Thursday, August 4, 2016

My Struggle, Gods Glory

Why is it always in the still of the night, when my mind is running a million different directions, that I find myself coming here to my little quiet place?  When life gets hard and l need to sort out my thoughts I come here. It helps to word vomit every now and then right? 

So, a few days ago I was asked to write a prayer for my marriage. While writing my prayer I said something along the lines of, "you think after you give your life to Jesus it's all going to be peaches and cream...but it's not!" I have been reflecting on just how true that statement is more and more over the last week. 

Tonight, during a particularly hard moment of 'doing life' I once again found myself crying out to God "Why?" and again this thought crossed my mind. "I know you Lord, and I believe in you! Why is this happening? Why does it feel like every time something good happens and I take 2 steps forward, something bad happens and sends me 5 steps back?" It's so frustrating!! 

Let me just tell you friends, my life has been anything but easy lately. I'll spare you all the icky details and just say that the last year and a half has been rough. I have literally felt like I have been at war spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically! I have cried out WHY!? to God so much that I lost count months ago! 

Why does it seem like I am getting attacked in all different directions ALL THE TIME? Why does it feel like a constant battle with everything? On the outside things may look good but oh my goodness, it's a hot mess under the surface!! 

Just when I feel like I am about to throw in the towel and give up God gives me strength to continue on. Just when I am on the verge of waving that white flag God pulls me in and whispers words of encouragement in my ear. 

This back and forth has got me feeling like I am going insane! I just don't really understand it at all. And then BAM! Out of no where tonight it hits me. All of these little snippets of things around me come flooding into my mind and I finally get the answer I have asked for. 

It comes in the form of a scene from the movie Courageous where the pastor is telling the men that because they are taking a stand for God satan is going to push even harder. 

It comes from a quote from Priscilla Shirers' Armor of God study that I did a few months ago about fighting the unseen. 

It comes from one of my favorite worship songs that speaks of satan trying extra hard to destroy all that is good simply because we stand against him when we stand for God. 

I have been trying so hard to dig into my church. Not just attend but actually DIG IN. I have been teaching Sunday School with my daughter and we just got back from an AMAZING mission trip with our LIT/CSALTS in Missouri where I saw first hand God moving in such magnificent ways. (More of that to come in another post). I see my husband planting himself fully into our church (which is an answered prayer in itself) and getting closer to God. We are working so hard on communicating with each other better and trying to fix the issues we have. We are also trying so hard to stand proudly for God and our faith... And I honestly feel like that's why satan is trying so hard to knock us down!! Through anxiety, depression, anger and hurt, miscommunication and hurtful words/actions, satan has tried it all. 

I feel like God had HUGE plans for our family, all 6 of us, and satan is getting scared as we are moving forward with Gods plans so he tries everything  to hold us back. To derail us or distract us from what God has in store. At first that scared me. Are we strong enough to battle this? I feel weak and sometimes I wonder if it would just be easier thrown in the towel and lay down in defeat. But then I remember the sweetest of things. 

I don't have to fight this battle alone. I don't have to carry this weight all by myself. I just have to give it all over to the One who has already conquered it all. 

That is exactly what I am doing. I have turned it all over to God and am doing my best to step out of the way and let Him work. I am putting my armor on daily and I am doing the best I can. And let me just say that seeing His plan come together right in front of my face is better than anything in the world. It's so EXCITING to see what He is capable of doing if we just allow Him to work in and through us. I am so excited for what God has in store for my family and I. 

I was speaking to a sweet young lady a few weeks ago and she mentioned that she feels like the trials she is currently going through is just God writing her testimony. That really stuck with me. I may not see the battles that lay before me and I may accrue some bumps and bruises along the way but I feel deep in my heart that when this is all over I will have one heck of a testimony and God will get all the glory! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Today's prompt word: Focus



Focus Amber. 

You can do this. 

You can beat this. 

Just let go and let God. 

Focus on God and His plan for you. It will all be OK if you just let Him lead you and hold on to your faith. 

These are just some of the things that go through my head when I am faced with tribulation. I try really hard to keep my eyes set upon the Lord and draw comfort from his truth. It really does bring me comfort. 

But life has a way of drawing our focus off what matters most. It has a way of distracting us and allowing us to drift to places that are scary and uncertain. I don't do well in those places. I don't do well at all. So I try so hard to not let myself drift there very often. Lately, it seems like the situations in my life are determined to drag me in to these dark, sad places and I feel like I am drowning there. It's overwhelming and I try so hard not to linger. Sometimes it feels like a war is being waged and, wow, it's scary. 

So I try hard to keep my focus on what I know. On God and His promises to never leave me. To never let me walk this path alone.  Often times I accomplish it by submersing myself in worship music so my mind can't wander to the what if's and why nots. Or sometimes I just open my bible and browse. I usually end up landing on just the right verse or a note from the past that reminds me that He is still here, even though I am hurting, and He is still in control.

 I am learning to turn to Him no matter what. Some days I am not successful and those are my bad days. Some days I focus on the Light and those are my better days. I pray my better days continue to outweigh my bad ones. I pray that I continue to draw strength in Him and that I continue to cling to the hope that only He can offer. 

How do you keep your focus on the Lord during times of trials and tribulation? When everything seems like a dark time, how do you find and stay focused the Light? 


**Image does not belong to Moment We Live For but is a product of Google image search.


To find out what it's like to write unedited for five minutes straight head on over Kate's page and learn more about Five Minute Friday. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Quiet



That's our prompt word for this week. 

Quiet. I find the irony in that, I really do. 

