Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~I’m Worn~ February 4, 2014

As you know from my previous post, this girl was dealing with some junk.  All of my demons that I thought I had under control decided to rear their hideously ugly heads in unison…they’re thoughtful like that.  So I made a break for it.

While I’m sure curiosity has gotten the best of some of you; the specifics of where I went, for how long, etc; those minor details have little to no bearing on what was accomplished in my time of solitude so keeping them to myself.

I do intend to share over time things that were revealed to me during the quiet, but I wanted you all to know where I started.

Worn.

I was worn.

There is one particular verse in the song I shared that sums it up:

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Crazy, isn’t it?  How can someone who seems to have it all together from the outside be a hot mess on the inside?!  That answer is easy, I like to call it repressor-itis, (not a word but it fits).  This would be the disease that takes over your life when you choose to cram all of your emotions, struggles & malfunctions down really deep where you think no one can see them, not even God.

I had somehow managed to place the most unrealistic expectations on my life all while convincing myself that it was everyone else who had set the demands.  The standard of excellence that I had was so high that I constantly found myself falling short, way short.  I felt like a failure, a liar and a hypocrite.  The worst part is that I was taking it out on everyone around me.  After all, it was their fault I felt this way.  That is when I knew that it was time for an intervention…with Jesus.

When I allowed myself to really stop and reflect on all of my baggage, I realized that the problem wasn’t everyone else, it was me.  And I didn’t like that, not at first anyway.  Admitting that the issues where internal was hard because it meant that I couldn’t place the blame on anyone other than me.  Then it was like a little light went off somewhere in the very deep, very dark recesses of my mind.  If the problem is within me, then it is within my ability to repair it.  With the help of the Lord, of course.  Because people let me tell you, this girl has so many major malfunctions that a team of shrinks, pastors and self-help gurus would flee if they caught a glimpse of all the crazy that’s going on in my head.  But Jesus, He’s got this.  There is not one thing about me that He can’t handle.

And for the first time in a long time, I breathed a little easier.  Do I feel like the battle is over, um, no.  I do believe that the worst is behind me.  I must admit that I was terrified to be alone at first, I was scared of what I might discover.  Here comes the kicker.  What I discovered is that I kind of like me.  Not the me that I try to convince everyone that I am, the “I-got-it-all-figured-out-church-lady-who-never-needs-anything-from-anyone.”  I’m talking about the real me that most people have never seen.  You know what else I remembered?  I enjoy reading…and dancing…and singing…and letting the sun hit my face just right…and listening to silence…and laughing, out loud!  And I didn’t feel guilty, not one bit, that I can enjoy being away from my kids.

So, in a nutshell, there it is.  The truth.  You may be a little disappointed to know these things about me.  Or maybe you will feel a little liberated yourself.  Because if “super mom”, (as some of you nut jobs have dubbed me), can be a bit more forgiving of herself, then maybe you can too.

For those of you who have been crazy with worry…it’s ok…I’m back 🙂  A new and improved version of the girl you thought was long gone.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”

(Psalm 71:20-21 NIV)

 

~Overwhelming Victory (&Football)~ April 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:04 am
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boystackle

My 2 boys going for a tackle!

I am a football fan.  It would probably be fairly accurate to say that I am a full fledged fanatic.  I love the game at every level.  I’m the wild woman in the stands at my sons little league games; the intent listener during the radio broadcast of Friday Night Football; the screaming lunatic who unleashes all sorts of fury at the ref on television when my team is down in the 4th.

So when our small town high school team traveled to the state championship game last fall, this chic was over the moon!  They were the least likely to win, (at least according to their opponents).  It was a nail-biter of a game, but our guys came out on top.  Despite the obstacles they faced: fighting off the nay-sayers, pushing past physical pain, sacrificing of their time & talent; overwhelming victory was theirs for the taking.

Not unlike my hometown football team, we are often the underdogs in this life.  We face trial after excruciating trial that leads us to doubt that a victory will ever be within our reach, especially one of overwhelming proportions.  We are pressed on every side by our burdens.  We in-turn allow ourselves to believe that these low-points in our lives are evidence that God has removed His hand from us.  We ask ourselves, how can a god who loves me permit these hardships?

Think of the people in your life whom you love.  Are those relationships free from difficulty and pain?  I highly doubt that they are.  Are the problems that you encounter with your loved ones caused by an absence of care and affection?  While it may sometimes be the case, most of the time it isn’t a lack of love that brings about trouble but life in general.  This also is true of our Lord and Savior.  He loves us with an everlasting love.  He keeps a watchful eye on His children and never allows us more than we are able to handle.  He isn’t sitting on his throne in heaven strategically placing hurdles in our path at an attempt to trip us up.  That is the work of our enemy, the evil one who works relentlessly at setting traps for us, hoping to steal our peace.    But as the above verse states, we have the promise of an overwhelming victory.  Another way of saying the same thing would be: a crushing defeat over our adversaries.  It is not a battle that can be won within our own abilities.  However, with Christ, who loved us enough to die for us, no feat is too great.

The next time you are faced with a challenge that seems impossible to move past, call upon the Lord and He will answer you.  Take heart in the words of 2 Corinthians 4, verses 8-10, from The Message

We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.”