It's an emotional week for me. Friday would have been Kevin's 35th birthday. One thing I have learned in this last, long, hard, cold winter of a year, is that the big days are never as emotional or tiring or stretching as the days leading up to and following the big day.
So I should have seen it coming. I should have known the enemy would be working overtime on me this week; sending his fiery darts of fear, comparison, insecurity, loss, and extreme emotions. It's been building for awhile. There's a bit of an ebb and flow with it, which I think is how satan likes it. If it was constant we would be more aware of what he is doing, but since some days seem so much better than others, we don't pay as much attention.
Insecurity is killing me slowly right now. OK, that might be dramatic, but it feels that way. I don't feel confident about anything (you probably noticed that in the last blog post or two.) I don't feel like I have that "one thing" that I am good at or passionate about that God is calling me to do. It feels like everyone around me does have that. Deep down, I know that isn't true. But I just can't seem to escape that feeling. It has come out most in making me feel like I have no place to belong. No group where I fit. No place that feels like home. I'll just make the confession now: This past Sunday was the first time, probably in all of 2017, that I've been to Sunday School. I haven't been back to the class we attended together since Kevin died. I just haven't been able to make myself go there for Sunday School without him. There are so many people in there and I feel so far behind them all in my knowledge and grasp of scripture. It's just too overwhelming. I started attending another class and it's a great class with great people. Married people. And I just feel dumb and useless there. They dig in and live truth and love well and I just don't fit. But I don't really fit in with the single ladies, either, because so many of them either don't have kids or have kids way younger than mine and it feels weird. And like there's just no place for me. This is not truth. This is a lie straight from the enemy. And it's hard to convince my heart and mind of this.
As my South Africa trip gets closer and closer, the reality of leaving my children behind with little or no contact with them has me reeling. I worry about whether they'll be worried about me. I worry about how much they overreact to things now, thanks to grief and seeing that I react the same way. There is just no peace. Yet, I know I am supposed to be on this trip. I was excited to be able to help the team by organizing the VBS we were going to do while there. Only, now we aren't doing the VBS and instead of working with elementary aged kids (which is the age group I work best with), we're working with teenagers (this age group makes me want to vomit from fear and intimidation.) I now feel lost and useless and question whether I made the right choice. Yet, I know I did. But satan wants me to feel unneeded, unskilled, and without peace so I'll truly be useless for the Kingdom. God can take this old woman, way out of her comfort zone, and teach her new things and give her a heart for things and people she's never known before. He can move and work in my kids while we're apart, even if they panic or are too loud or worry about me or miss me like crazy the whole time. If we will let Him, he will stretch and grow all three of us. I know this, but I don't always believe it.
Father, remind me of who You are this week. Remind me of Your truths this week. Remind me that You are bigger than a change in plans. Bigger than my fear of a classroom. Bigger than the lie that I am useless or dumb. Speak truth to me every day. Each time fear or doubt or insecurity comes to mind, push those thoughts out with Your Word. Your Truth. You can use even the smallest amount of faith. My children and I are always in the palm of Your hands. You love us. You made us in Your image. You protect us. You use us. You mold us and stretch us. Oh, Father, do mighty things in my heart, Sophie's heart, and Ethan's heart between now and when I get back from Africa. Increase our faith. Increase our hope. Increase our trust. Bring salvation to Ethan's soul. Make each of us passionate about Your word and those around us. Teach us that, though it's true we are weak and incapable on our own, we are powerful and useful because Your Holy Spirit is in us. Work through us, Lord. Make each of us more like You each day. Oh, Father, move. Do more than we could ever think, ask, or imagine. Open my eyes to see where You would have me fit. Where You would have me serve. Where You would have me learn. Lord, give me the eyes to see the emotional roller coaster coming, to see the enemy riding that roller coaster, and help me to put on my armor and be ready to dodge those fiery darts so I can focus on You and not let the emotions rule and reign. Lord, I want You to rule and reign. Everyday. In my heart. In my home.