***Howdy folks! F.Y.I.—I will be switching up the format for this and upcoming posts. Instead of W.O.R.D. it will be R.O.W.D. to help my stories flow a lil’ betta. Ok? Cool? Now, on with the story…
|R||I’m not even gonna lie. Last week, I acted a complete fool. All over something dumb. Something trivial. Petty. I am ashamed of my behavior. But I am glad that it happened. Cause it was an opportunity for God to expose some dirt in my heart…things in my heart that needed to be cleansed. Let me tell you what happened…
So, there is this big Children’s Festival that happens in my city that only comes around once a year. I found out the date for this year’s festival in early 2017 and I immediately told my husband. We were so excited to take our one-year-old son. As you can imagine, we put the event in our calendar and looked forward to going in January 2018.
The big day finally rolled around on January 20, 2018. We were super pumped that morning to go…we had been talking about it all week. Punked out in our Vans sneakers, we piled into the car. (I decided that my son would wear his brand-new ones—pictured above—super fresh, right?) Yeah, so as I was saying, we piled into the car and had to make two quick stops for gas and Chick-fil-A. Suddenly, my husband realized he left his cell phone at the house. No problem. So, we turned around after Chick-fil-A to go back home and get the phone. Finally, we were on the road…headed downtown to have the time of our lives!
As we headed to the festivities, we noticed many detours along the route, making it difficult to find out where the starting point of the parade would be. We drove and drove and drove and drove around. We had our GPS navigating the way and my husband seemed to know where he was headed, but we still couldn’t figure out the location. Anxious and trying to keep my cool, I began to Google more information about the event to get a better idea of where we could find it. We drove and drove and drove and drove around some more. Nothing. (Insert annoyed face here…lol!) Okay, so we ended up in a neighborhood that appeared to be close to the festival for we saw decorated houses and families walking towards the event. But, there was a big problem: NO PARKING! UGH! Internally, I was fuming! Trying to keep my composure, I began to silently talk myself out of a meltdown. After all, it was just a stupid festival, right?
There’s always next year if we don’t make it. We can do something else. No worries, girl.
I wish I had a positive ending to the story. Nope! We didn’t make it to the festival or parade. We drove around for almost two hours, round and round, for nothing! I was angry and disappointed that we didn’t make it and that we would have to wait 364 more days to go to the next one!
Let’s just say the ride back home was a rough one! I had the biggest temper tantrum. And I would not let it go… coming up with every reason why we missed the parade. The blame game…all fingers pointed toward my husband. I was mad the rest of the evening. Went to bed angry.
In the middle of the night, I woke up crying (I don’t know why ‘cause I was sleeping good). The tears just rolled down my cheeks. And they wouldn’t stop. I cried uncontrollably. I began to feel a tugging at my heart. At the same time, guilt began to consume me. The day’s events began to replay in my mind. I felt awful. Just stupid. Then, I began to think about all the other horrible things that I did earlier in the week. I couldn’t bring myself to pray. Pray for what? I definitely didn’t act Christian-like in front of my husband and son. I was ashamed. With a heavy heart, I felt condemned. I believe it was probably the same feeling Adam and Eve felt when they ran away from God in the garden. I began to sink into the place I go to internally, when I “miss the mark”…a place of misery, sadness, self-pity and self-doubt. I knew I had disappointed God and my family. I felt bad.
In spite of this, I saw an image in my mind. Jesus sitting on His throne. Looking down at me with compassion. Instantly, I felt a shift in my heart. As if he was massaging my heart, telling me “I am here for you.” To be honest, I could feel His love. That made me weep even more. I could hear Him clear as day saying, “I never sleep. I am always with you. When you do good and when you do bad. My love for you never changes and it NEVER will. I died for you. What I did for you covers your past, present, and future sins. There is nothing that you could ever do to stop Me from loving you. What did I tell you in Romans 8? Nothing can separate you from My love. I am doing a work in you. When you are weak, that’s when you are strong. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” Comforted, I felt a release. I felt God’s presence. He began to show me some things in my heart that needed to be uprooted: living life based on performance-based standards, pride, self-righteousness, people-pleasing, anger and being easily offended. In the moment, I prayed and asked for forgiveness. After some time of reflection and journaling, I was able to fall asleep. The next morning, I apologized to my family.
All in all, I am not proud of my behavior that day. However, I am glad that it happened. God is doing a work in my heart. And for that, I am thankful. No one likes to talk about their weaknesses, faults and shortcomings, but I pray that I can help someone by sharing my journey in the next five or six blog posts.
(This song depicts my feelings that night):
|O||I have been studying Philippians 3 for quite some time now. I now understand why. God is walking me through this chapter to show me some things about myself. I have a better understanding of where He is trying to take me and how He is trying to grow me in this season. The beginning of the chapter (verse 1) starts off by saying rejoice in the Lord! Then, the chapter goes on to explain: we serve God by His Spirit, we boast in Christ Jesus, and we should put no confidence in the flesh.
This experience has taught me how to shift my focus from looking at me to looking to Jesus. His love for me runs deep—it is unconditional. That is the ultimate reason to rejoice! And with that being said, there is nothing I can do to earn His love. For that, I can stop focusing on works and allow His Spirit to work in and through me. For this reason, I can boast all the more about Christ. I put no confidence in my flesh. My righteousness is in Christ Jesus and in what He has done. There is something good that can come out of even the smallest (pettiest) trial! (Insert smiley face here…lol!)
|W||Philippians 3:3 New International Version (NIV)
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—
|D||Psalm 103 is my prayer for this week and weeks to come.|