Some days it just feels as if the challenges will never end. The disobedience seems constant, words like "no" and phrases like "I not gonna do it" seem to be what I hear the most, and my responses are not at all the reflection of Jesus that they should be. On days like this I just want to throw in the towel. I feel like telling my Little, "have it your way. I'm exhausted."
Last week there was a rather enormous load of temptation to act on that feeling. Halfway through what had been an extremely pleasant week my Little decided to strap me in and send me on one long exciting, emotional roller coaster. It felt like she just decided to dig her heels in and go to war. It wasn't one of those weeks where I thought to myself, "This was so great! Let's have another week like this soon." Faaaaarrrr from it.
BUT.........(and I'm so thankful there's a but).........
Through last week there was also a rather enormous load of learning that went on. A whole lot of dying to myself and having glaring reminders of my need for grace. A whole lot of seeing my precious daughter's desperate need for a Savior. And a whole lot of rest and relief that came when I finally realized, again, that I don't have to strive within myself. I have Jesus. I have the Holy Spirit within me. And I have a Father who says that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. All the bubble baths, cups of coffee, naps, tears and chocolate in the world can never give the relief that does.
I'm so thankful that weeks like last week are not weeks lived in vain. Though they are weeks that feel brutal, they are weeks that yield beautiful fruit, stronger perseverance, and more deeply rooted hope if we are faithful to use them as the instruments they are. Though they are weeks where we may feel like we are in the boxing ring and on the verge of hearing "1,2,3, you're out!" called on us, they are weeks where the Lord reveals Himself to us in gentle, powerful, strengthening ways. He reminds us that the goal isn't that we get to run around with our fists raised in the air pumping to the Rocky theme, but the goal is that we are made more like Him and we make much of Him.
I'm eager to share the other bits of my heart on all of this, but I'm going to wait. It'd be quite the long read if I didn't. So, more to come, my friends.
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