Friday, April 25, 2014

God Whispers Don't Give Up

Hey Friend,
 
Can I be honest for a moment or two?  Well over a year ago I started this blog.  I felt impassioned and knew without a doubt that this is what God wanted me to do.  He inspired me and encouraged me personally and through others to pursue my lifelong dream of wanting to write...and what better topic than sharing my faith walk with others. 
 
So began a journey that took me down roads of personal reflection and spiritual growth.  I feel like I've built a community with those across the globe who read my blog...my randomness.  Just saying "across the globe" is in and of itself pretty amazing when I really think about it. 
 
Recently, however, I've been plagued with doubts about whether what I am doing is really making a difference.  Does anyone really care about what I have to say?  Am I truly reflecting God's thoughts or am I merely mining from my own words?  The newness and the accolades have long worn off and I find myself in a personal sea of doubt and lack of direction.  Do I keep persevering or do I give up and throw in the towel? 
 
It didn't help that after last week's post there were no comments.  I always have said that I write to an audience of One...but my humanness creeps in and I admit to seeking approval or at least acknowledgement from those who read what I write.  I know, pretty self-absorbed.  Combined with some slow readership weeks, I began to doubt myself, my skill as a writer, my voice as a Christian, my purpose.  Yes, I guess I was having my own little meltdown.  I was ready to give up...put down the pen...throw in the towel...quit.
 
I prayed to God and asked Him what He wanted me to do?  As is often the case, God was silent.  Nothing clear was coming.  I just managed to wallow deeper in my puddle of confusion.  I read scripture and nothing resonated with me or gave me an "Ah-hah!" moment. 
 
Yesterday, Thursday (my usual day to post) I had a bad day...I mean a REALLY BAD DAY!  It was a Murphy's law - if it can go wrong, it will today - kind of day.  I felt grouchy, melancholy, frustrated, fatigued and fed up with life.  The last thing I felt like doing was writing an inspirational blog post.  I felt far from inspired and so I just let my laptop sit.  "Go ahead...collect dust.  See if I care," I said to my computer with disdain. Bedtime couldn't come soon enough.
 
This morning I got up at my usual 5 am. and had my quiet time and devotions time.  I felt half-hearted at best.  My laptop beckoned.  Ok, let's look at some unimpressive numbers I thought.  I opened up an "overview" graph on my blog that tracks the number of pageviews on my blog by the day, week, month, etc.  There amidst a Sahara desert flat line of pageviews, stood the Mt. Everest of daily pageviews.  On Thursday, April 24 (my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day) my blog registered the highest day ever in visits to my blog.  The total was three times my previous high. 
 
Immediately, I knew that God was telling me, "Don't give up!"  There was no other explanation other than God was emphatically whispering..."press on...don't give up now."  Just because my plans and expectations had been sidetracked, didn't mean that God's had been.  His timing is always perfect.  His will cannot be thwarted.  He, indeed, is sovereign.  Even in my desert experiences, I need to abide in Him and wait upon Him for whatever He chooses to orchestrate through me.  I learned that giving up is like giving up on God and He is so much more faithful than that!
 
We all need encouragement to press on.  If you could, would you share a time when you know that God was encouraging you not to give up...but to instead press on?  We need to know your story...it matters!!
 
Thank God, and thank you for your faithfulness!
 
In His love,
 
Bev 
 
ps. If you don't have a Google acct., to leave a COMMENT select "Anonymous" under profile options and you should be able to leave a comment. 
 
 
 
 

18 comments :

  1. Enjoyed your post. New reader here.

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    1. Nancy,
      Just wanted to extend a little southern hospitality and say, "Welcome!" It's so nice to have a new reader. I invite you to browse around the archives...and stay awhile :)
      Blessings to you,
      Bev

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  2. Hi Bev! How nice to find your blog today!
    I think what you are feeling is so common to us bloggers...we hope we'll have something to say that is worthy of someone reading it. And I don't know about you, but writing is hard and scary too!
    I've been blogging for almost a year myself, and sometimes it's hard to think I am making a difference anywhere.
    But...if God calls us to it, he will haul us through it. So you keep writing!!

