January 30, 2016

Feeling Dejected

I cannot believe how poorly I feel this morning. First off, I didn't sleep well at all. I must have dreamed non-stop, and of those dreams, two were fairly frightening. I don't mean that they were evil type-dreams (you know, scary monster things), rather they were dreams that upset me and caused me to cry in my sleep. Weird, I know, but I felt like I was crying in my sleep. I saw myself upset, crying, and then I could feel those same emotions well up inside of me. I hate those type of dreams. You always wake up feeling like you have lived through the war. I just hate it when I dream this way.

I am sure the reason why I am dreaming like this is because of my impending exams. I mean, I am so stressed, absolutely and completely stressed, over the process. I am confident, mind you, and I feel good about the outcome, but my body, my mind, and well, my spirit are overwhelmed by what I am trying to do. I know the Lord has me well-covered, and I know that I am in good shape study-wise, but the overall stress, the pressure, and the looming deadline are all working together to place an extra toll on me physically and mentally.

Second, there is the issue of my situation here at home. I am doing okay at home, but part of me simply wants all this to be over. I mean, over soon. I love my parents, and I have enjoyed our time together, but now I want to move on, to move away, and to be settled in my own right. I want my life, the life God has promised to me, and that life is some where else. I want to be free, I guess you could say, I want out of this cage I feel I am in. I know, I know...I walked into this cage. I did it. I chose to do this thing, and now I feel stuck here. I want to be free to go and to do as I please. I want to travel. I want to live freely. I want to be responsible in my own right, to be a grown up again.

Furthermore, I want some space of my own. I need my own space. I am tired of sharing my life with my family. I always say "I don't mind" but the truth is that I do mind, I do mind. I want my own things, in my own place, and to do with them what makes sense to me. I want to be free from the extra responsibility I bear, and I want to start my life over.

What is His Will

Psalm 91 is a source of comfort to me this good day. Though I feel downtrodden and dejected, yes even depressed, I am reminded of the goodness of my Lord and Savior. This psalm reminds me how well He has me covered and that His promises are sure.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

I know the Lord will rescue me. I know He will protect me. I know that He is my help in times of trouble, and I know that no matter where I go, He is there for me. Still, this good day, I feel so awful, so worn out. I feel as though I am living through this veil of darkness, and I cannot see what is really going on, what is really happening to me. 

I want so much to have everything be His will, His way, and for me to abide in Him and His word. I want so much to see His goodness prevail, His glory to be revealed, and to walk in such a way that every day, I am demonstrating to others His grace. Yes, I want to be about His business, to spend my days in His presence, and to know, to really KNOW Him. I cannot explain what I feel inside or how desperate I feel. I feel as if I am about to die, and that I am clinging to a life preserver. I want to be rescued. I want to be set free. I want to go and to do what He is calling me to do, but I am trapped. I am stuck. I am unable to move.

Help me, Lord! Help me to move so I can go and do what you ask of me. Help me to achieve everything you have called me to do. Help me to see your hand now as it rests upon me. Help me to feel your steady pressure as you calm my troubled spirit, and as you remind me that you love me, care for me, and have me so well covered. You alone are God, and I look up, I look up this good, good day.

I think what hurts the most today is the fact that where I am is right where He intends for me to be. I mean, I am doing the thing He has called me to do. I am at the job of His choosing. I am studying for my exams because it is His will. All of this is to say that I am right where I am supposed to be on His plan and His timeline. However, what I feel is oppression, and that means that my enemy has gotten a foothold in my life somehow. Yes, I know what to do -- I must stand and lift up my shield of faith and the mighty sword of the Spirit (the Word of Truth) -- and I must take my place as a warrior to defend against his wiles and attack. Still,  I also know that what I feel is the result of a very long and hard fought war of ideas, of theoretical teaching, and that my brain has contemplated such important thoughts, such important content. This is all vitally important to His work, and I must learn it, understand it, and then be able to use it. This synthesizing is draining me, and that is taking its toll too. It is just the process of learning content for application that wears me out. I must know this material, not just to pass my exams, but so I can use it for His name and His praise. I must do this for Him, not for me, and that knowledge has worn me down. It is a heady thing to be used by the hand of God, and while I take no credit for what I have done, the fact doesn't escape my notice: God has chosen me for this purpose and He has called and equipped me for His work. It is an awesome and mighty thing to be used by God in this way. I take my role, my calling very seriously, and the heaviness I feel is the responsibility He has given to me. Thus, today, I march on. Even though I don't feel well. I don't even feel like marching. I want to crawl back into bed and just stay there for a couple more hours. I want to cover my head and stay inside. I don't want to do the work that I must this day. I want to go home, all the way home, home to where He is and where I will finally be at rest.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

The words of Robert Frost well up in my mind (thank you, Dr. John Galm, for sharing your love of Frost with me). I think about these words (and those of Mending Walls) all the time. Frost's poetry often resonates with me, and this one in particular, reminds me of the journey I am on, and the long way I have to go before I am home. There are tasks to be completed, things to be done, and yes, "miles to go before I sleep." I must do this work, and as I am called, so I am equipped. It is a trial at times, a challenge, and often, difficult and dark like those dark woods of this poem. I know I must plod on, and I must continue to fight through to the end. My Lord is with me, He beckons me homeward. I press on, I press on, I press on.

My heart is heavy today, yet I know that what I am suffering with is nothing compared to what my sisters and brothers in Christ suffer daily. The Lord has graciously provided for me. He has made a way possible, and as such, I am able to withstand the pressure and the pain that I suffer. He has made a way for me, and it is a good way, a very good way. Today, I look up, and I look forward. I know that this day will pass just like the previous days have passed. I press on, and I remember that what I am called to do, what He asks me to do, it will be completed in time and through His provision, His guidance, and His facilitation. He is good, so very good to me. Selah!

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