me in my darkest times. I know that I've really been a poor friend to you at times but you've always loved me in spite of me, and that is something I'll never let go of. This year for me has been one surrender after another, and with surrender has always come a bit of suffering followed by an outpouring of healing. Thanks for posting this because I really needed to hear it. You know I've been having a tough time with control and anger issues, and I've just had to step back and let God be God, and surrender. It's taken alot of heartache and a ton of patience and tolerance. I hope we can hang out soon because I miss you and need you around. Hang in there sister, you are loved!