Do you ever need “refreshment” in your spiritual walk? Have the challenges of day- to-day life got you down? Are you weary and irritable, burdened by each little “bump” in the road of your life?
This has been my story lately. Life was going along smoothly and suddenly, BOOM! My normally healthy husband suddenly became unhealthy. It started off with gall bladder issues, which ran into more stomach issues. He had just recovered from that when he severely injured his knee, incapacitating himself for the next several months. (A “quadricep rupture of the patella tendon above the knee.” This is gruesome stuff if you want to do an internet search! It is a common injury among athletes—however, my husband is anything but an athlete.)
Being housebound with an immobile knee for several weeks began to take its toll on both my husband and me. Initially we lived from pain pill to pain pill, sleeping in between. As empty-nesters, I was pretty much on my own in the caregiving—especially with the personal stuff. Thankfully, we had friends and family that visited, ran errands, and did their best to alleviate the boredom and stress.
Time schedules went out the window. My journaling time suffered, which means my prayer time suffered. (Journaling keeps me focused during my prayer time so if I don’t have time to journal, I don’t feel I’ve put enough effort into my one-on-one time with the Lord.) With our jumbled schedule, I fell behind in my reading and Bible study for my weekly ladies group. I was unable to keep up with the small group study our church was having on prayer. For several weeks, we were unable to attend our weekly small group which has been a part of our life for almost a year now. Even attending worship on Sunday was not possible for a while. (Thankfully, the message is recorded so we could listen during the week when we had time. But it was not the same as being there, mingling with other people who are worshiping together.)
In addition, our adult children and their spouses were experiencing their own challenges. Other family and friends were facing trials of their own: illness, financial woes, loss of loved ones, etc. My usual desire is to reach out and encourage others when they are going through difficult times, but I found myself so focused on my own problems, that encouraging others was far from my thought processes.
Asking for help is NOT something I practice. Embarrassingly enough, I’d rather grit my teeth (literally), withdraw from society, and feel sorry for myself while playing the martyr, rather than reveal any weakness on my part. I’m not fooling anyone, except perhaps myself, when I pretend to “have it all under control.” Before long I find myself stressed to the max, unable to focus, and my energy levels depleted.
Enter my silent plea for help: I finally opened my Bible, journal, and heart and reached out to the One who can alleviate stress and revive my spirit. I made the effort to focus my heart on His word and spend time communicating with Him. What a relief I felt as His peace entered my soul once again. With all my struggling and self-control, I had been keeping the peace He offered me at bay, when all I really needed to do was seek Him, spend time with Him, and focus on Him.
My challenges are still there. Our activities are still limited due to my husband’s physical constraints, but his therapy will be starting soon. We have been able to attend some worship and Bible study activities so we do not feel as isolated as we did at first. My husband’s spirits have improved; he sees the light at the end of the physical therapy tunnel. He knows it will be difficult, but is willing to start the hard work to get it done. My spirit has been refreshed. It feels almost as if I have awakened from a deep slumber. All I needed to do was admit my own weakness and turn to Him.
Please allow me to encourage you if you are currently feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges. You are not alone. He is right there with you; He knows everything you’re going through and everything you’re feeling. He understands. He will help you. It may be through His word, a visit or note from someone, or even a relaxing dream. But you will feel Him and know His peace deep in your troubled heart. Look for Him. You will find Him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.