Finding the Heart…Pandemic Edition 1.0

Well, we’re still here. Home. Week 3 technically because Spring Break was a week of being home and things were starting to close, we didn’t get to do any of our fun things, lots of cleaning out (which I’m glad I did then), etc. This was week 2 of dysfunction and things being serious, as we’ve been at home for our safety/city regulations. This was week 1 of school @ home.

This was also week 1 of fighting off mild depression.

I don’t do well with conflict, as we’ve established in this space before. I don’t do well with rejection either. I struggle with self confidence, being needed, wanted even. I wonder often if I just take up space every where I go. Something happened this week that really shook me up. I let the enemy trip me up and everyone suffered for it. I let the lies creep in, I believed them and I let them put me in a hole. I know better. I really do. I know how to talk myself out of a bad mood, sad mood even. I know how to read scripture, pray and remember God’s promises. I know how to remind myself of what is true and that no one can “make” me feel anything unless I let them. I really do know all of this. But, I wasn’t a match for it this week. I really let myself stay down. Almost 2 days and I finally asked for help.

I don’t know why y’all need to know this. You really don’t. But, I feel like there is someone out there that does. Perhaps someone in ministry/serving, leadership or maybe none of those, just a person, struggling this week. You’re not the only one.

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You’ve probably heard a lot of people saying it, but, “none of this is easy”, “all of this is new to everyone” “none of us have ever done this before”. All of those are true. Really, they are. We can’t expect to know how all of this will effect us day to day.

Nick is experiencing job changes, but he still has a job. We’re EXTREMELY thankful, but we are also navigating emotions and adjustments that come with it all. The church, as a whole, not just where I work, is experiencing adjustments, stretching and hardship. We are trusting that God will provide, every week, as we should anyway, but with even more desperation. Our girls have been thrown into a new season with not being able to see their friends, experience the classroom/school routine, etc. We are all wearing multiple hats at the same time, which most of us do on any given day, but to a degree now that is entirely new to us. Life is just extremely different and deeply difficult right now.

I don’t entirely hate it either. I find that I love my home, our time together, the pace we have right now, the lack of pressure, less crazy, more intention, less juggling and taxi driving and more laying down in the grass with books on a quilt. I am returning to the kitchen, house keeping and being a mom on levels I couldn’t manage weeks ago. I find that I really enjoy being pressured to be home all the time, because I find that all my dreams have come true, when I am home long enough to be reminded.

img_1422That sounds fancy and great. I mean every word of it, too. But, it doesn’t mean it is easy. There have been too many times over the last 3 weeks that I have lost it. There have been way too many times that I have had to remind the little people in my home that they will not starve if they have to wait 2 more hours until their next meal. haha. There is a fatigue that comes with this newness and it is hard to put it into words.

This week was rough, for many reasons and I just wanted to reach out and tell you that everyone is managing differently. We’re all finding good and hard things about all of this.

The goal I have for myself right this minute is to quit believing everything the enemy tells me. I have got to QUIT listening to those who are not for me. I cannot keep giving time, energy or attention to them. The enemy is truly out to kill, steal and destroy. He’s not playing games. He’s in it for real.

Some scripture from my devotional this morning:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “for though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to OBEY CHRIST.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control; against such things there is no law.”

Philppians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I am convinced that the enemy knows exactly how to trip me up. Whether during a global pandemic or a regular Tuesday; if he can get in my head, he wins. Jennie Allen has written a book called, “Get Out Of Your Head”. It is a wonderfully written book on this exact thing.

Anyone else struggling with their mind right now? Anyone else out there struggle with pleasing people? Do you let other people’s voices become louder than God’s voice? Someone raise their hand! I don’t think I’m alone in this. Let’s keep each other encouraged and affirmed.

We won’t always please everyone, but we can definitely take control of what we think on, focus our hearts on and believe. We can put on the armor of God and go to battle against these toxic thoughts.

When I let Christ rule my thoughts and my heart, I am better at all the things I’m called to do. I am a more patient and gracious wife, mother, etc. When I choose to believe the lies I choose them over Christ. No more. Other people’s opinions of me, my own poor opinion of me at times, the toxic thoughts I so easily entertain, the what ifs, the doubts and fears… no more. We can win this battle as we give it to the Lord to fight for us. We can live and fight FROM victory!

You are loved and seen, friends. I hope you find the heart of this season of being home. God is with us. He is faithful and true. He has not abandon us. He is redeeming all things and making them new. Hold on tight, friends! The adventure has just begun.

Shaina

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