Monday, December 29, 2008

awakening

I have been in a spiritual desert lately. Desert, without a drop to drink. Parched & dry. Longing for water, yet nothing comes my way. I have longed to pursue Jesus in the past few months, but with every scripture I read, nothing inside me moves; nothing inside me changes or even desires to change. I have felt the Enemy nip at my feet with every step, coupling my doubt & anxiety amidst the holidays & good cheer. It has crippled my spirit, & made me sad much of the time.

You see, I have a fear. A constant fear, if you will...about 8 years old now. A fear that Ben & the boys will be taken from me, & I will be left here. Left here without them, & only me. This began when I started dating Ben, & has fluctuated with each year. When I had Lincoln, it developed into something bigger. I wasn't dealing with one fear, but two. And two big ones. Then with Levi's arrival, I was faced with the trio. I feared that my boys would be taken from me all at once & I would be nothing but a childless mother & a husband-less wife. Uplifting, I know.

All through these years of struggle, I have known that this is the Enemy's work, one not of my own; but of Satan attempting to steal my joy, only to replace it with doubt, fear & anxiety for my loved ones' well-being. I have prayed against it, willed against it, read scripture through it, done bible studies on it, & cried through it countless times.

On Saturday, as Ben was packing up to travel to Boone, North Carolina with two Rocketown teenagers, I kept debating whether or not to go to church by myself with the boys. It's a lot of work to go to church with the 2 of them, just me, without Ben. Lots of gear, directions for the childcare team, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, whathaveyou. I woke up yesterday morning with a feeling of near dread...knowing I should go, but just not wanting to go through the 'trouble'. I ended up going, & I feel for certain that this was the work of the Holy Spirit. I had called Ben to see what he thought about me going by myself (and under any other circumstance, he would've said something like, 'Don't worry about it--Just keep the boys at home & we'll go next week as a family...'), but yesterday when I asked him, he replied with special emphasis: "Rhondi, just take the boys and go. You need to be there. Just make yourself go & go." Well, that did it. I had no other excuse now. Ben was usually my built-in...but now he had just screwed it all up.

I know this is a ridiculously long build-up to my point in all this, but my simple point is this: God is faithful. We sang the old hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" at church, & I felt God's faithfulness nearer than the clothes on my arms, and the breath on my face.

"Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me..."


Whether I feel his mercies are new every morning or not...they are still new. Whether I feel He has provided everything to me or He hasn't...He still has. These truths are just that--truths. I know that Satan has a foothold in my life. This foothold lies in the fear that Ben & the boys will be taken. Even still...God is faithful. His mercies are brand new with each morning, & I can set my feet upon this rock of truth. He is faithful, while knowing I doubt His faithfulness. He is steadfast, while knowing I doubt His steadfastness. He is sovereign, while knowing I doubt His sovereignty. Praise God for a Savior such as this. Jesus worked on my heart yesterday morning at church while I worshiped, pulling me back to Him once again. Though I have (and we all have, I presume) a weakness for something the Devil himself has a hold on, God's faithfulness is that much bigger...that much stronger still. Am I afraid that the ones I love will die? Of course. Am I scared that I will be left alone for the latter days of my life? Yes sir, without a question. But wow. Wow that God is stronger than such anxious thoughts, such doubt, such fright, such 'maybe-sadness'. I left with a peace yesterday that felt renewing...a peace that cannot be, nor ever can be quenched by the Enemy. Jesus is my Sustainer, Jesus is my Peace, Jesus is my. The sentence can end just like that, I believe. Having such months of dryness & emptiness makes that morning's worship that much sweeter.
Great is Thy Faithfulness...I am awakened.
Blessed Be Your Name, Savior.


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12 comments:

Chuck and Kami said...

Rhondi, I appreciate this posting more than you know...how uplifting.

We have a similar fear. I'll send you an email so we can talk offline but this is a crippling fear that I've struggled with (death and being abandoned, in general) for quite some time. I've talked a lot about it in my Bible Study class-I've read scriptures, I've prayed-but it never ceases to overtake me. My entire point-it's reassuring to have other people help "awaken" ME. And, that is exactly what this posting did. Thank you. Can't wait to see you soon.

