(As you know, I believe in a God whom I can know and who knows me. So if this is not your bent, then just ignore this post. Because I try to write for those who adhere to religious beliefs as well as those that don’t, I always try to give a heads up when a post is going to be highly religious. Consider this your heads up. 🙂 )
The bunk house sits about 40 ft from the main cabin. Both the cabin and the bunk house are very small. The cabin, which we call “Teeny, Tiny Red Cabin” is about five hundred square feet; the bunk house is twelve by sixteen feet, smaller than many bedrooms. Both sit at the bottom of a hill about a block of a main road.Trees block the view so most people never know we’re here. It’s’ very quiet here, except on the week-ends when kayakers transport their kayaks to the river a mile down the road. This is my place of refuge and solace. It’s where I often hear God speak.
No, I’m not a fanatic. I don’t hear an audible voice. No, I don’t see visions. It’s more a case of everything kind of coming together through varied sources. How do I know they are not my own thoughts? I won’t try to explain it except to say that the Scriptures support that God does “speak” to us. Besides if you’ve been a Christian all your life, if you’ve studied God’s word, if you’ve studied other great literature, if you’ve asked for wisdom, then why wouldn’t you believe God can “speak”?
Anyway, something has been simmering on the back burner for me for a few weeks now. It’s not a bad thing, not an illness, a job loss, etc. but it does cause me anxiety because it means someone I love will be living further away-not far, about forty minutes. Now before you say what’s the big deal, I should also tell you that this relationship is not what I would like it to be. I’m worried that this move will give me even less opportunity to make it better. As of now, the move won’t be for at least one year so I do have some time. But if you knew me, you would know that means a year trying my best to get the relationship back to where it was.
I haven’t done anything at all to cause a rift. On the contrary. And if you knew the circumstances, you would agree. But sometimes, for reasons that have nothing to do with us, people become distant. Other influences invade their lives. Lifestyles are hectic. It’s hard to connect when everyone has so much going on. But I’ve gone overboard trying and frankly, now I’m wondering what God is trying to prove.
I’ve felt for the last couple of weeks, that depression was rearing its ugly head. Give depression a chance, like through excessive worry, and it will attack in a vengeance. I was pretty sure that was what was happening.
Until God “spoke”.
God speaks through many sources. Because of some books I brought with me to read, some old magazine articles I had at the cabin, and because I’ve had lengthy devotional time to think, I began to hear what I think might be something we all need to hear now and then. It isn’t the least bit profound. It’s been said often and in countless ways. You’ve probably said something like it yourself. Here’s my version:
If you can’t control it, why are you worrying about it?
Nothing you haven’t heard before. Right? Nothing I haven’t heard before either. But here’s what it did for me. I’ve always known this. The Bible is full of instruction not to worry. But I’ve rarely run into a situation where I didn’t feel I had at least some control. Now, I have. I’ve done my very best. I’ve prayed my very best. I’ve given the relationship everything I know to give and it still remains unsatisfactory for me. I’ve reached the point where I have to stop trying. Not in the sense of giving up hope. Not in the sense of not praying even harder. But in the sense of knowing that
God is absolutely the only one who knows what’s going on and He is the only one that can do anything about it.
I feel like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders and placed on the shoulders of the God who holds the universe in His hands. I don’t think God intended for me to get this far before I gave it over to him. And if he did (Yes, God is the author of trials at times), then he will give me the strength I need.
Can I just say without sounding arrogant, I’m a smart woman. But for a smart woman, I’ve been incredibly shortsighted. I really thought I could change things all by myself. I can’t. I need to work with God.God is working behind the scenes to carry out his purpose but he won’t twist anyone’s arms. People have a mind of their own. God knows that. He created that. Somehow, we forget that.
So what do I do now? You see, all this stress and worry has taken its toll. I’m now in a place where depression is threatening. Twelve years of no pills and now this.(BTY, there have been some other major issues going on at the same time but this one was the one that seemed to eat away at me.) Well, I’m exercising even harder. I’ve “upped” my fish oil. I’m resting more. I’m just chillin’. I’m reading and enjoying my wonderful place of retreat.
I had to be here, at Teeny Tiny Red Cabin, to be quiet enough to hear God speak.I have quiet time every day at home but here is where God reveals himself the most. Or maybe I should say it’s here I get quiet enough to hear him.
If you have a relationship in your life that isn’t where you want it to be, don’t wait to give it over to God. We think we’re so big and powerful at times. We think God expects us to be strong and there are times he does. But we confuse strong with submission, never realizing that when we give our worries over to God, we are at our strongest.
Years ago I wrote this little song (based on II Corinthians 12:10) for a children’s group but its message is true for us grown-up children as well.
“When I am weak, YOU are strong,
When I am strong, you make me weak,
What a wonder, what a mystery, what a joy.
So when I am weak, I won’t despair,
My God is strong, He’ll meet me there,
What a wonder, what a mystery, oh, what a joy.”
In the book I’m writing, my most difficult chapter was the one about relationships .I struggled with that one.There is nothing in our life that can send us over the edge the fastest like relationship difficulties. When it involves members of your immediate family, it’s even worse. I’m a peacekeeper by nature and I want everyone to get along. One of my greatest struggles has been learning I can’t. And to tell you the truth, I don’t want to anymore.
But letting go must never mean, giving up.
On my other blog, “worminmyapple.com”, I will be initiating “melt-down” Mondays, beginning the first Monday in May .They will span the range of mildly irritating to downright making me mad. Sometimes I will include what people say. (I had such a big response to one such post, I thought, hey, maybe everybody just needs to blow off some steam. So I’ll help them do that through my Monday posts.) I’ll give you a little preview. One of the things that people say all the time that really gets under my skin is:
“It is what it is.
I hate that phrase.” It’s o.k. if the person saying it really means, “it is what it is, for now.” However, that’s not usually the case. For anyone to say “it is what it is” and let it go at that, I want to come right back at them and correct them with this alteration, “It may be what it is now but it doesn’t mean it should be that way and it certainly doesn’t mean it will always be that way”. (Do I need to point out the obvious exceptions?)
If I believed “it is what it is”, I would give up on God. If God isn’t capable of changing things, why would I even pray? Hope is what keeps us going. Hope has been what has carried me through some very difficult times.There is always hope. There is hope for those suffering depression. When I get worried I’m heading there again, I still have hope. Why? Because I’ve been there before and I’ve survived.