‘Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’ (James 4:8)
It’s not a bad thing to go through trials, although at the time it doesn’t seem great, it’s these times that usually bring you out stronger. I’m not necessarily talking about motherhood, but any given situation. Sometimes we feel like we are fading, but the important thing is that we recognise this. Sometimes we have expectations that may not necessarily be met. Or perhaps sometimes we feel that expectations of us are too much for our heads to deal with.
Recently I had a ‘moment’. I was exhausted from the week, I’m in the early stages of pregnancy, my body is mostly being dragged from one place to another whilst with my best motivation I am trying to be the mother I aspire to be to my 2 and 3 year old. It probably didn’t help being the first week back in nursery school and the new routine, which I actually love, but it’s just another ‘thing’ to add on to the list of ‘to do’s’. Such as, uniforms, lunches and all that stuff. The thing is I’ve begun to realise that it wasn’t just these things that were causing my ‘moment’. I’ve started to reflect on different situations through the last few weeks and it has occurred to me that I’ve been battling with all sorts of external pressures in the world that little by little weigh you down. However what I also realise is that we are the ones who can make the decision all by ourselves to turn these pressures into mere fluttering thoughts, rather than pressures that become constant analytical thoughts to a point that literally just drives us mad! The problem is, when you are in a situation like this, where something is really bothering you, the negativity seeps in, the over analysis takes control and you forget how to turn these external worldly pressures into fluttering thoughts that can basically go and do one! For some reason, the times when you need to release your fears and let go to Jesus become weirdly difficult. It’s as if the motivation just slips away, and then frustration sets in because you know that as it says in James 4:8, when you draw near to God he will draw near to you. So, how can we help ourselves in this battle with demotivation during times where we become a little, let’s just call it ‘lost’, or a little ‘blinded’?
As a nurse, when I studied in university it was always drummed into us to reflect, reflect, reflect!!! The first year of my studies we had to write 3 reflections per placement. Most of us felt it was a little mundane. However, by Year 3 I actually began to get into this ‘reflection’ thing (yes it took pretty much the whole degree) and started to see the benefits of writing about my experiences and how we can learn from them, what we would change, could do better, Gibbs reflective model, Driscoll cycle and many more.
So I believe that writing down and reflecting on your experiences, situations, answered prayers and anything else that would be beneficial to you for reflection in the future, such as written prayers, positive situations, reoccurring patterns, could be really important, and may be a very useful way of helping us to understand what is happening at the time of our ‘moment’.
The reason I came to this conclusion was because I was feeling weak from all the pressures surrounding me, the negativity was weighing me down. I was trying to manage with all these things in my head without the one person I should have been throwing it all out to. Believe me, I was trying, but if I’m truly honest I started to think, what’s the point in all this, it really does horrify me to think this in my head let alone say it aloud! I know in my heart I don’t mean it, but my head, what with all the negativity and exhaustion was basically playing tricks with me and I was in a battle. I wanted to wake up on Sunday morning and just stay in bed all morning whilst my husband went to church with the kids. I wanted a break from the kids, a break from the busy week that had just passed me by, and break from getting out of bed! Seems like a fair comment? At the time, yes, but on reflection, now being out of that situation, nope! All I have to do is think about the sacrifice that has been made for us so that we can have eternal life.
I hadn’t written in my journal for about 5 weeks, then, today I picked it up and just started flicking through. There was so much in there to give me strength, prayer, past spiritual experiences, positivity, love, beautiful things about the kids, how I came to Jesus, wow, it’s a book of treasure! Not so much of a treasure as the bible, but a really sentimental book, and a great place for personal reflection. I would strongly recommend to keep on writing, or start if you haven’t already. Keep looking back and remembering your path and walk with Jesus.
The day I didn’t want to get out of bed, I did, I woke up, I prayed, and I actually realised that I needed to go, and I needed fellowship. Not only that, but they needed me. Not in a boastful way, but that morning in prayer I was given some insight to how a friend was feeling. They needed me, God had a plan for me that day in church, and I needed to be there, just like we all do.
Perhaps we all get a little blinded? Maybe we all need to take a look at what we are doing to strengthen our faith and relationship with God! Are we doing enough?
‘Walk by faith even when you cannot see.’ (2 Corinthians 5:7)