Thursday, February 9, 2012

When the Soul Feels Unsettled (As Mine Has Been Feeling)...

(The view from my kitchen window this morning.)


I shared with the other ladies in my Bible study last night how I've been feeling unsettled inside. It's been going on for the last week or so, and I jokingly chalked it up to the month of February. You know the month. It's the month (poor thing) that's gotten a bad rap - stuck right in the middle of the hard frozen winter.

Once Bible study ended, I shared with a few of my close friends how much this unsettled feeling was really bothering me.

I have felt like there has been a wall up between God and I. And I haven't been able to identify how that wall became erected.

I've had times in my life when I've felt farther away from God; it's usually when I'm not devoting time to prayer and study of His Word. But I had been doing both of those things. In fact, as I sat silently partaking of the Lord's Supper during our church service this past week, though quiet on the outside, the inside of me was flung on the floor reaching for my Lord. "What is wrong? Why do I feel so far from You?"

And the answer I got was simply, "I am here."

Now, I've lived my life without God as the center of it plenty of times. It wasn't until my struggles with anxiety and panic attacks that I got really serious about my relationship with Christ. And I can tell you that now that God and I are tight, things just feel all off-skelter when I can't feel Him close. I feel unsettled. Ungrounded. Un-rooted.

Well, my Father decided that it was time for me to know what was going on down deep in my soul. He shared it with me this morning during my time of prayer.

I have been playing the very dangerous comparison game. And I've mixed some pride and envy in with it.

I have been looking at other women and their blogs, seeing all they seem to be doing, wondering how in the world they have the energy to upkeep large blogs, organize Christian women's conferences, write books, homeschool children, and keep homes.

And then the envy crept in. God, I want that influence. I want my borders expanded.

But, let's be honest (because this morning was a gritty, honest, painfully embarrassing prayer session with my Father), I want all of this because I want to make a name for myself.

Pride.

Oh, and let's not forget about pride's mate, envy.

I've been coveting a life that God doesn't have planned for me. God has given me a sphere of influence here in my home and my little country neighborhood. But I've been feeling unimportant, insignificant, because my sphere of influence feels small and tight.

But why has this mattered? So I could reach more people for Christ? Maybe. But I also know that deep down, I've wanted a bigger sphere because I want to be known.

So at the end of my prayer time, I decided on some things...

1. I need to set Christ alone as my standard of living. Instead of comparing myself to others, I need to compare myself solely to Christ. He is my standard. He is the only one I am to mirror.

2. I need to make Him my audience. I need to run away from making a name for myself, making my presence known, and focus on doing only those things that please Him. I only need to please my audience of One.

3. I need to set my face as flint and purpose in my heart to stand strong in Him, and Him alone. Not my abilities, not my influence.

4. I need to remember that He has called me to be a wife and mother right here, right now. That is my main mission field. If He sees it necessary to expand my borders, He'll do it when He knows I'm ready for it.

So, I'm not sure how to do this practically. My friend told me last night that she had once heard that you just have to know until you believe (or something to that extent.)

So I just need to know that I am significant in my Creator's eyes. I need to know that He has a good and meaningful purpose for my life (even if it doesn't look like purpose I think that I want.)

And I need to know that this verbal utterance of repentance will spur me on towards growth in my faith as I seek Him and allow Him to move freely in my life.

Whew. I'm glad that's all out now.

Have a blessed day!

The Scripture that the Lord spoke to me through this morning...

James 3:13-16 ~ Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, or the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

8 comments:

April Buckley said...

Amber,

Perhaps you are more far reaching then you realize. You are making a name for yourself in God's eyes even if it never reaches the world's eyes. You may impact just one person in this blog and then that person makes the name for themself but you are the catalyst. Without you it might not be possible. God has a plan for each of us and you might not know how much one particular post changed the world until you are chatting with Him in Heaven and He says "Look my daughter at what you did and you didn't even realize it." Your posts lift me up on days I need it most, and I'm sure that happens to others as well. You are making a name for yourself to every one of your readers, and, most importantly, you are making a name for yourself with Our Creator.

Love you so much! I hope this unsettled feeling passes quickly this time around. It really affects all aspects of my life when it hits me too. Praying for you and your wonderful family!

~April

Monica said...

I agree with every word of Aprils comment. You have no idea how you have impacted my life! God uses you to give me a word in the hour that I need it most. You are a blessing to the Kingdom of God. I too have struggled with my "affectivenss" for the Kingdom. Same as you Why am I not more "popular". I envy others blogs and their great depth of wisdom. I feel I have wisdom...I am just not good at creating into a post. I have to accept that if that is the Lords will He will give me that ability. Until then...I am a wife and mother, same as you. God bless you today! You are loved!

livingboldlyforhim.com said...

Amber,
I don't post often b/c I'm not a good writer (I think I have responded once), yet lurk here everyday. I love your heart and you have become a role model for me, and I guess my daughter's as well ... my two love finding out what your youngest is trying next and you have motivated us with so many of your ideas. You are such a blessing to many that it is obvious God is at work and in the center of your life. When I see the perfect blogs or hear the perfect discussions, immediately I am suspicious b/c I learned this tough lesson shortly in our Christian walk and very quickly in our first year of HSing. Also, you are famous more than you realize ... just recently I mentioned on my own blog that yours is my favorite and the one I look at first! God challenges me through you and He blesses me through you. Thank you, Amber. ((hugs))

In Him ~
Sandi

Anonymous said...

Ditto all of the three posts above! We may have NO IDEA the impart we are making in other peoples' lives until we hear Him say, "Well done, My good and faithful servant." You are truly an inspiration to many!~

Linda Noullet Irwin said...

you know, reading all the books I do I read blogs and immediately think - oh she should read...

if you get a chance to review "from blah to awe" it is a good one. It was very light but the little tidbits I took from it really hits home with the feelings you are having.

It is a teen girl book but it really helped put into perspective the times we don't "feel" God and how you felt "I am here" is so right on.

The Israeli Kiwis said...

Hey Amber,

My name is Keren and I'm a new mom, my daughter just turned one a few days ago.
I am from Israel, born and raised in Jerusalem and the Lord led me to your blog a few months ago as I was seeking his face concerning my role as a godly woman.
I just thought it would encourage you to know that the Lord is using you to speak into someone who is on the other side of the ocean, miles and miles away :)
I love your blog and am greatly blessed by it everyday. God's been using your words to give me a better understanding of His heart and will for me as a wife, mom and woman.

Many blessings,
Keren

Anonymous said...

I am so touched by these words. Thank you for sharing, I feel like I found some perspective this morning.

Prayers and blessings,
CeCe

Anonymous said...

Thk u , i needed this.