Scripture Shield

After the trauma of my daughter’s birth, I dealt with a lot of anxiety. I know that I said I had peace while going through it all, and now know that God has worked it all together for good, but I was a wreck for a good long while afterward. All the hormones and fatigue from having the baby and then round the clock care for a newborn, it was incredibly overwhelming. I replayed the days of labor and the delivery over and over in my head wondering what I could have done differently. You see, it wasn’t just the birth that devastated me, it was the effects after. I didn’t have the rush of hormones that you get from a natural birth that quickly bond you to your child. I didn’t get to hold her right away or nurse her and have those special moments of connection. She was then in the NICU for days and I was unable to feed her on command. While my body was recovering from surgery it wasn’t able to produce the milk needed to sustain my child. Supplementing with formula and wondering if she was getting enough added stress to the situation. Nothing had turned out the way I had wanted. There was a million ‘what ifs’ that swirled through my head every moment of everyday.

There was also the reality that set in of being a mother, wife, homemaker, friend… the list goes on. I couldn’t do it all and do it all well. In those early days, I felt accomplished if I could keep myself and my child fed and clean. I was working on about 1 1/2 hour increments of sleep throughout the night (and sometimes the day). My sweet husband was supportive and selflessly picked up everything I wasn’t keeping up on. This added to my guilt of not being able to care for him and our home. I would meltdown every now and then under the weight of the expectations I placed on myself. After months of attempting to do it all on my own, I finally found the way to get through it. I needed more than moral support or helping hands. I needed God’s help. I told Him, “Lord, I give you control, I know that I cannot do it on my own.” I needed His strength and His promises and His truths. Those words were a turning point for me. I came to him daily with my worries and fears, my failures and shortcomings. Our God and His love for us truly does not ever fail. He supplied me with everything I needed to face the day.

One of the things He offered me was a shield of Scripture. I know that in the “armor of God” the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit, but I was in no position to be on the offense. I was so weary and weak that I just used these scriptures to shield myself from the attacks. I memorized these scriptures and repeated them over and over as often as I needed.

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I could pull these verses apart and explain how God used so many of these pieces to minister to me. The greatest comfort was having the inexplicable peace of God guarding my heart and mind. The attacks subsided as I fended them off with the holy truth of God. The enemy was sifting me and I was losing the battle for a while, but God drew me back to Him and fought the fight for me. Through surrender, prayer, scripture and faith, God brought me through that rough time. I have been able to use these verses to encourage others many times since then. I hope that when you encounter the attack of worry, fear or anxiety that you remember these words and cling tightly to them. Meditate on these things.

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Poor as you are

To be honest, I have been having a hard time with this whole blog writing thing. I was super excited about it at first. I knew that it was something God was calling me to do. I would pray about what He wanted me to write and I would get these great ideas with words that just flowed out onto my keyboard. Lately I have written a few drafts . . . let them sit for a while . . . deleted some . . . I just didn’t feel they were blog worthy. Then things picked up in life and I just thought that if God wasn’t going to give me anything to write about then I didn’t have to worry about posting anything until I felt inspired. This weekend I realized that it wasn’t that he wasn’t giving me things to write about, I wasn’t praying, asking and LISTENING to what he had to say.

Enter: the enemy. I have been subtly attacked by discouragement and timidity and I didn’t even recognize it. I’ve been reading these beautifully composed blogs, so poetic and well written and realizing I am no where near that talented in writing. I’ve heard amazing stories of hope and restoration through the graceful hand of God and I think that my stories are not as heart wrenching or miraculous. I don’t feel that I have much to offer, so I haven’t been offering it. Then, I read these words:

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This is from the story of the widow who gave her last two coins. I love this idea of giving everything that you have, offering it all to God. I tend to hold possessions loosely and enjoy giving away much of what I have. Especially if I know it is a lot and will make a difference that I can see. We have SO much in this country! We are wealthy beyond belief and could literally feed and clothe the rest of the world. We have so much to offer and giving everything we have could definitely have a big effect on this world.

But what if you don’t have much to offer? What if you only have a few coins, a small story, a feeble ability? Would you be willing to offer that as well? I think about the boy with the loaves of bread and the fish. What if when they started talking about needing to get all those thousands of people fed, he looked at his lunch and said, “Well this wouldn’t even make a dent in feeding this crowd, I’ll just keep it to myself.” We would have missed out on one of the most grand miracles in the New Testament. His faith and willingness to give was all that was needed to feed all those thousands of people.

Our pastor has recently been doing a series on “The Blessed Life” by Robert Morris. He talked about how when we give back to God he takes that, redeems it, blesses it and multiplies it. So while I may think that I don’t have much talent or compelling stories, I am reminded that if I take this small amount and offer it to God, he will bless it and use it for his kingdom however he sees fit.

Is there any area that you feel you may not have much to offer, but you know that God is calling you to give anyway?

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