One minute everything can feel in control and in an instant all inner calm can be gone. My 2-year-old really tests the strength of my inner calm. One very early morning, I was feeding my infant while my toddler was playing independently. All was fine and everyone was in a good headspace that morning. Then silence—I no longer heard my toddler banging his little pots together nor heard him sliding down his slide. The inner calm vanished; I stopped feeding my baby, put him in his bed and checked the house. No toddler in sight, infant screaming, and I realized what had happened. All of the windows were open about 3 inches to let in the nice spring air, and outside one of our windows is a slide. (Jacob and I thought it was an exciting idea at the time to let Conri slide outside of the house…) Needless to say, Conri had pulled the screen up, squeezed his big head through the 3 inch gap of open window and gone down the slide. I saw him marching up the sidewalk at 5am proud as can be for his escape. So, as any good mother would, I ran out in my bathrobe and snatched up my obstinate toddler and ran back inside. The story ends with me rushing to reassure my still-screaming infant, while closing all of our windows (because of course, the toddler is back at the window fighting for his freedom), and me just pondering why this happened at 5:00 in the morning. I was not ready.
I share this piece of what my life looked/looks like, in order to bring understanding of how I mentally began building walls in my spiritual life. After I gave birth to my second son, Remus, last November, I began telling myself when I was at church that I was a tired mother and wasn’t expected to put my all into worship or in seeking Jesus in general. December and January came and went, and I was still allowing this lie to be a truth in my heart. Then one Sunday in February, God spoke to me. He reminded me that great examples of healing, breakthrough, and life-changing progress only happened because the very weak, very tired, very broken people reached for the hem of His garment (metaphorically). He brought to my mind the woman who suffered with bleeding for twelve years and how she knew that merely touching Jesus’ cloak would bring her healing. She was beaten down by years of suffering, yet she fought for her healing (Matt. 9:20-21). Her pain and hardship were not her excuse, in that moment, to merely be a victim of her circumstance. She chose a better life; she desperately chose Jesus. The paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof above Jesus’ head so that he could be healed also came to my mind (Mark 2:1-12). Other examples include the man at the pool of Bethesda with the infirmity of 38 years (John 5:4-8), the ten lepers that cried out to Jesus for healing (Luke 17:11-19), and even the story of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-26). Even though the woman at the well was not plagued with physical ailments, she was still hurting and desperate for change in her life. These examples and more show weak, tired and desperate people doing all they can to fight for healing, peace, and Truth in their lives.
As I thought about these people in the bible, I began to wonder about how my thinking had become so twisted. To think that in my moments of greatest need it was okay for me to become an onlooker at church and in my daily life. I realized that giving up my desperation for Jesus really made me so much weaker. So as the weeks continued, I began testing how my emotional, physical and mental health would elevate if I actively pursued God in worship. I was wrecked. The first Sunday, I was still exhausted and stressed, but during worship I kneeled down and just called out His name over and over and over. After just a couple of minutes I was weeping, laying flat out on the ground, and all I was doing was calling to Him. His Name and my willingness to fight through my weakness caused walls to be broken down in my heart. The more I called to Him, the more His faithfulness in my life was revealed to me.
My encouragement to anyone else who is in a place that is too difficult to deal with: we cannot afford to avoid fighting for Healing, Breakthrough, Promise… Jesus.