And my kitty ran away.
So all week I've been grasping at Biblical snippets of truth and strength just to survive. I open a cabinet door to get out something for a student and whisper...
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
"Do everything without arguing or complaining."
"This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
"Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you."
And it is somehow enough to sustain me through the moment...through the hour...through the day.
I've read my Bible more this week than I have in a long, long time. In fact, I finally finished reading through the whole Bible chronologically. I've never read the entire Bible before--so many of those Old Testament books seemed dry and unnecessary. Turns out those were the books I loved reading the most. And so I've just finished up the last of the New Testament letters and Revelation. Because of my spiritual ADD it took me far longer than it should've to read through--about 22 months. But its really awesome to have finished the entire Bible. Now I have to decide where to pick up again.
I read before work--and I never thought I'd be able to get up early to read my Bible. I'm not a morning person. At all. Not even a little bit. I read my Bible at work a couple times this week. Turns out its really good to disengage from all that 'stuff' and get readjusted mid-day. I read my Bible at night a few times this week. This is my normal reading time. I love that calm feeling of studying the Word right before bed. So much better than just trying to turn off all the frenetic energy of the day without downshifting.
Found some great new tunes. Currently listening to David Crowder Band's Church Music album. Loving SMS (Shine). I heard this song on the radio Tuesday evening and it felt like free-falling into peace. Tuesday had been a particularly stressful day...like today. And the soothing and uplifting melody coupled with the pleading lyrics 'shine your light so I can see you, pull me up, I need to be near you, hold me I need to feel loved, can you overcome this high? let's overcome." Exactly the prayer of my tired heart.
Apparently the days that I manage to wake up in a good mood, feeling positive and uplifted are the days that I am torn down and torn apart by 6pm. I drag myself home looking and feeling nothing like the way I left. It's a discouragement for sure. Frustrating. Disheartening. That the more joy I find, the harder my days become, robbing me of that joy. Teeter-totter, up and down. This is why emotions should not dictate faith, joy, or the outcome of a day.
As I write this I have to admit I still feel downtrodden. My shoulders are heavy, my heart is heavy. I feel on the brink of failure as I have all week. But I know that this is a temporary distraction designed to keep me from trusting the One who can save me. Which is why I keep fighting to hear His voice through the clammor. I grasp for those verses, I thrist for music, I soak up His words. It sustains me in my frailest moments. The ones when my nerves are frayed to the breaking point.
I was brushing my teeth on Tuesday night before bed and thinking. Some of my best thoughts come doing innane things like that. It occurred to me that diamonds are formed by carbon under immense pressure for a very long time. In fact, everything we consider precious and valuable is created through harsh experiences. Pearls, gold, silver, diamonds...And the Bible makes us of this analogy. God in fact promises that we will undergo a similar process, being refined by pressure and fire and abrasive situations. It will hurt, it will be hard but we will be sustained. We won't be crushed or burnt. And in the end, we'll be so much closer to His desire for us.
So tomorrow is Friday and then the weekend. My sweet mama is coming to visit and I am so grateful to see her. Nothing quite like a mama after a hard week. One of the ways God's love is tangible...my mom's warmth, my husband's marvelous ability to make me laugh no matter how bad it's been, Shiloh licking my face, Bode snuggling close, music which nurtures my soul, words which strengthen my spirit. This is how God loves me. And if I just hold on to that, someday I will sparkle like a bright, shiny diamond, hand-polished by Him.