My life is anything but quiet. With four kids I think it's actually impossible to have quiet. Except for now of course. Late at night when I can only hear their soft breaths and occasional murmuring from whatever dream they are lost in. This is the time when I should embrace the quiet. But you see, it never really comes. 

Now, instead of peace, all I can hear are the million thoughts scrambling through my head. The anxiety of what the path in front of us looks like, of what the future holds. The fear of mistakes that we have not yet made and the steps we have not yet taken. The what if's and maybe's and even the I don't knows. All of it, swirling in my head, making me dizzy and afraid and alone. 

So badly I want to just lay it all at His feet. I know this is what I should do and I try, oh God knows I try. But I find myself picking it back up again and again. It's a daily struggle for me. Some days I am successful and some days I am not.

So badly I want to just reach up and take His hand and allow Him to pull me from these deep waters. So badly I want to just fall into the comfort of His quiet and awaiting arms and surrender this struggle to Him once and for all....


I am linking up with Kate and an awesome group of ladies for Five Minute Friday where we write unedited and unscripted for five minutes on a prompt word. If you would like to learn more and join us please follow the link above. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hello, My name is Amber......

I am sitting here at my desk staring blankly at the computer screen with a lump in my throat and confusion in my head. So much to say, so much to get of my chest, yet words fail to come. Maybe because I don't really know where to start. Or maybe because I feel like if I start it will open the flood gates and that kinda scares me.

Why is it that I find myself coming here, to this little blog of mine; this place that has been neglected for so many months, when I feel like I have no where else to turn? This is supposed to be a happy place. A place to share and memorialize all the moments that make up this crazy life of mine.  It's not just a place for happy things. It's a place for real life. Thats what I want it to be anyways. Life isn't about only the good things. Our best memories come from all our moments, good and bad. I feel like the things I write about are ever the same. Same thing, different day.

It annoys me.

It also makes me think. What is my purpose of even having this blog? Yes, I like to write and I like sharing my story with others. But thats not what brings me back here time after time. I realized late last night as I was browsing some of my older posts that having this little place to come spill out my thoughts is like therapy for me. It helps me get my thoughts together and to work some things out in my head.  I also realized that there are a lot of unpublished posts. Some I remember writing, some I was surprised by, but all of them are ME. They are truth and hurt and pain and the growth that comes from walking this life and this path that God has set me upon.

So why are they sitting in the drafts folder unfinished and not shared? Why do I censor what I post? Why do I tend to hold back on the scary stuff?

Simply, I am afraid of the judgement that I may receive when people read what I really feel. When they see what is really going on in my head and the behind-the-scenes aspect of my life what will they think? Sharing those posts and all the unwritten ones that are still swimming around my head requires me to take off the mask that I wear. You know the pretty one that protects me from allowing people to see my struggles and my vulernability. The one that makes me feel like I have a grip on this life and that I actually have it all together.

I don't you know. I really don't have it all together at all. The truth is that I am broken. Inside I feel like I am drowning and no one cares. No one cares because no one knows. It's the dark little secret that I keep hidden behind my pretty little mask. I smile on the outside but on the inside I feel like I am dying. Sometimes it takes everything I have to just get out of bed and complete simple daily tasks. Most days I fail at it. I really just want to stay home and hide from the whole world most of the time. I want to ignore everything and pretend that my life is happy and healthy and that I have it all figured out.

I think the worst part is that I feel like I can't tell anyone. Everyone is busy dealing with their own issues and it's just not fair to drop this bomb in their lap. I don't want to add my junk to their already overloaded shoulders. So I carry it alone. I am used to alone. I can do alone. I have done alone most of my life in one aspect or another so it's nothing new really. It's just that somedays it gets hard. Sometimes I just need to know that someone truly understands that I am not OK and that I am hurting inside. That even though I am surrounded by people who love and care about me I still feel alone. Somedays I just need someone to let me know that it's going to be Ok and that I am going to get through this and that I am, indeed, not alone.

Being a believer I know that I am not actually alone. I know God walks this path with me. I know that I need to just give it all to Him and let Him work on it. I know all the scriptures to read (And I read them, I really do) and I know how to pray. I know how to submerse myself in the Lord and allow His Word to comfort me. Honestly, God and my faith in Him is probably the only reason why I haven't just given up completely and let myself succumb to my illness. I hold tightly to my faith and His promises. He IS my life ring. He is what pulls me up out of the water and sets me on the firm ground when I am drowning. He gives me the strength that I need to make it through each day. I know that one day He will bring me through this and I will be stronger for it. I know all of this in my heart.

It's not a heart problem I have.

It's a head problem.

Hello, my name is Amber and I struggle with depression and anxiety.

I struggle everyday. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Even on the good days it's still there. Waiting to rear it's ugly head. This has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember but has gotten worse than it has ever been in the last year.

I will overcome this. I will not let this define me. I will not allow myself be swallowed up by this sickness and fade away. I have 4 beautiful and amazing children that deserve me at my best. I am stronger than this. I am.

I know there will be a time that I will need to be reminded of this so I will not delete this post. I will not allow it to sit unpublished in the drafts folder. I will no longer be afraid to share the bad stuff. I will take off my mask and I will hit publish, even though just the thought makes me feel like I can't breathe. I will leave this here as my reminder to myself that I am OK and that, because of God and my faith in Him, I can and I will overcome this. I will leave this here for anyone who has the same struggles as I do. So you will know that you are really not alone. So WE will know that, even when it's dark and it's ugly and we are suffocating on everything this life is throwing at us, we are walking it together. Not alone. Never alone.