I never had the intention of working on myself this past year. I honestly had no idea what to work on, or even why. I mean I felt all was right. However, I did feel like I was missing something. What? I had no idea. It was not until just recently it was revealed to me.
I was missing joy.
I am talking about true joy. Yes, I had a lot of happy times this past year. My business was doing well. My marriage was reaching the 17 year mark. My children and I were bonding daily. BUT I still felt like something was missing. Mornings would come and I fought getting out of bed. I began to put other things; other “priorities” before my time with Him. I put Him aside and made Him less and less of a priority in my life.
All unbeknown to me.
Then the month of May arrived and it was rough for me. At least at first it was rough. God grabbed ahold of me and started to do a work within me. Work I had not seen in years. The last time I saw this type of work was back in 2009 when He brought me to my knees and I surrendered to Him. When I could no longer do this thing called life on my own.
I began to quietly seclude myself from many areas of my life.
At first I fought Him. Is that normal? When the Creator of all wants to do a work in us, to better us, we fight Him. Why? I believe I will never understand this concept. I finally accepted that I could not run and allowed Him to do His work within me. It was hard. I found myself on my knees daily. Asking for help. Saying, “Lord, change me.” The longer He worked on me, the more the scales were removed from not just my eyes, but my heart as well. Then I felt that feeling. The feeling His time of working on me was coming to an end. Not a forever end, but an end for right now. I was terrified. I did not want to be released from this work He had in me. I felt like a little toddler hanging onto her daddy’s leg begging him not to leave as he goes to work. I was afraid. I am ugly crying. Begging Him not to let me go.
I have been released. He is telling me the work is done. Until next time. I let go of His leg and hang onto His promises. His words. He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. He will hold me up with His righteous right hand. Do not be afraid.
But I am, I whisper.
Afraid of falling back into old ways. Afraid of what the future holds. Afraid of letting others down. Afraid of failing. Afraid of failing Him.
I have two choices: 1) go back to old ways or 2) embrace the work He has done within me and move forward.
I choose the latter.
I should feel joy, right? I mean He just did a month’s worth of work within me, so I should be this joyful-over the top-ridiculously-annoying-happy person. But I wasn’t. I was so confused.
As I am trying to figure all this out, I sit from the sidelines. From the sidelines I watch members of my church family say goodbye to their loved ones. Loved ones who have been called home. Loved ones who are now sitting at His feet and waiting on us to arrive. My heart hurts. More confusion. How can I find joy in any of this?
Then the whispers begin: find the blessings. Count the gifts. Read it again.
These whispers begin and continue. I, being of the flesh, shrug it off. Until I could no longer ignore the whispers. I need to re-learn to count my blessings even during the hard times. I open the book and begin to read, “One Thousand Gifts” by AnnVoskamp. Slowly I feel something rising in me. Could this be what I was lacking? Could this be true joy? I am not sure so I continue to read and allow Him to work.
A work still in progress…