Where do you run when you are at the end of yourself?
I’m turning the tables on you today and asking the questions. It’s been a tough month for me – it seems like everything that has a plug, a starter or a key of some type – and occasionally a heartbeat – has broken down, crashed, lost data or is in disrepair. Is it possible to take a vacation from your life? Just kidding. Have you ever had these days?
My home is usually my haven. It’s where I find peace and quiet. Especially when I’m struggling with flares, as I am right now; I don’t really want anyone around. Except that right now we have had people in and out for more than two weeks.
I’m also completely exhausted. It’s been non-stop drilling, pounding, knocking at my door, people at my windows, men talking (really it is yelling over their pounding) about what men talk about, etc. And in the middle of all of this going on under me, my new computer decides to crash and needs to be rebuilt.
With all this, my body is now on information overload. As an introvert, this is my worst nightmare. I can’t handle constant noise and interaction. Not in my home. I couldn’t wait for Monday morning to come so I could enjoy my quiet ritual of coffee and bible reading with my dog followed by writing. Peace at last. It would be my first day in weeks with no one in and out of the house. Except it was interrupted by our next door neighbors (who we love) cutting down large tree limbs and grinding them up all week.
One of the breakdowns I mentioned earlier was my iPhone. In the midst of all this noise ending, right on the heels of the computer crash, and just before we find a nail in our tire (now destroyed), my iPhone just starts flashing the Apple logo at me. It was just working, now it’s not. We were trying to get to our home – ready for this – to fix something else that a neighbor called and said was broken.
I wanted to sit down and cry. Have you ever felt like you are just being piled on?
I feel like God is trying to tell me something. So let’s assume He is not telling me to throw everything I own out, I would be on that list. Hmm. It feels like I’m under enemy attack lately. You all know how it is, right?
This just makes me dig in and pray harder. I’m a fighter. I may be small, but I’m tough. But how do you challenge an enemy that is unseen? This is rhetorical, of course. We are not supposed to do this – nor would I want to. Even the disciples and angels didn’t address Satan by name, but said the Lord rebuke you. I have to tell you, by the end of that day, I’d said a lot of prayers to God. I asked a lot of why questions and then I thanked Him for the blessings in my life and asked for strength.
I should have stopped here. I always get myself into trouble. I then boldly told the enemy if He was messing with me and my faith or my family, He would have one heck of a fight on his hands. This was all going on in my head as I wrestled with the chaos.
Sometimes, out of anger, I just fight the wrong person. Do you ever do that? You have a battle to fight, but you take aim at the wrong person. It’s usually the first person who gets in your way. I’ve done that a couple of times in the last two weeks. The guys working on my house weren’t paying attention when they needed an outlet; they accidentally unplugged my upright freezer in the garage. When I went out to get something for dinner, I found half the freezer already defrosted.
I wish patience was one of my virtues. It isn’t.
I wasn’t full of grace and reflecting the image of Christ when I found this. I was already in the middle of dealing with the computer crash and the noise, this added to the chaos. But the man didn’t know that, he just made an honest mistake.
My new iPhone arrived on Monday; I spent two hours on the phone with the rep from Verizon trying to get it working. They tried to wipe the phone and reset it; it never came back into service. They had to ship me out another phone. I had no grace for Verizon – I only wanted my phone to work.
The next day the second new phone arrived; same issue. Software was not updated. It took another hour with techs and then I was transferred from Verizon to the Apple reps; my Cloud Backups were not working properly…for nine months, even though it kept backing up on my end. I was on the phone for another forty minutes, but in the end, there was no explanation of why I lost some of my data and more than 700 photos. No grace was found on my lips. No mercy from me here.
How the Enemy Wins By Stealing Our Testimony
The enemy won. I didn’t even see it coming. While I thought I was full of faith and protecting my family…and boasting about how strong I was, I failed to do the one thing we are supposed to do most: love our neighbor; give mercy and grace in all circumstances. Reflect the image of Christ.
My testimony was tarnished in my weakness.
As I lay in bed that night, I couldn’t sleep. I felt empty; defeated. Guilty. I felt like I had failed God. I let the chaos win. I let it consume me instead of recharging and filling myself with God’s Word. I tried each day, but I gave up with all the pounding and interruptions. I had boldly said the enemy could not shake my faith, and I was right; he could not. But what he could do was create so many diversions, I would not reflect the image of God. I would be so consumed with frustration and exhaustion, I would not give grace or mercy to the people who need it most.
This is how the enemy destroys our testimony. It happens every day throughout the world, one person at a time. This is why I was praying for forgiveness as I got up and walked through my now quiet house. I prayed for strength and perseverance during each trial; and for the wisdom to recognize when these trials come to step outside of them, so I don’t get swept away in the current. I know I can trust our faithful God to bring me through any trial I face. And I will keep praying for patience.
God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.
I failed this test, but I will be ready for the next one.
My husband and I have a camping trip planned for this weekend. I have to tell you, it cannot come soon enough. I can’t wait to be surrounded by nature and sitting under the stars, basking in to the wonder of God’s creations. I will be unplugging from everything electrical while there and reconnecting with God and Rick. These are the important things in life .
Where do you go to recharge your battery; to plug, regroup and reboot yourself?
Keep the Faith,