Monday, August 27, 2018

Give Me Strength

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I am an over thinker.  Like, on the level of needing an Over-thinker’s Anonymous Group. 

It is how God designed me, and when used properly, I can solve intricate problems with organized thoughts and structured processes.  But when left unchecked….I can create drama in my mind that doesn’t even exist!  Isn’t that the truth with many of our personalities?  What may be one of our greatest strengths can also double as one of our greatest weaknesses.

By nature, I am a planner.  The old Lori was planning-obsessed to the point that I sinned in it.  I used my over thinking and planning as a source of feeling I could control things around me.  Tim’s cancer and eventual death revealed that false security of “control” in me and ripped it away permanently. 

Now I am intimately aware of both what I don’t have control of and what I am responsible for controlling.

I am solely responsible to keep my eyes on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as He guides me to lead this family.  It is not the role I desired.  Oh how I cherished and thrived being under the leadership of my husband; how Tim honored me by placing me in charge of things like our budget, the children’s schedules, and our homes.  I was confident.  I miss being trusted to handle these things responsibly.  I still have to handle them, but now it isn’t out of a position of trust from anyone but out of necessity.  And it feels less like a privilege and more like just another thing I “have” to do alone.  Bitterness will creep in if I am not careful.  Exhaustion often overtakes me. 

I cannot control much of anything except where I place my eyes and how I respond to what I encounter in this life.

I’ve learned in the over four and a half years since his passing, that my attitude determines how this family moves forward.  Unfortunately, I’ve allowed the negativity of grief to rule my heart far too often.  When I allow the promises in God’s Word to be stolen from me by the enemy, we all suffer.  The enemy loves to distract me from Truth by placing negative thoughts (about others, about myself, about everything basically) on auto-repeat in my brain.  My efforts to keep all the balls in the air, to maintain structure for the kids, to keep their lives progressing with forward momentum and try to compensate for his loss by helping other areas of their life remain stable…it has drained me of myself.  And without realizing it, I let my depletion distract me from guarding my heart and mind from the negative thoughts and judgements that are untruths.

God is so patient with me!  I owe our precious children an apology for my failures.  They have lost so much in their young lives already.  I hate that I allowed a positive and cheerfully energetic mother to sometimes be stolen from them over the past few years as well.

I do have control of taking captive my thoughts. 

I do have control of how I respond to the crisis we have survived.

I do have control of keeping my eyes on the One who has never left our side; the risen One who extends His strength in my weakness.

I do have control over surrendering my emotions at the foot of the cross.

I have control over not sinning in my anger and disappointment.

With hands uplifted, I declare it is well with my soul. 

Oh Lord, give me strength to say and mean it is well with my soul!   

Thank You for Your redemptive love and careful correction in my life.
Your grace, oh Lord, washes over me again and again.  Your endless love pours down on our little family of three and I turn to You in praise and worship.  With a grateful heart for the privilege of being Mom to these two, I surrender my thoughts before Your throne and claim Philippians 4:8 over my mind.  Amen  

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