Lindsay Schneck said...

I'm so glad you reposted! From this and Kami's response, I am thinking this is a common fear for mothers and wives. I too struggle with this quite often and sometimes it is even debilitating. What a relief that we are not alone in our struggles! We have friends to lean on, and most importantly, we have Jesus!

Michael and Jana said...

Beautiful words. Thank you for sharing a struggle I understand. Thank you also for encouraging me in the midst of my struggle.

Lori Campbell said...

I have been there and have awakened also. Mine came through living my worst nightmare. When I found myself sitting in the office of a specialist learning the news that our precious baby girls had devlopmental problems and her furture was very uncertain I began to feel the sting of grief. I was mourning the hopes and dreams I had pondered for her. With that unsettleing reality came peace. In two ways the Lord spoke to me. First I saw this news in light of eternity. If she were even taken from me it would only be a matter of time until we were reunited in eternity. I was 35 so that means for 50 to 60 years tops. I would see her then. Now this mental waiting game' seemed a little easier to handle than death! Secondly the of words by a classic devotional writer Cowman reminded me that God's grace is sufficient. We don't have to hope for it to happen, it already is! We don't even have to change i His facts into prayer. He has ordained it for me already. I can walk through whatever comes, knowing this! Just as the hymn writer says, "It is well with my soul." Do you know the origin behind this hymn. The writer had lost all of his family through unexpected tragedy and in His lonliness the spirit of God brought him peace and he could write these words that would touch millions for years to come.

Anonymous said...

sister, you're amazing. thanks for sharing in such a beautiful way.

Hesters said...

Rhondi, I really appreciate this post as well. Thank you for sharing your heart. Luv you

Christina said...

Amen and Amen Rhondi! It's so hard to make that realization that our children especially, aren't really ours. They're God's. He loves them way more than we do and knows way more about them than we do. Everytime I cringe at "letting them go", I remember God letting His one and ONLY son go. We are just priviledged to help God raise HIS babies. May God continue to grow your faith in Him through HIS faithfulness.

BDWPhotography said...

I am sure you don't remember me, as we did not have many chances of connecting when I lived in Nashville. This is Brooke Williams, Brian's wife (I am blogging with his info.). He was the Youth Pastor at RHCC briefly. You might be thinking, "Why are you reading my blog, you weirdo?". I keep up with the Kelleys in order to celebrate the continued healing of Joshua and have been led to your site occasionally (the nature of the blog world does that, right?). I don't spend a lot of time in the blog world, but I do like reading people's stories. I do not usually comment, but I feel the Lord's leading to share some Scripture with you that He has shown me tonight. After reading a book ("Same Kind of Different As Me") a couple of weeks ago that included many pages detailing a dear woman and mother's death, I have been gripped with the fear that something would happen to me or my children or husband. I haven't been able to shake it. It mostly hits me as I lay to sleep, and even has come in the form of nightmares. Tonight, after a busy evening, I didn't want to open my bible. The Lord said very clearly, "Open it and READ NOW", like there was something He wanted to show me. So, I did. I am very humbled by His Words, that He cares for me and that He sent us His Word to help us while on earth. Here is what he told me, and what I feel led to pass your way. Proverbs 3:23-26 says, "Then, you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." I'm taking Him at His Word, and pray that you do too.

Mary said...

hope all is well....now i'm missin your posts=)

Anonymous said...

girl, i keep checking to see if you're writing about Idol. I am currently looking at the girl in the "all pink" outfit who thinks she is a mix of madonna and hillary duff. oh good Lord. go get em sis.

Mandi said...

Wow Rhondi, what graceful words and how brave you are to talk about them. I have had this same fear and whats even more, I felt like if I talked about them then it might come true- how manipulative is that?!? But you are right, God is faithful and fear is just that, fear- only limited to the power we give it. I have to make a decision every day not to give my power to fear, and what a surprise, it has no power over me!

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