Monday, July 9, 2012


I feel like the words I heard yesterday were an answer to prayer.

We visited a church yesterday in McPherson.  We went with open-minds, willing hearts, and tired kids.  But we made it to the 9 am service!  Anyway, I feel like I was hit in the head with a 2x4 by yesterday's sermon.  It spoke directly to my heart.  It was one of those where you begin looking around to see if the anyone else is paying attention because this sermon is meant specifically for you.

But what surprised me the most was the theme of the sermon was "Discouragement."  I don't feel discouraged.   I'm an optimistic kind of gal, so it's hard for me to be discouraged.  But anyway, the story followed Elijah in 1 Kings.  In short, Elijah was chosen to do some GIGANTIC things for Christ.  He went up against King Ahab (described as the most evil King in Israel) and his wife Jezebel (who is described as being more evil then her husband).  He proved that Baal, the god of fire, was powerless, as well as the 450 prophets of Baal.  And that God was the only true God, worthy of praise and full of power.  It's a pretty incredible story, you should go read it. (I Kings 17-19)  Or check out one of your kids story Bibles, it's always a story that is included!

This story in itself wasn't what struck me.  It's what happened to Elijah after this big hype.  Elijah had done this amazing feat and had killed all the 450 prophets that worshiped Baal, and should have been feeling the fullness of God's presence and might after just being a part of something so HUGE.  He should be rejoicing in God's sovereignty and work through himself, Elijah. 

But instead, he flees.  He runs for his life when he hears word that Jezebel, King Ahab's wife, wants him killed.  He pleads with God to take his life, that he is no better than his ancestors.  He begins to doubt.  He begins to fear.  Lose hope.  He begins to feel discouraged...and lets these thoughts take his mind captive so much so that he thinks leaving life on Earth is a better choice than living.  He isolates himself from others and takes his eyes off of Christ. 

4 things happened that I just described: He begins to wander.  He says things he doesn't really mean.  He wants to quit.  He isolates himself from other believers.  He takes his eyes off of the solution, hope in Christ.

After all that God did in his life.  The mighty showing of God's power, through Elijah's faithfulness...the closeness Elijah experienced to God during that time. 

How could he experience fear, discouragement, doubt after all of that?

Well, he did.
And what I'm learning is, it is normal.  These actions of feeling like you are wandering, isolating yourself, and losing hope in Christ are very normal after coming off a huge victory in Christ.

And that is where we are at.  I keep describing myself as "feeling like I'm wandering aimlessly."  And I won't lie, my prayer life, my devotions, and my closeness to the Holy Spirit have been lacking the past 2 months. 

I feel like this media fasting week, has rejuvenated my soul.  I spent many hours in prayer, reading Scripture...that I had replaced with TV and Internet before.  I feel like this fast was a preparation for my heart to be softened to hear Sunday's sermon.  Otherwise my first reaction might have been denial, not repentance and realization.

I think what we are experiencing is a post-adoption depression of sorts.  It's common, actually.  You come off such a high of the journey to adopt, you see God working out big and small details in your life, you are so close to Him during that time because you have to be, you are on a natural high.  And God pulls through Big-time and the emotions are indescribable. 

...And then you return the day-to-day stuff.  Real life again.  Where it's quiet. Normal.  Less exciting.  Where it seems like God's presence isn't as obvious, real.  And it becomes easy to think that and allow those thoughts to affect your actions.  You almost feel like God isn't there any longer.  Like He doesn't need you anymore.  Even though you crave that 'high' you experienced during the tough, gritty part of life.  Where His presence was undeniable.

But that's not our calling right now.  We are called to live.  Be.  Quietly for now.  To rest assured in Him, even in the less-dramatic, less-crisis-filled days of life.  To seek Him in the stillness just as earnestly as before.  So we are going to have to work harder in the quiet times,  we are realizing.  To keep God at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. Which I am beginning to think is harder than trusting in the trying times.  But we are trusting, working, and praying...

To not get discouraged.

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