I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. ~ Philippians 4:13-14
The first part of this verse I know pretty well. It is even on my computer at work. It surrounds me and it is one I remember more and more often these days when I am truly feeling beat up with nothing left to give or share.
It came to my mind to write a blog post with this as the subject yesterday while I was running wondering if I could go one more step. Asking God why am I feeling so off. When will I ever feel like me again. Will I ever feel like me again? I can't say I loved the response I got. Suffering is a part of life. Pick up your cross and carry it. It is Satan trying to knock you down. Make you feel weak and worthless. Make you doubt what you are able to do as he wants to stop you from this very thing you are struggling to do....run with me. Run with God.
You may not have the faith I do and that is okay. This message is perfectly fitted to you too. Negative self talk could be your translation. The I can't's taking away from the happy vibes of doing and when the tough days are coming out ahead of the good days, it is hard to see the good.
So today when I sat down to write this post I looked up the verse number again just to be sure I got it right and the second part jumped out to me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
Wow! I have read this verse so many times and yet this second part was buried somewhere in my mind not coming to the surface....or maybe God wanted me to really see it today.
Yet it was kind of you to share in my trouble.
Who is sharing in my trouble? I am running by shear determination. My whole body hurts. I have gained some pounds (totally thinking age and hormone related) and I feel just plan awful all around. I feel completely alone in this. Completely alone.
Who is sharing in my troubles when the depression and anxiety I live with daily is escalating?
Well, in a nutshell...there are a couple of trusted friends who I know share in my troubles. In fact, when I texted them this morning asking for prayers they were there immediately. If only we were all in the same state! But our friendship is so strong that the distance between Hawaii, Nebraska, and Illinois shrinks and I feel we are all around the same coffee table comforting each other along our own journeys. We all have struggles and we all need to be strengthened from time to time.
I am not alone. Most importantly, God is always by my side and He is always putting special people in my life to give me that sense of belonging and companionship I long for even if I am not always as grateful for it as I should be.
Somehow I need to find a way to take this ever present joy in my heart and convert it to a sense of happiness but the two are not one in the same. Maybe my heart will always be sorrowful and somehow I need to find a way to not let that define me in a negative way but to transform it into something positive.
I am changing in more ways than one but I still cling to the ideals of self-esteem that define me - the number of miles, the pace I nail, or the number on the scale - as much as I don't want these things to define me.
I am the rich man not willing to let go and follow Jesus completely....even if I really do want to let go. But as much as I try I can't see new or different metrics to measure my daily success or failures by....metrics to determine if I am on the right path, doing what I should be doing, growing how I should be growing. I am truly lost.
Why am I sharing this?
Because, I am not alone. There really is no way I can be the only 40-something year old lady feeling this way. Personally, I know others and know there are many more out there. Lost women feeling totally out of it with nothing left to give. I am not the only Martha looking for help.
But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him (Jesus) and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. ~ Luke 10:40-42
This bible verse is my stumbling block in life. There is so much to do and I do want to serve others after all, Jesus came to Earth to serve and asks us to do the same....even if this bible verse suggests otherwise. I get it, we should listen to Him as well but at the stake of doing nothing and not serving? I want to make Jesus dinner and tend to his needs AND I want to sit by his feet and listen to his stories. To learn. But how? I just don't get it.
And maybe if I finally get it I just may find the way to measure my progress each day with new metrics that fit a bit better versus ones focused on ego and pride (miles, pace, weight).