Die to self

Lately I have been very discouraged. Life seems to pile up on me. Being a single Mom can be heavy, being a single Mom of a child with special needs can be even more exhausting. Especially when half my energy goes to defending my rights as a mother and protecting my child from his unhealthy, abusive Father. When I read books about freedom from domestic violence their best advice is to leave the relationship. I did so almost a decade ago and somehow it continues. Sometimes I feel as though God over slept. I feel angry and bitter and that I some how don’t count when the system set up to protect me looks the other way, or worse treats me like an inconvenience when I reach out for help. Coupled with the crushing loneliness of chronic pain and fatigue.
I hear people say “give it to God”, “drop it at the foot of the cross”, “let go and let God”, but when I am tired and my whole body has a migraine I can’t seem to shovel my issues to the cross fast enough. And some days I can’t fathom even lifting the shovel. I begin to say and do things I’m not proud of, and around and around the cycle of shame I go. Even on the good days I’m fearful, believing that I’m operating on borrowed energy and soon I will incur a penalty for holding on too long. Feeling trapped by seemingly impossible roadblocks I begin to wish everything would just end. Sometimes in passing, like when my dog craps on the rug for the second time in a day, I say things like “Kill me now” and in times of unbearable loneliness I wish it would all just end “Lord just take me! I can’t take this anymore!”
God showed me this morning that he has already granted me that wish, by giving me salvation through the gift of His sacrifice. He died for me so that my sins could die too. He took my death on the cross and He bore that pain, He carried that heavy burden. He died so I could be born again, a new creation, when I gave my heart to Him I died to myself. “let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV).
Jesus came that I might have life, and have it abundantly. For me that means living with the freedom and assurance of knowing that I am so deeply loved, even when no one is looking. Even when I feel forgotten or think that I don’t matter. And when fear has overcome me I remind myself that I’m not as alone as I feel. He has set a path before me. He will give me provisions and protection as we make this journey together. He reminds me I am called and I have a purpose and just because its hard doesn’t mean it doesn’t count or that it’s not worth the effort. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:16-17 NIV). He reminds me I won’t feel this way forever, this is not my end, He has plans for me. Just because I can’t see beyond the next page doesn’t mean He hasn’t written the next chapters of my life. I won’t experience the joy and see the miracles he has set for me if I turn and run down the rabbit hole of self-hatred, self-pity and angry pride that leads me to believe that my life, according to me, should be easier. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18 NIV). I must remind myself when I feel like giving up that this life is not my own. He has made me “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17) and I walk by faith and not by sight.

Leave a reply