spaghettipie

Sunday Morning Leftovers

sunday-morning-leftovers

We sat in the back of church yesterday, mainly because we arrived after the service started. As we sang, I considered the stories of various people my eyes fell upon – stories of pain, betrayal, abandonment . . . And I wrote the following in my journal:

I am struck by the fact that no matter how bad my life seems, how great my struggles and difficulties feel . . . someone is struggling, experiencing, walking through experiences far more difficult. Not to diminish my own pain or invalidate it, but simply a reminder that my story is not the only story going on out there. Sometimes our pain hangs like an anchor around our necks, keeping our head bowed with eyes focused on ourselves and our pain.

Lately God has been revealing his sovereignty to me. In little bits and pieces. A glimpse here and there. But continual redirection to the fact that He IS sovereign. At our Women’s Retreat (yes, more on that Jesus picture to come!), Jeanne talked about the concept that pain can drive us to be so introspective that we can’t see past ourselves.

I get caught in the trap of asking why: why me? why this? why this way? why now? . . . And all of those why questions are focused on yours truly. Me. I need to shift my focus from myself, remembering that God is revealing himself in every situation. All I have to do is look around to see what he is doing. He has orchestrated every moment in time to point us back to him. The opportunity to know him in a new way is right in front of me.

The phrase floating around in my mind is “Lift your head.” I can’t wear my pain like an albatross. Or a scarlet letter. I can’t let it bow my head like an anchor. My pain should drive me to look upward. And outward.

Lift your head. I’m trying to lift mine.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts about this or what God’s been teaching you personally.

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5 comments

  1. Good words.

    I, too, have had my head down. But I was encouraged yesterday to realize that it has actually caused me greater dependency on God.

    As Ted said, “sticking with it” (and that means something different for all of us) seems counter-intuitive, but there is wisdom and blessing to be gained. That is my hope anyway.

  2. Love this: “I need to shift my focus from myself, remembering that God is revealing himself in every situation. All I have to do is look around to see what he is doing. He has orchestrated every moment in time to point us back to him. The opportunity to know him in a new way is right in front of me.”

    Lifting our heads. Opening our eyes. These are deliberate choices to make anew every day. I still have to remind myself to watch the ripples, and when I do, I see afresh that that’s where the action is. God is always creating, remolding the clay, pruning the branches, adding to His beautiful mosaic. I find so much comfort in that truth!

    I’m also so thankful (and humbled and honored) that God continues to speak to you through our time at the retreat. How kind and GOOD He is!

    Love you,
    Jeanne

  3. O

    This is exactly why I read the blogs that I do.For the encouragement and honesty and to remind me that i am not alone and that my struggles and trials should not be my focus each day, He should.

  4. Because of God’s hand under our chins, gently lifting our heads, we are able.

    “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” Psalm 3:3

  5. spaghettipie

    CD – Thanks for sharing! I really got a lot out of Ted’s sermon on Sunday. “Counter-intuitive” is another thought staying with me.
    JD – You also mention a good phrase “deliberate choices.” You’ve got to be intentional to do it. That counter-intuitive word comes into play again. . .
    O – I’m so glad you stopped by, and I agree with you. Blogging is an ice reminder that we indeed are not alone. In what we experience or in that we experience struggles at all.
    JDL – Absolutely. He’s the lifter of our heads!

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