Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm Trading My Sorrow

Let's get real here: how many of us feel depressed sometimes? I so often put on a mask of cheerfulness while inside I am drowning in self-pity, envy and depression. I want to shriek at my circumstances and make them change. I am jealous of women who have what I want -- children, freedom to stay at home, an enjoyable job or money.

This has been me for the past few days. I had a meltdown last night, wishing I could make someone understand (how silly, right? But I'd wager you've been there, too). I cried and prayed and used the muscles of my mind to make me recall the things I am thankful for. The sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning! When I woke up, and throughout this day, several things dawned on me:

1. My time is not my own -- it is God's. I practically heard the Holy Spirit tell me that I was being selfish about my time. I am where He wants me. It is not my time that I feel like I'm wasting, it's God's. Have I been redeeming the time? C.J. Mahaney recommends that we talk to ourselves when we wake up in the morning, rather than let our minds whirl and think on random things which may discourage or embitter us. I brushed my teeth thinking about my day being God's time.

2. When I am "struggling" with something, that is sin. Mrs. Ware told me once that Elisabeth Elliot said that, and it has always stuck with her -- I can see why. How often do we say "I am just struggling with this!"? Why do we struggle? Clearly, because we lack faith in the One with Whom we struggle. I am painfully aware with how much I have been arm wrestling in my spirit.

3. I cannot control what other people think of me. I guess that is pretty simple.

My mind is so at rest now, thanks to some fresh insight. I was very encouraged today for several reasons:

~Josh prayed with me before I went to work, which calmed my spirit and prepared my mindset. He also sweetly forbid me to do the dishes for the rest of the summer, and made the bed as soon as we were both out of it.

~An acquaintance brought me a bag of Starbuck's Tanzania Roast coffee -- the new summer roast. A guy I work with and I made a pot into iced coffee, which is my new favorite summer drink, and I felt this little "summer vacation" feeling while I was working. :)

~I had a lovely lunch outside with my friend Rachel. She has been a dear friend to me here, and we are in cahoots with a plan to invite over every woman in our church (over a period of time). Today we planned our next ladies brunch.

There is such a relief in knowing that Jesus knows all our sorrows, and He is available to talk to every moment. He goes to work with me, and cleans my house with me, and lets me lean on His shoulder whenever I need to. I choose to fight for the joy of the Lord!


akfuller said...

What beautiful encouragement, Gretchen. As one who has been in the same spot (as recently as this afternoon), I was blessed by your letting me listen in as you "gave yourself a talking to." Don't you just love how big those "little" blessings can be when the Lord renews your perspective?! --Double whammy when He uses seemingly unrelated circumstances (like your post) to confirm "out of the blue" the same lessons I'd felt He'd been teaching me. Thank you. ~Audrea

Anonymous said...

Amen sister! I totally can relate. Last night I had a meltdown too. In fact, I left our xtreme week because I was just too overwhelmed. Jason told me it was because I wasn't relying on God's strength...which I know is true. After a 8 mile rollerblading trip I went home and did my Nancy Leigh DeMoss Bible study in Psalm 37. A verse that stuck out to me is one that one of my leaders quotes to me (and now I can quote it to myself :) "Do not fret - it only leads to evil." Isn't that great?! i guess you'd have to hear the voice, but it's encouraging anyway.

Tonight I went back and was told by one of my friends that she understands why I work with Jr. Highers...because I act just like them sometimes...(someone always has to be crying). :) Love you - 48 or 72 hours left!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! For me, gaining a right perspective helps me get the focus off myself and onto God.

Greaci said...

Oh Gret.

You have no idea how much I've been there in the last few years. I think that one of the reasons I go into a tailspin is because I forget Who I am grounded in. I tell myself I have EVERYTHING to be thankful for, but I still pout...I guess if I would pay more attention to David and how h crid out for God's joy and peace to come down on him, I might have a better insight on how to handle those down times.

Name: Karen said...

This is timely for every woman at one time or another. Maybe not the eact same situations you are dealing with, but nonetheless, similar struggle.

I was very encouraged, it was almost like reading a little devotional...which is how I feel many times after reading your blog.

I will share something from an Elizabeth George book called 'A Woman after God's Own Heart'

She states in one of the chapter: (this will be paraphrased to the best of my memory)

Don't focus on the 'What If's', which represent the future to which we have no control. Don't focus on the 'If Only's' which represent the past, also which are done and over with. Focus on today and how you can live for Christ in this very moment you breath. This is where God wants us. Here, Now at 10:04 a.m. living out His will.

I love you friend and will be praying.

Heath Bar said...

yeah I read that quote by Elisabeth Elliot and was like what! She's right though. How often do we say " I struggle with this and that"? I feel like we've had this conversation before. But you're right,this life is not our own!

sara said...

Great post, as always Gretchen! You are the thinking blogger!!! It is funny that you would mention, "I cannot control what other people think of me." This is a big issue that I am dealing with right now after struggling with it my whole is such a daily struggle. Looking to God for HIS approval! Thanks for the encouragement.

The Kelly Family said...

hey gret, great blog I struggle with ths on a daily even hourly basis depression is my enemy always lurking in the back ground just waiting for an opportunity to rare its ugly head. So glad to know that you have a good support aropund you in your josh and all your wonderful friends.hang in there.

Suzy Leonard said...

thanks for putting into words what has been on my heart!!!