I have a confession to make: Though I love what I do, I struggle more days than not. So many of you encourage me, telling me, “You are so strong; so brave to do what you do… AND WITH A FAMILY! It’s so inspiring!”
But most mornings, when I wake up, my superhero cape has dissolved into a misty cloud I barely catch a glimpse of as reality closes in. I feel overwhelmed, under-qualified, and to be honest, I just feel tired.
It’s such a weird contrast: I get to witness God do such extraordinary things! I have an amazing calling to daily do missions and to share His GOOD NEWS to so many who have never heard. And yet, often at the end of my day, all is not “rainbows and roses:” I’m disappointed by those to whom I have given my all, but who still don’t respond; I feel the burden of yet more unreached people; I hear the annoying buzz of unanswered questions; I feel torn by my obligations to be a good wife/mom AND to steward a thriving, yet very busy, ministry. In these moments, I come to the inevitable conclusion:
I am not a superhero. I am not a super-mom. I am not a super-woman. I am not a super-anything! I am just an everyday person, living an impossible life and needing HIM every second of my day.
It would be easier to blog about my last biggest “success.” Or to share a recent testimony, of which, because God is so good, there is no lack.
But, sometimes, I just want you to know that I am weak. That, except for His staying power in me, I cannot do what I do. Without Him, I am not very strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (The Living Bible)
“Each time he said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities.”
A couple of weeks ago, I caught a stomach virus that left me running to the bathroom, for multiple reasons. I had mountains of work to do: people to visit, meetings to attend, children to care for, ministry to run, and a house to clean. But, I found myself flat in bed for two days. In addition, the second day of my illness, I rolled over in bed, and started experiencing extreme vertigo. For those of you who may not know what this is, it is NOT a slightly dizzy feeling one has after swimming all day, or when you spin in a circle for a moment. It is rapid, extreme spinning that prevents you from walking, and is so severe, it causes instant nausea and vomiting.
I am a “go to” girl! I love to get things done. I love to be independent and finish tasks and care for my family. I hate feeling sick, and I HATE feeling weak!
For three days, I was flat on my back, feeling the weight of my growing to-do list. One morning, I got up and was hopeful I could “get back to work” and then the room began to spin again. I was so frustrated, I started crying.
Wrapped in my cocoon of self-pity, frustration and helplessness, I cried out to God,
“What is going on???!!!”
In spite of my exasperation and demands, He answered me. I didn’t hear anything, but I felt it. His peace began to permeate me. He seemed to be telling me to just rest, trust, and let Him be God in my life, no matter how I feel. As I was lying in bed, tears dampening my cheeks, I was reminded of a prayer I had prayed over a man in a wheelchair the week before: “Jesus, You are the anchor for His soul.”
This sentence began to echo through my mind. HE is the anchor for my soul. I realized in the midst of my helplessness and frustration, that I DID have an powerful choice: I could hope and rest in Him!
Hebrews 6:19 (The Voice)
“That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls, a hope that leads us back behind the curtain to where God is…”
When does a boat need an anchor? When the waters are choppy, the current is strong, and the pilot of the boat needs to rest, but cannot risk damage to the boat. Also, an anchor is really small in comparison to the size of the boat.
This is such a beautiful picture of hope! Hoping in Him doesn’t feel like much. We feel we aren’t doing enough. In fact, the effort seems so small compared to the immense size of our monumental problems, that it’s tempting to just see it as irrelevant.
But, hoping in Him, waiting on Him, looking to Him is so powerful! It steadies us in the wildest times, in the hardest moments.
When we are exhausted, and can’t seem to get any momentum, rest or consolation, hoping in Him IS our rest. HE is my consolation. I can park my boat and rest, knowing that He is the anchor who will hold me true.
The following night, at 3am, I woke with the room terrifically spinning. I cried out, asking Rob for help. He immediately awoke, and began to pray for me. All I could say as I was desperately wanting to sleep and to experience relief was, “Jesus, I hold onto You. You are the anchor for my soul. I hold onto You…” I repeated this over and over.
At some point, I realized I was wrong: I wasn’t holding onto Him. HE was holding onto ME! It was a powerful moment when I let go and let Him do what He does best.
My soul began to rest. As it did, the spinning slowed, my fears receded, and though the waters were choppy, my soul was unmoved. He was holding onto me and He wasn’t letting go.
That was 2 1/2 weeks ago, and I haven’t had another vertigo episode since that night. I have had moments of slight dizziness. My responsibilities to my family, ministry, etc, haven’t disappeared. I still can feel overwhelmed.
But, I feel stronger. Only now, I know, it isn’t me. It is the staying power of His presence in me!
So, I am no super-hero. I am not a supermom. I am not a superwoman.
But, I have discovered a secret that makes me strong:
He is the anchor for my soul.