Sunday, July 25, 2010

Great is God's Faithfulness and the support of His people

Psalmcat 51:7.25.10

My midweek emotional meltdown wasn't much fun, but I sure did learn a lot from it. I think what brought it on was a combination of work pressures; a larger than usual number of friends burying parents or other loved ones; summer heat and humidity; and the cumulative and emerging stresses of aging, which include anxiety about the continued disarray of the "stuff" of my life, and possible hormonal changes.

The result was that sometime between when I left work Wednesday and when I was trying to get ready to return the next morning, I felt so distressed, depressed and frustrated that I just had to express. And so I posted on Facebook:
I've about decided work is never going to get better, only worse. I've tried to stay positive, but that seems like denial. I'm praying for God to keep showing me how to bring His light into the situation. (And please, if anyone comments on this post, do not ask or mention where I work, OK?)

I added the comment: And yes, I'm grateful beyond words to even have a job. But is it worth it if it exhausts me mentally and spiritually? I guess that's why I'm praying for answers. Sometimes it seems as if work is my God and my life. I can't let that happen.

Of course, I'm well aware of the dangers of posting things about work on Facebook, so within five minutes I pulled that post and replaced it with something more general: "I've about decided a big part of my life is never going to get better, only worse. I've tried to stay positive, but that seems like denial. I'm praying for God to keep showing me how to bring His light into the situation.
" I also revised and reposted the followup comment.

I don't know which surprised me more: How that wave of hopelessness had overtaken me and demanded expression, despite my awareness of the risks of expression; or the outpouring of support and concern I received from friends and family. And then I noticed something else: How positive most of the people in my life are. A niece, a librarian friend, a couple of pastors -- all routinely post things on Facebook that make me smile. And Thursday was no exception. But I noticed at work, too, of all places, that even amid a seemingly impossible summer workload, people found reasons to smile, to care, to share at work -- and to make it a point to have lives outside work.

And I realized that I'm usually very positive, too. It seems there was a fairly extended period in my life best characterized by self-pity and worry. But over time, much of that has been transformed into faith, hopefulness and a positive, encouraging outlook. I'm sure that transformation has been a direct result of beginning to grow spiritually through a commitment to read the Bible and pray regularly, and to take my commitments to family and friends -- including my church family -- more seriously.

There was so much more intertwined into all this, but I want to wrap it up because of time and space. But here are a few observations I can't leave out:

I think it was before Wednesday that one of my Facebook friends posted this Daily Question:
Which of these song titles best describes your year of 2010 so far? (a) Father Along We'll Know More About It (b) Why Me Lord? (c) When the Battle's Over We Shall Wear a Crown (d) This Is Like Heaven to Me. I don't always comment on these questions, but this one seemed to call out to me. My response: OK, I have to admit that out of those choices, it's D, praise God! But I was hesitant to admit it, because I thought, now there will probably be new challenges and puzzlements. So far this year, God has been constantly revealing heaven on earth. I'm grateful for that.

Then, at Wednesday morning's Seeking Hour at church, the Scripture was 1 Kings 19:1-8. We talked about Elijah's meltdown and how could something like that happen to him and could it happen to us and what could we do to keep that from happening. I left singing "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!" And yet, before the day was over, I was feeling as hopeless and helpless as Elijah had in that Scripture, despite all I supposedly know about God and His faithfulness.

And for some reason, I couldn't just keep it inside me or share it with just my confidants. I kept hearing myself talk about how negative and hopeless I felt. But somehow, even as that was happening, I could sense another transformation was occurring. I made it through the day, and I slept better that night than usual. And I woke up Friday morning feeling mentally and spiritually refreshed. Nothing had changed in the work situation that had frustrated me so much, but it now longer seemed hopeless. And it hasn't since.

Thankfully, it now seems Wednesday-Thursday was just a little Elijah meltdown. I'm better now. Great is God's faithfulness -- and the support of His people. Life is good. Not quite sure why I had to express that negativity on Facebook, but maybe that was part of the prayerful process!

A young friend recently posted on Facebook: "I'm living life until it hurts."
To which I commented: And when it starts hurting, just keep on living, because the best is yet to come!

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