Today has been rough for me.
Well, yesterday was too.
These are days where the fight for joy is unrelenting. Tears are quick. Emotions are raw. Hope is fleeting. I want to yell and scream. I want to blame and point fingers. I want to beat myself up. I want to wallow in guilt. I want to hide - deep and dark away.
I awoke asking for strength. Asking for help. I feel desperate. And school today was rough. I was impatient and hard at times. Why do calm and gentleness seem mutually exclusive for me? I spend so much energy trying not to respond with a raised angry voice that gentleness is punted out the window. (In my rational moments I understand it's still a lack of self-control just manifested differently.) I feel crushed under this weight of responsibility - to be wife, mother, housekeeper, teacher, friend, and on.
And I sit to still. To drink in grace. To hear what the still small voice might have to say if I am quiet in heart. I write my thanks. And I wait. I look hard for beauty in the difficult days and I write again. Choosing to see differently. To think newly.
And then it sparks...the thought. The conviction. The answer.
In all my moments of waking grief due to my own want of soul, I realize I strive to externally control what I have lacked internally to attain. God gives peace but only through relationship. When I side-step my time with Him, I am starving my soul. There is little peace. Little order. Inside. Deep down in the crooks and crevices of heart.
And so I plow ahead vainly attempting to put order onto the things around me. My children. My husband. My home. My circumstances. I try to silence all voices - any extraneous noise is deafening. I nit-pick - nothing is good enough. I well up with fire - where there hasn't even been smoke.
These are warning signs. Red flags. Gauges for me. I should heed these indicators next time. When I try to get control of all around me and settle for nothing less...that's the very time I need to look long into myself.
I need to ask, "Have I first surrendered to the keeper of my soul? Have I first allowed God to have control in me?"
If I have not, then I will struggle needlessly for control of things I should instead choose to shepherd, nurture, and steward.
If I have not, then I will view my abundant blessings as burdens.
If I have not, I will fail to offer back to God the thankful life for all He has given.
So today, still in the midst of the struggle, I choose to give up control that I might find the very thing I have been pursuing on my own today...peace, harmony, order, contentment, hope.
I think I might be on to something...