A few weeks ago, I was personally feeling very defeated. Physically I had been struggling with fatigue, it's an ongoing companion that has plagued me for years. Between my history with thyroid dysfunction, anemia and a long stint of mono, I absolutely detest not having energy. When the familiar feeling of tiredness hits, that I can't sleep away with any amount of sleep, my heart gets really discouraged and I begin to fear that my health is running off the tracks. I feel guilty for not having the energy I need, for not keeping up, for falling behind, for failing. Failing Joe and failing our kids.
Between things going on around me with people I'm closest to and things I was daily failing at, I began to worry and fear. I started doubting myself and most of all, I started doubting God. I doubted that He had called me to this life of mothering 6 kids, homeschooling 3 kids and that the work I'm putting into these lives was gonna produce good fruit.
I want to share with you the way that God encouraged my heart. This year has been so difficult in unexpected ways but God is working deeply in my heart to get rid of sin and turn my heart toward following Him more closely.
I sat down, in my messy living room, in my disorganized house, with my wild and crazy kids not doing anything I told them to do, I began looking up some scriptures I had been meditating on, These are my go to scriptures when I come to this familiar place of being overwhelmed and knowing I'm not enough and surrendering to what God wants to teach me, rather than focusing on the troubles I wish He'd just take away from me.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."As I flipped through 2 Corinthians, looking for a scripture my eyes fell on this.
2 Corinthians 4:1
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.It hit me, these words convicted me. God has mercifully given me this ministry of motherhood. I'm so grateful He allowed me to live this life and I take it for granted so often. Since I first read it, this verse has just continued to repeat in my mind. "We do not lose heart." God doesn't want me to doubt Him and fear the outcome, He is in control, He planned for me to be here with these lives and He can be trusted and He wants me to keep believing that He will see me through. BE encouraged, whatever ministry God calls you to, He doesn't want us to lose heart. Don't give up, don't quit, don't doubt the work He is doing.
I read the chapter prior to this verse and again, God used His Word to convict me.
2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.We cannot do anything He calls us to do in our own strength, wisdom and power. I am never enough to do what needs to be done, my enough always fails me, it always has an end and that's usually in a dark pit, feeling sorry for myself, feeling guilty and feeling like giving up. Our ability to do anything God calls us to do comes through His strength in us, not our own strength. If it were in our own strength, we would get the glory instead of Christ. I continually struggle to give God the glory for empowering me to walk in the way He leads me.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.I felt so hard pressed, like every thing and every one that is supposed to support me was falling in on top of me. I struggled to make sense of people letting me down, of bad things happening to good people in my life, of how parents who love the Lord and love their kids, made sacrifices for their families and taught them well in the Lord didn't get outcomes from their children they expected. Life is hard and it doesn't make sense to us and you can always count on the devil taking every opportunity to get us discouraged and doubting God and ourselves.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.This day, God completely renewed my heart and opened my eyes to see the bigger work He wants to do. When things don't make sense, He is at work. When I don't understand, He can be trusted. When I am faithless, He is faithful!
I'm always looking for ways to be in control, to have the perfect parenting formula, to keep it together. How grateful I am that each time I need encouragement and guidance, each time I realize how many questions I don't have answers for, how many times I fail at being a good testimony, God leads me back to Himself. His comfort and love are always secure and His grace never gives up on me. I'm so grateful.