    Nice to meet you!
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil,
      Interesting that you would find my blog on a day that I was sharing my meltdown. It is, however, encouraging to hear that I am not alone...that other writers wonder if what they are saying makes a difference. Blogging/writing is scary business. I always pray before I hit "publish". Thank you so much for the encouragement to keep writing. I will have to come over and check out your blog. Blessings to you sister-writer!!
      Let's keep on together,
      Bev

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  3. Hello, sweet friend. I so often think of you and God tells me to pray for you. I miss you. Like really miss you which is so amazing when you then realize we haven't even met in person yet. Oh, how I get those days of questioning this whole writing thing but God does have His way of revealing Himself to you and telling you to keep pressing on. It actually happened to me last week when multiple readers had reached out to me in different ways. God's hand was so clearly there in each act of kindness. Your words matter to me, Bev. They inspire and encourage me. Most of all, I'm so grateful to call you friend and I know one day we will have the change to hug each other.
    Much love and (((hugs))),
    Beth

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    1. Hi Beth,
      Thank you so much for your voice of encouragement. From the beginning I felt a connection with you and I have missed you too! I pray for you daily as you wait out this deployment and inspire me with your ability to live with joy. God has been so gracious in lifting me up and encouraging me to press on through friends like you reaching out! So blessed to be able to call you friend...still looking forward to that cup of coffee in person!
      Love and ((BIG HUGS)),
      Bev

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  4. Hi Bev,

    I had some good things happen last week, but for the last two months, both boys have gotten up separately almost night, they are too tired, won't nap, and had a meltdown week. They also have attachment issues. I was extra exhausted, and frustrated from meltdowns, I was feeling so unqualified to be the boys mm and saying Lord, I can't raise the boys, You had to have made a mistake. For Thursday night, I had agreed to substitute for another facilitator for the ministry I am involved in. That particular night, because of all of the things that happened before and during the night, was particularly challenging. A student after class talked to me, and she has been involved with daycare for years. I don't even know what started the conversation, but I found myself telling her what my life is like at home, and it is very tough with boys who have attachment issues. She validated me, and I did cry some. My older of my two boys has been accepted in a charter school that I have turned over to the Lord telling Him it is up to Him whether Dalton gets in while Dalton is in school. I had a chance to read a little from a book on attachment and felt encouraged. Today, during a birthday celebration, my sister-in-law watched my boys and I had a break, and even though I still feel extremely tired from a 5 hour round trip drive, I still feel refreshed because of some pockets of encouragement.

    Bev, your devotion did speak to me, I just felt as though my brain was in a fog. I was tired enough last week that forming words was a challenge. After class I had a hard time remembering words for conversations, and the students who I talked with after class did a little teasing, but I came right out and said I was having a hard time having command of the English language.

    Your blog speaks to me all of the time and I would more than miss it.

    Hugs,

    Joanne

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    1. Dear Joanne,
      More than anything, when I don't hear from you, I worry (I'm good at that). I had a feeling that things were trying for you. I really don't know how you do it - having two little boys. I know as I get older my energy and patience diminishes. I daily pray for you for strength and energy in order to keep up with your perpetual motion charges!! I'm glad you got a little bit of a break. I wish I lived closer so I could relieve you for a "shift". Thank you so much for your encouragement to press on. I guess I had my own little meltdown...but God IS faithful! Know that you are in my continuing thoughts and prayers!!
      Blessings and ((Hugs)),
      Bev

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    2. Thank you SO much for your prayers. I think of you everyday when I relish my cup of coffee. My energy is not what it once was either. Thank you for being concerned! The hardest with the boys is how much unhealthy attachment creeps up into everything, everyday: sleep, or more lack of it, responding to me and meltdowns, willingness to follow directions, fear of being abandoned, even though we have had them in our home for three years, having to control in the most strange ways, etc. (I have been doing a lot of learning because I just did not understand what was going on with my boys) The type of attachment the boys have follows from the last attachment from their biological mom. I am right now working on reading several books written on attachment and creating healthy bonding, I know Jesus directed me to these books. I know this will pay off, but this is a lot of work now, and will continue to follow down the road when new situations remind them of some insecurity of being adopted. Grateful to know this now.

      Bev, I really do understand the feeling of "is what I am doing making a difference?" am I doing anything of significance?" when I am seeing no real progress or just constant misbehavior, (that's a trait of unhealthy attachment) or I am living in a mess, (a literal one) When we were renovating like you are, and moving everything so the workmen could get at the space to do the work, I felt more unsettledness. We were not moving anyone INTO our home like you are either. Even though the renovations will be worth the mess, it's the living in-between. You do have a few things on your plate with your son's diagnosis, moving home, married, husband moving in, renovating, mess, decisions of renovating, daughter, then just put the blog in there too. You are so full of grace for us despite your own home situations. Writing your blog, and then having the insight for answers takes it's own gift. I a grateful!

      Hugs,

      Joanne

      Feedback is so important in the blogging world for you to know if anyone is being impacted in a real way. I know you are doing this for an audience of one, but human feedback is important too.

