I’ve fought depression and anxiety most of my adult life. I’ve battled feelings of unworthiness and loneliness. Seven years of Alanon meetings reminded me that my Christian faith, my roots in the Episcopal Church can provide more solace and love than any other thing in my life. Just as 12 step programs teach you to put your sobriety, sanity, etc. first, the Gospels teach us to put God first, because when we do, we find a serenity and peace that nothing else can offer. We become connected vessels of love rather an islands of loneliness.
I have to confess… The last few months I have failed to live up to that standard. It started with a heartbreaking phone call and a week of worry and stress. Someone I love dearly hurt, and there was nothing I could do but give it to God. From there, the realities of spending a winter in a travel trailer set in. Buying propane every 3 days. Having nowhere to keep winter clothes and wet boots. Muddy paw prints everywhere.
It culminated in a weekend of unusually low temps, during which our pipes froze. We spent the weekend trying to make sure the animals had enough water to get through, sometimes lugging water from the creek and sometimes using the gallon jugs of spring water in the basement. The roads were a mess, but we had to brave them to get to town and get supplies to insulate the hoses.
As it turns out, a four season trailer only has insulated tanks; the hoses are not insulated. We had insulated the hoses from the water to the trailer but had no idea we needed to insulate the hoses under the trailer. My poor husband spent most of the weekend crawling under the trailer trying desperately to get the water going, so I could shower and head to the office on Monday morning.
We spent most of what we had budgeted for groceries and miscellaneous spending. I didn’t know how we would make it until the next paycheck without dipping into funds intended to work on the farm or dipping into our savings. My frustration exceeded my faith, and I gave into feelings of helplessness, loneliness, and despair.
In Knowing God by Name, Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland write
You and I run out of energy. We grow weary. We lose heart. God never does. The Everlasting God does not faint or grow weary and when we call out to Him, He renews our strength and revives our hope.
That’s where I was. I was out of energy, but I was also out of faith. Sadly, I was those things by choice, because God was always with me. Only when I finally broke down and allowed myself to feel God’s awesome presence, only when I allowed the tears to flow and allowed myself to be humble before God did the situation resolve itself. After two days of fighting the trailer, the cold, and each other, we found comfort in each other and comfort in God’s plan.
In a recent Girlfriends in God devotional, Mary Southerland wrote
Faith is the quiet certainty that God keeps His promises. If you are like me, you don’t like to wait on God with “quiet certainty.” We see a need, and instead of seeking God’s wisdom and timing, we make a plan we think will meet that need and then, with earthly resources, make sure the plan is executed. As a result, we often settle for so much less than God had in mind.
Sound familiar? We spent a weekend lacking faith and paid the price. Only when we relinquished control and found that quiet certainty did God reveal his plan, which was so much more that we could have hoped for.
I want to share with you the prayer included in that newsletter:
Father, I come to You, desperately needing Your power and Your strength. Help me learn to recognize Your work in my daily life. I celebrate the fact that You are able and willing to perform miracles when I step out in faith and trust You.
In Jesus’ Name,
That is my continued prayer for me and for you. When we rely on God’s strength instead of our own, all things are possible. When we take back that trust and rely on our own power, we are remind just how difficult and lonely life can be, but all we have to do is give it back to God to be restored. The Monday after that miserable weekend, we experienced a miracle, the details of which I will share at a later date! 😀 God has plans for us and for our farm. We will have to work for it, but God will guide us and provide for us just as he sent manna from Heaven to feed the Israelites. We must have faith.
God has personally blessed me with a job I love at a company doing good work in the world, a faithful and loving husband, a daughter who loves and supports me through everything, a strong faith community, two of the sweetest and most loving big dogs I’ve ever met, two of the best horses a woman could ask for, and some of the kindest friends you could ever meet. My cup runneth over. How has God blessed you?