This one is going to be quick and dirty (written on the fly with little editing) because I feel like death and I'm buried under a ton of schoolwork, but I think it's important enough that I'm willing to take a few minutes out.
I've felt a little...attacked lately.
First, there's the whole gym thing. Since I started going to the gym, I've felt SO much better. I haven't dropped a ton of weight or anything, but it's only been about a month, and that's just not the point. The point is, I FEEL better when I go.
However, within a couple weeks of rejoining, my ankle (which hasn't given me major problems in over a year) locked while I was simply sitting on the floor helping Ryan put together a puzzle...completely random. And do you know when I stopped going to the gym last time? Yup...when the same thing happened to my ankle.
I was bound and determined this time, though...nothing was going to keep me from working out - so I decided to take some aqua aerobics classes. Yes, there are old people in there and you feel pretty stupid running around a pool, BUT I felt GREAT after my first aqua kickboxing class, and I was determined to continue.
Until this week, when I got hit with some sort of pulmonary virus (a.k.a. "chest funk") that landed me flat on my butt. Seriously, I woke up Tuesday feeling like I had an elephant on my chest and by the end of the day I was out of breath if I tried to move. Today, I'm at about 45%...so better, but still no gym.
But guess what? The first day I feel I'm no longer infecting the world with my funk, I'm going to be in that gym. I don't care if I just walk on a treadmill at 3.0 mph for 20 minutes...I'll be there.
And then there's the think with the ministry. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm still blogging from Life Under Construction - not Seeking the Symphony. I've made ZERO headway lately with the ministry...and I assure you, I've felt like a super failure because of it.
Furthermore, EVERYTHING I've come in contact with has talked about praying BIG prayers, dreaming BIG dreams, seeing the VISION, leading with PASSION...you get the idea.
But that's not how I feel lately. I feel like I've lost the vision. I feel like the vision and the dream and everything else has gotten lost in the mundane, everyday tasks of life, like homeschooling and my classes and...I dunno...life.
I feel like a visionary flop.
I had this conversation with Josiah the other day, and poor guy...I happened to look to him for emotional support on a day where he was pretty low himself. I attacked him with questions like, "How do we know we're really doing the right thing by starting the ministry? Why isn't God giving me more information if this is the way we're supposed to go? What do you think? How do you feel? How do we know for sure?!" His response was basically "I think we are going the right way, but I don't know." Poor guy...there's nothing like getting attacked while you're trying to cook dinner. So then I did what I should have done in the first place:
I went into my bedroom, got on my knees, and cried out to God. I poured out my heart to Jesus right there on my bedroom floor.
Sometimes, it takes God a while to answer our prayers, but sometimes...sometimes He answers right away...and this time that's exactly what he did.
Right there, while I was praying, he reminded me that he HAS given me a vision...at Women of Faith a year and a half ago (you can read about that here). Heck, I just stood on stage at church talking about it last weekend. Is Seeking the Symphony part of that vision? Maybe...maybe not. Either way, fail or succeed, it's a stepping stone for us and I truly believe it's God's will for us.
He also reminded me that I've felt discouraged about this before...my lack of a solid plan where the ministry is concerned, and what He told me THEN was that I needed to follow the steps He's given me for now, and then He'll give me the next pieces...and guess what? I haven't finished those yet.
And I think I know why.
Today He reminded me that sometimes He slows us down on purpose because we have more to learn before we can proceed.
Before I started back to school, I started working with some Dreamweaver tutorials so I could learn how to build the StS website, but then, as I said, I got sidetracked by life. But sometimes, God builds His lessons into our lives -
Like today, when I realized that this week's presentations in my Digital Imaging class are all about building webpages in Photoshop...to then be linked with Dreamweaver if necessary.
I hope you know what this feels like. I hope you know what it feels like when God reaches down and gently wraps His hands around you and reminds you that He is in control, that He has already prepared works for you to walk in, and "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
Ours is a mighty, loving God. El Shaddai - God Almighty. El-roi - the God who sees me.
See, here's the deal. Maybe I'm not being attacked. Maybe that's just my imagination. Either way, there are some trials, and you know what? I'm thankful for them. Through them, God is producing endurance and maturing me, making me full and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2).
Let's face it - He has His work cut out for Him, but every day He works on me, and for that, I am exceedingly grateful.