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    3. Joanne,
      You are a true sweetheart and I think that we encourage each other on in our "messy lives". Praying for answers, wisdom and discernment in your boys attachment issues. Will lift you up to our Father in prayer! Counting you among my blessings!
      Hugs,
      Bev

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  5. Bev,
    I hope this isn't too wierd for me to admit, but there have been times when reading your blog (and others'), that i completely forget to leave a comment! Yup, that is my wonderful brain in "non-action" - oy! So please don't feel bad. And i'm so happy that God has confirmed to you that you do need to INDEED keep writing! Your words are always so timely for me and i always learn something. And you know i can relate.

    God has been working in my life over the past 5 years, i know you know that, but your other readers do not....... I have wanted to "just quit" so many times and just stay in bed with the covers over my head! But, through faithful friends and family and many wonderful prayers said on my family's and my behalf, i am slowly healing and i give the glory to God!

    Thanks for writing so well, God has certainly given you a gift, my friend.

    Big hugs to you!

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    1. Lisa,
      Not weird at all. With all you have going on, I admire you for still standing!! I feel badly for my little pity party. Just more evidence that the enemy knows how to push my buttons and leave me feeling doubtful. You have been SUCH and encouragement since the very beginning and that means the world to me!! You are healing and your life is such a testimony. God is truly bringing beauty from ashes in your life and I stand in awe!! Thanks for sharing your story!! I feel so blessed to call you friend!
      Love you girl,
      Bev

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  6. Dear Bev,
    last week I was down, really down. I knew I should answer you on your post but I didn't know what to write. My cousin married friday and our last week was filled with planning. But most of all I supposed a feeling in you, you wrote about. I'm so sorry for this! I have no doubts that your writing is from God and through His power. You helped me so much in so many and so different ways. Please never stop this. Actually I'm thinking and praying a lot about heavenly gifts and my abandonment. And while thinking about mine I thought that praying and teaching and speaking all these wise words are a heavenly commission of you. Let me hug you tight across the ocean and know that your heart is still in my prayers.
    Love,
    Sonja

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    1. Dear sweet Sonja,
      I am so sorry to hear that you were really down. Just know that when I don't hear from you, I am truly concerned! I pray for you all the time and it's OKAY to write and say that you are really having a lousy week...I want to know your story be it good, bad or ugly. I'm sure it was joyful yet hard for you with your cousin's marriage. I know the desire of your heart and I pray that God would make that a reality. You are really important to me...thank you so much for your continual love and encouragement. God has been so faithful in relieving me of my doubts. The enemy really goes for the jugular, but God wins in the end!
      Love you friend,
      Bev

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  7. Bev,

    It's Too Soon to Quit! This is a title to a book that I read sometime ago. I too have those moments when it seems no one even knows that I exist. We can always look around and say to ourselves well at least I don't have it as bad as ___________ (fill in the blank). Several years ago I had such a yearning to create my own blog. However, I haven't had time to learn the process. Instead, I thought why not read what others have written. You can always leave a comment on their blog because so often we share the same emotions. I don't know how to blog but I know how to read others so please be encouraged. As you remember, I was the one whose name was drawn for that beautiful give a way from Dayspring. The cup with Isaiah 40:31 with the word WAIT. Wow what a tremendous gift it was and yes the timing was God's perfect time. I will share with you that I had my own personal meltdown when I moment I opened the box containing this precious cup. God gave me help through you on that January night when I had the flu, my husband didn't give me the care I needed and in two short days his dad passed away. January was one tough month for me but because of God's timing with your words and actions, I was lifted up. Please be encouraged and remember we all do life together and sometimes those days will come when we feel less important but know this, you are important and your work does matter.

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    1. Anna,
      Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am so sorry that you went through such a difficult time, but I am glad that the mug couldn't have been better timed. God has a wonderful way of crossing out paths and just at the right moment we are able to offer, even a small gesture, to lift others up. So glad God has brought you alongside me to do life together. I TRULY appreciate your encouragement. I have recuperated from my meltdown and will not be quitting. I think I just needed a reminder that I need God and I need others - that I cannot do this alone. I confess that I got myself the same mug and I think of you when I sip my coffee from mine :)
      Blessings and Hugs,
      Bev

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  8. Hi Bev,
    I am a new reader and here to also encourage you not to give up writing your blog. You have encouraged me to do the same in my walk with the Lord. I am not a blog writer, but love to read encouraging and honest blog posts.
    I know that God has everything under control, but I still question how and what His will is. I'm so thankful He knows what is best, and I continue to praise Him for a new day. Blessings to you!

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    1. Dear New Reader,
      Welcome to my blog...so glad you stopped by!! You are evidence to me that God can use our "meltdown moments" to minister to, and encourage others. Yes, you will usually find that I am very honest and real. I personally feel like we rob God when we don't tell our stories. In our weakness, God can be glorified. Amen to your comment that God has everything under control! I invite you to browse around and come back often! Again, welcome and blessings to you!
      Bev

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