Saturday, September 11, 2010
Restlessness to Peace
I had a pretty restless night last night... hence this post before 5am! I get on a plane in about 5 hours for Haiti. I am having lots and lots of thoughts. Most of them overwhelming.
Yesterday was a rough day. Of course things have been going wrong leading up to this trip. That is how the enemy works! And this week has been no exception. At some point on Monday I twinged my back. It has gradually gotten worse. Hard for me to life things or even sit for long periods of time. All perfect for travel. (note the sarcasm!) And it's hard for me. I don't want to be needy. I don't want to have to ask for help carrying things or relying on others to help with my stuff. I want to just be able to muscle through. (Note here... I don't actually have a lot of muscles, so I know a lot of it is in my head any way!!)
This morning when I got up I continued to wrestle with my thoughts. Sometimes I think these are just as exhausting as have physical pain. The thoughts running through my head can wear me out! All day yesterday and now into this morning I have struggled with thoughts of being alone and that I can't do this week. I am going to be too emotional, I am going to be too high maintenance, I am going to be needy. And then this morning I am wrestling with some hard memories from my trip to Africa with a group of people similar to what I am doing this time. You see I got into a really hard conversation with one of my team members. From my perspective this person had a very skewed view of me. We talked for hours about it and there were lots of hurtful things said. And so this fear has creeped in... these thoughts are racing... "What if someone on this trip thinks those things about me?" "What if I am misunderstood?" "What do I need to do to make sure that doesn't happen again?" All of them things that I really can't control.
And of course... in all of this... the Lord was so sweet and present again this morning. The verses I read were Philippians 4:6-9,11-13.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
...Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Such a sweet reminder of many things.
1) Bring all my concerns to the Lord. He cares for me. He cares what I am feeling and thinking. And He will take care of me.
2) In bringing all things to Him, I will experience His peace. And there is pretty much nothin' better!
3) Fixing my thoughts on truth. What is true and right. Not what others think of me, but running to the Lord to guide, direct and correct. Then again... peace!
4) No matter what lies ahead on this trip, I know that God is going with me. I know that whatever the circumstances, He will give me what I need to get through. The whole contentment thing I am for sure still learning. And I know this week will be another great week to trust Him.
I'm grateful the Lord cares about the concerns of my heart. I am thankful that He knows that I am in physical pain and that my head is restless with questions of relational team connection and oh yeah, it's gonna feel like 115 degrees each day! He knows all of that. And He is going with me and will provide and offers me His peace along the way!
I am excited to see what God is going to do this week. I am excited to watch Him move and use us. I am hopeful for the people we will come in contact with. They are for sure in a wrestling and restless time. Praying we can share the truth of God's peace with them.
ps: My plan is to do some tweeting (@suzpeeps), which shows up on facebook, this week and maybe post here. But also there will be updates on Watermarks Serving Blog.
We covet your prayers!