I Moped, I Got Mad, I Prayed and God Answered

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“When I take the focus off myself and sow into the lives of not just the people I love, but also complete strangers, I begin to live a bigger life.”

My summer was okay. Not great—but okay. It should have been so much more. It could have been so much more.

It wasn’t that I didn’t do much; as a family we spent long weekends in beautiful places, we took the kids for fun days out and I spent the summer mentoring students in creative writing, which I loved. It was really quite a busy few months.

But there was a cloud hanging over me, a cloud of loneliness, a feeling of being detached from life and community. I moped a little. I moped over the distance between myself and my family, the distance I seem very good at creating between myself and friends, and the distance I create between myself and God.

And not only did I mope, I got mad. I got mad that my children were stealing my peace by fighting all day, that friends weren’t calling me up to see how I was doing, that my health issues were worsening instead of improving. And that God was ignoring me. I blamed Him and the people closest to me for being in this season of numbness.

I prayed.

But there was an edge of anger to my words. I felt like God should be providing, that God should be leading me into this place where I could live an extraordinary life, instead of the small life I found myself with. I entered prayer with a cynical resignation, assuming God would ignore my needs, so why was I bothering anyway?

But God did answer:

“Wake up. Wake up to yourself. Stop thinking about what you’re not receiving and start thinking about what you’re giving.”

My perspective flipped.

In every area of my life I was waiting and expecting. Waiting for my husband to give me what I needed in our relationship, expecting my children to start listening to me, waiting for my friends to come knocking on my door, expecting God to heal me, and waiting for my great big amazing life to come along.

But what was I giving?

I began to ask, “Am I being the best wife, mother and friend I can be? Am I listening to God or ignoring God? Am I using what’s in my hands to the best of my ability, or am I sitting around feeling sorry for myself, waiting for something to come along instead of going out and living the best life I can live?”

It’s not about me.

I am awakening to the fact that when I take the focus off myself and sow into the lives of not just the people I love, but also complete strangers, I begin to live a bigger life, a life that is focused not on what I receive, but on what I give.

I spent too much time this summer hanging around myself, thinking about my own needs instead of the needs of others.

It could have been so much more.

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So, my dear SheLoves readers:

  • Did this summer bring with it an awakening moment for you?
  • When has God corrected your perspective?
  • How is God leading you on the path to a bigger life?

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Creative Commons image by wtlphotos

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