“I’m not so lost to myself that I can’t love and pray for others.”
Ouch! I wish I could say that quote was my own, but it’s not. These days I feel like I’m in a perpetual cycle of being “lost to myself”. This is not the same as being selfish. I’m lost because I’m overwhelmed on a daily basis. Piles of all kinds lay in tangible and untangle forms all around me.
When possible, I hide from them. Even now, it’s nearly 10am on a Saturday and I’m still in bed, dreading getting up to prepare a second cup of coffee because my to-do list looms on the other side of my bedroom door.
• General cleaning and uncluttered in my living room • The start of a blanket I'm sewing for my granddaughter that I intended to finish prior to her 2nd birthday at the end of January but I'm now hoping to complete before Easter • A friend's novel I've promised to read and review (again by Easter) • A dozen raised garden beds to construct and place despite the cold (they need to be ready for planting immediately after Easter weekend) • Finishing the mailing list for postcards that need to be mailed prior to the official wide-release date for my historical fiction series • Updating my next newsletter with my new logo and making final changes so I can send it early next week • Business paperwork and household files on my desk space that's supposed to be reserved for writing • Finding a new location to store the contents of one of our closets stacked in the hall after converting that closet to office supplies last week • A dozen or more little things I want to accomplish before our family heads to California for Easter
Yet, I avoided them all upon my late wake time and chose to read someone else’s post this morning. The struggles I shared in my last post still linger and I find myself once again needing to choose my battles.
Then Sara reminds me in her post HOW TO GAIN FREEDOM THROUGH CHRIST IN THREE STEPS of the key! Of course I know the things she shared. But I needed the reminder.
Because I’m not feeling free lately. I’m feeling bound by so many things that the effort to take even the first step feels like breaking free of literal chains.
A glance out my bedroom window reveals a sunny day, birds feeding at their usual place. Later wild bunnies will frolic at the other side of my yard. I yearn for their freedom and know God has given them to me not to cage but to observe in their natural, intended state of freedom.
These animals know me and know my voice. When I go outside to fill the feeder, I hear them chatting to me. When we’ve had a few warmer days, the bird I rescued last year comes to say hello, perching closer to me than any of the other birds and we mimic each other.
I feel special and honored that no matter where that Phoebe bird went over winter, she returned to me. She remembered me. She talks to me and responds to my call.
She is free to come and go as God created her. Yet she has chosen to come back to our yard, preparing the same nest she hatched from last year and had at least one set of bird babies in.
If one of her babies happens to fall from its nest again, will she trust me to feed it and keep it warm until it’s able to fly?
Even the sparrows…
Yes, after a long winter of dormancy it’s time for me to be free again. Free to set aside my piles and spread my wings and seek Christ to energize me so I can have the strength to minister to others regardless of what else is happening in my life.
You see, my dear sweet friend who shared those words with me after praying with me at the altar the Sunday before was smack in the middle of her own hardship. She’d almost lost her husband to a brain aneurysm less than two weeks earlier.
And the thing is, I WAS too lost to myself to even muster the energy to pray for either of them when I’d heard about it.
Call it condemnation or conviction, but her words stung.
If I’m ever to minister to their women I must be available in every way. I can’t allow my circumstances to be my excuse. I have women who reach out to me for prayer and I often feel unequipped to meet their need. I feel disconnected from God, distracted by that list or discouraged by the lack of evidence in the moment that Christ is my Lord and that I have the power to pray effectively.
But the birds remind me…
His mercies are new every morning.
And today I’ll do what I know. I’ll finish my second cup of coffee. I’ll get dressed in comfortable yet warm clothes. I’ll insert my wireless earbuds and play worship music and ask Jesus to put people on my heart to pray for as I tend to my tasks.
For today, I refuse to be lost to myself.
I refuse to give Satan one second of my day.
Tomorrow marks Palm Sunday. What better reminder of the One who refused to be lost to Himself and laid down His life for us all?