Sweetly Broken, Wholly Surrendered

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It’s been a loooong time since I’ve blogged.

It’s been a loooong time since I’ve devoted some time to the Word or some real prayer.

It’s been a rough couple of months.

We’ve had a few challenges in my household lately. To say the very least. Things have been hard.

Parenting is…difficult.

Marriage is….difficult.

School is….difficult!

Notice a pattern? I haven’t been finding true joy in the daily “stuff” lately.

Last Sunday we finally made it to church after several weeks of missing it. The sermon was on sharing our faith and our purpose here on earth. I have to admit I left convicted, but with a hard heart! Nothing was going my way. I was feeling unappreciated in every aspect of my life. I felt like I was running at 100 miles an hour and no one was noticing! My ministry wasn’t going as planned, my house wasn’t clean enough, my energy level was depleted, and my needs weren’t being met in any of my relationships. Everyone else was to blame. Or so I thought.

A few days ago I began working through The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick.It’s a forty day challenge that has daily “dares” to help you become the spouse God intended you to be.  The first day’s dare is to not say anything negative to your spouse. If you can’t say anything positive, say nothing.

Well let me just tell you, I said a whole lot of nothing that day! I was so convicted, and saddened, that I hadn’t realized how negative I am toward my husband usually! I vowed that I would stick to this 40 day challenge, even if it killed me. At this point, it was looking like it might!

Day 2 talked about kindness, and how God intends for us to be kind, even when no one is kind to us. It talks about the different aspects of kindness, and the one that hit me hardest was gentleness. I’m amazed sometimes at how harsh I sound when I talk. Unfortunately, my husband gets the brunt of it. The dare that day was to do an unexpected act of kindness for your spouse. So I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got to work. I organized our daughter’s room, and took out the trash (his least favorite chore). I also made his favorite sandwich for dinner and had it waiting for when he got home. I couldn’t wait to show him all I had done! When he got home I showed him around, gave him his sandwich, and mentioned that he wouldn’t need to take the trash out. And……NOTHING! I got a “okay great, see you after class, love you!”

I was so ticked!

I left for my night class feeling so angry and sad. I was ready for my big round of applause or at least a pat on the back! I flipped on my radio and was intent on drowning my sorrows in some music. I had it on the Christian radio station and the song “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray came on. I nearly cried.  If you haven’t heard it, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSIVjjY8Ou8&feature=relmfu

It slowly started to hit me. I don’t need my husband’s round of applause every second of every day. I don’t need my school to acknowledge my efforts. I don’t need my ministry to go my way.

I need Jesus.

His plans are the best plans, no matter what!

I prayed that God would continue to break me, until I got the message He was sending! I prayed for energy to complete my tasks, and to ensure that I could fit in some time in the Word.

When I got in bed that night, my husband thanked me for all my hard work that day. He mentioned each thing I had done, even the ones I hadn’t mentioned to him. God knew I needed that, and it helped me to open my eyes and realize just how much my husband needed to see how hard I am willing to work for him. It made him feel loved.

This morning was day 3.

The devotional is all about how love is not selfish. We are supposed to love, not for what we receive in return, but for what it does for the person we love. It is all about turning other’s eyes heavenward with our love.

Drumroll please……It finally clicked!

Everything in my life was failing because I took over the reigns! I was filled with selfish wants, and put them first as my “needs”. It’s not “my” ministry, marriage, child, etc. It’s God’s!

Today I woke up (early!), made my husband breakfast, and got to spend a few minutes with him before he left for work. I already can see a huge change in our relationship, and it’s only been 3 days since I began this journey! I can’t wait to see how it looks in 37 more days when I finish The Love Dare.

I am thrilled to say that I have true joy in my life today. I am so grateful to be alive, to have a family, to be a part of Best Life ministries. But this joy isn’t from those things, it’s from the realization that God fulfills all my needs. He not only meets them, He exceeds my expectations by leaps and bounds. All we have to do is ask with a willing heart. I couldn’t realize this until I let God break me down and fill me back up.

The greatest part is that He not only fills us back up but He fills us to the brim so that we are overflowing with joy. So much so that we just have to share it with others! Isn’t that the ultimate goal? To not just exist here on earth, but to shine with the Joy of the Holy Spirit so that others come to know Him as well?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

I’m praying today for you, that you will be filled with joy so that you can not only feel His great joy in your life, but abound in hope that God has a wonderful plan for your life, and He will be faithful to complete it.

 

  1. Donna01-22-12

    So true, so true!! Life gets hard when we have our eyes on ourselves, but joy over flows when we seek His plans first. Thank you, Kaylie, for reminding us of this.