Our culture is filled with so many exclamation-filled claims. I overheard these on the television that I neglected to turn off before I sat down to write one day.
“One amazing Super Pill!”
“Stores ripping you off!”
“Win a million dollars!”
We are so inundated with various people’s claims to the truth. The loudest claims of truth can feel the most true, even when they aren’t. Sometimes, it can be hard to even know what we believe ourselves. This can be especially true when you are struggling. You may be willing to believe anything that may make you feel even temporarily better. And it’s hard to feel like you have the strength or wisdom to even know what to do.
I struggled a lot when my kids were younger. I was constantly overwhelmed, trying to be the best mom I could be, as well as the best at everything else I did. It wasn’t sustainable, and I struggled with depression and anxiety. It was in these darker times that I really turned to the Lord to solve problems that were bigger than me and what I thought I could handle. And He was faithful.
I knew God was with me then, but I didn’t necessarily feel His presence. I prayed, but I didn’t see God answering my prayers right away. I prayed anyway, putting my faith in God to answer those prayers in His own timing and in His own way. I found His promises in the Bible, and trusted in the real truth found in those pages. Psalm 91 has always been a favorite of mine, especially verses 14-16 (ESV):
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Believing these truths about God makes worries easier to set aside. I can take my worries to Him and know that He will answer me. It may not look how I want it to, and it usually doesn’t run on my timetable. But our powerful God is trustworthy. He did answer those prayers.
Throughout those times, my friends prayed for me. It was sometimes hard to open up to ask for prayer, but I found a few people who I trusted and we prayed together. Eventually I found a home in a Moms in Prayer group, which is a wonderful place to take my prayer requests to the Lord, while also praising Him for the amazing God that He is.
Meanwhile, I started taking care of myself. It is easy, especially as a people-pleaser, to let other people’s demands of me dictate my day. And of course, there are non-negotiables that do comprise a lot of my days. But it’s not an all-or-nothing situation. I took a night off here and there to find the things that refreshed me. I started exercising, finding that it helped clear my mind. I gave myself more freedom to go do things by myself, letting my introverted personality get charged up by being alone. I started writing, which helped articulate what I was feeling in my heart.
All of this helped me in finding my way back to a place that wasn’t quite my old self. It was a place where I trusted God a little more than before. It was a place where I understood a little better what another young mom might be going through. It was a place where I knew God better because I had needed to trust Him more, and found Him more than sufficient.
God, I look back at this trial and I am thankful for how You grew me through that time. Please help me to remember this in other hard times, and to trust in You for answers to prayer. Thank you for being our mighty and gracious Lord! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.