Living Upside Down

That I May Know Him.jpg

I apologize for the length of this - but these are words I sorely needed to write - and I pray there is a reason that God has prompted me to post these. Regular broadcasting will resume next time.  :)

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  Philippians 3:7-10

I’ve been living upside down.

Those are the words I wrote in my journal.

In fact, the past few blog posts have come, almost directly and unedited, from my journal pages.  I mean … why not be as honest with you as I can possibly be?

So, it should be pretty obvious that I’ve not been very happy lately.  I know - God doesn’t promise happy - but He does promise joy … and that emotion has been little seen around my house lately.

And I wanted to know why.

You see, I was stuck and didn’t want to be stuck anymore.

I felt like the caterpillar inching its way along barren ground, while occasionally getting a glimpse of something else that was supposed to be.  Once in a while, a butterfly would soar over my head, and all I could feel was bewilderment.  Wasn’t I meant to fly as well?

So, I did what I usually do.  Started reading.  I’ve already mentioned the books that have my attention right now.  If, Restless, Trust Without Borders …. plus my regulars - My Utmost for His Highest.  Listening to Abide prayers.  Reading Ann Voskamp.

I was trying to do the “right” things.  Journal my gratitudes.  Read my Bible.  Work on Scripture Art (which was most often directed at myself.) But I still felt …. empty.

It took a while for the realization to kick in.

And when it did - I was even less happy.  Not my desired effect - but the truth.

I’ve been living life upside down.

You may well ask what that means, and I’ll try to explain.

The book Restless, by Jennie Allen, has me busy journaling about myself in ways I’ve never done before.  She digs deep into our souls to help us figure out what in the world we should be doing with our lives … to understand the burning desires God puts in our hearts  … why we have the talents and abilities we do have - and how each of us is important in God’s plan.

I needed to hear that.  To know that.  But, she also has us look at what is getting in our way - blocking us from fulfilling God’s plans for us.

The first thing to hit me was in answer to a question she asked.  She posited that we can begin to see what we are here for if we look at the needs of those around us.

My first eye-opening revelation?

The only needs I really thought about anymore were mine.

I truly had to stop and think about the needs of those around me - because they had become fairly unimportant to me (how selfish!), as the uncertainties of my future increased.  

The distinct possibility of losing our family home, passed down from my parents to my husband and I, with the intention of it going to my son.  Facing having little money to live on.  The fact that I lose the insurance I had through my husband soon and, in a few months, may be either without insurance or have inadequate insurance. Losing my caretakers.  Not being able to keep up with needed repairs and even housework. All I could see in my future were more and more losses.  Haven’t I lost enough???

The fact that no doctors seem to be able to deal with my growing challenges discouraged me.  I don’t get phone calls returned when I try to get help.  So little energy to even get through the day - and the fear of being alone.

I began to worry.  To doubt God’s ability to take care of me.  I spiraled into panic attacks.  I knew that I flat out wasn’t trusting God - but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why.  I always had before.  He’s NEVER let me down.  What was stopping me from holding on to that?

When I saw the answer written in my journal I wanted to cry.

The reason I had begun to doubt God?  The reason I was no longer trusting Him?

I didn’t truly trust God because I didn’t really know God. I was not willing to suffer the loss of all things, in order to gain Christ.  Things had become more important than trusting God.

And I made the decision to trust me, instead.  Poor decision.

I had fallen away from believing the truths in the Bible, because I didn’t see how God could possibly handle all of the things I am facing.  I even began to doubt His existence.  I saw (and still do not see) any way out.

But, that’s ok.  Now.  

It sure didn’t feel that way then, though.

If it were possible for me to have fallen on my knees (and get back up again!), I’d surely have done so.  I had so much to confess to God.  

As my problems grew bigger and bigger, my view of God had grown smaller and smaller.

I still don’t understand why.  God has seen me through so very much.  He’s never failed me.  But, I allowed things to take root in my mind that had no business being there in the first place.  And it all began with subtle doubts that grew and grew and grew until they threatened to consume me.

It was as if I was living without God.  And in many ways, I think I was.

It’s a blessing that God doesn’t give up on us, even after we have given up on ourselves.  He pointed me in the direction I needed to go.  Showed me the words I needed.  Honored my feeble prayers.  

And, in the process, showed me that I needed to come clean with my beliefs - the ones I didn’t even know I had.  The subtle ones - the doubts that I believe the enemy plants, the words that so subtly drew me further and further away from God, until I knew, I couldn’t take a single step further away - or the me that I knew would be gone.

And then He lovingly drew me back with words from Hosea.

But then I will win her back once again.  I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.  I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.  She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.  When that day comes, says the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband; instead of ‘my master.’  Hosea 2:14-16

I had chained myself to the wrong master.  My own beliefs.

But God is breaking those chains and giving me new hope.  The future?  Nothing has changed for this world.  But, the possibilities are endless as I see the vastness of my God in a way I never did before.

Now, I’m not sure any of you will need to read these words.  I only know I needed to write them.  But maybe, just maybe one of you has been following  a false God - one that is much, much smaller than the one who loved us and died for us.  Maybe you didn’t even know.

But let my words give you hope.  He will never, ever stop trying to make you His own.

And now I know that.

And I’m living right side up again.


Today’s gift!

Free printable download of original artwork above.  Looks great when printed on yardstick or watercolor paper - like the real deal.  Enjoy!

8” x 10” That I May Know Him

4”x 6” That I May Know Him

2.5” x 3.5” - 8 mini’s on a page

Combo of all three

 © deni weber 2010-2015