8.24.16

Happy Wednesday to you!

Today's post comes from a writer that is no stranger to this website. A few of her literary pieces have been featured previously on the blog. If you have not read Zelena's previous posts, check them out here. Also, do not forget to leave your thoughts on her message in the comment section below. 

Not many of you reading know me personally, so I'll give you some background on where my life stands before we get started on today's topic. I am a twenty-five year old, stay at home mom of one, soon to be two. I love the Lord, and he is the glue that holds my family together in the calm and in the storm. I've been married to my husband for two years. In that time our lives have shifted, what seems to be a million times. We've been below the poverty line and comfortable in the middle class. We've been surrounded by supportive loved ones and we've been loners with no one to make holidays feel cozy. We've been madly in love and on the brink of wanting divorce. Friends have fallen away, family members have passed, and we've even been shunned by a congregation of believers in Christ. We've experienced many ups and downs in our time together, and each of them has shown us what we're made of spiritually. Today I want to talk about recognizing God when Satan tries to steal the show.

Last week during my quiet time at home, I looked around and noticed that nothing in my house had been purchased by me... aside from the photos on the walls. I was so grateful for how the Lord had provided for my family in times that were heavy with uncertainty and loss. I remembered praying that God would give us a home in a nice neighborhood, furniture to make it feel welcome, and all the simple things to make it function well. I prayed that prayer 8 months ago when we relocated to Georgia from Maryland, in obedience to the Holy Spirit. We had no direction or possessions. Three short months ago, we moved out of a sketchy neighborhood, into a cozy home that was quickly furnished by several kind people just trying to get rid of things. We were given living room furniture, kitchen table and chairs, a bedroom set, and many other things to fill our empty new home. Each one of these gifts were stained, scraped, or worn in some way. We couldn't care less about their condition because they were now things that we could call ours. They were pieces God used to bless us when we couldn't afford to buy anything to fill the emptiness. 

This week I received an email to alert me that I had entered my 30th week of pregnancy. It reminded me that my baby shower was fast approaching. It sparked a conversation with my best friend about what was to be expected at the shower. I told her that I doubted it would be anything like the kind of baby showers we'd grown accustomed to because it was being held at church and would be very short. I told her there wasn't going to be any "real food" and that I wasn't sure there would be any of the traditional games either. She suggested that we try to bring our own flare to the event and add some things that we were used to. Until that point, I didn't really allow myself to want anything for my baby shower. I didn't feel like I had the luxury of expressing anything I wanted due to my humble living situation. I told her there wouldn't be time for our suggestions and that I was simply grateful to be having a shower at all. 

Just as I began to hone in on my feelings of gratitude, a slight sense of self pity eased its way into my mind. I started to wonder why I always had to just be grateful for anything I could get instead of being able to want things and it be alright for me to have them. I thought of how sometimes I feel like I shouldn't say how I feel about things because I'm low class and people won't hear what I have to say anyway. I thought of how nice it would have been to pick out furniture for my home instead of having to settle for hand-me-downs. All of these thoughts bubbled up inside of me, telling me that I was a worthless charity case. The bubble slowly worked its way to my eyes and rolled uncontrollably down my cheeks. 

The Holy Spirit stepped in at that moment and helped me remember that God has kept me humble my entire adult life so that I could see him in every blessing. I've watched the Lord sustain me in every kind of circumstance and have been blessed to have him with me. Satan took something meant to bless my family and be a happy occasion, and tried to turn it into a reminder of my lowly status in life. He tried to devalue God's faithfulness and provision for my family, by telling me it wasn't good enough. He tried to make me believe that I somehow deserved more than what God has allowed me to obtain, when in reality I don't deserve anything I have at all. He tried to steal the spotlight that was reserved for God in my life. I'm ever grateful for the aid of the Holy Spirit in my time of forgetfulness. He helped me see that no matter how my life looks in comparison to other people's lives, I am blessed to have the lord by my side. I've done nothing to deserve even my life, yet I enjoy the richness of family, daily bread, and the Father's agape love. Be careful of letting Satan sit where God belongs in your life. He will rob you of your peace and screw up your perspective. What God has for you is for you, so when it comes be most grateful that you were worth a blessing in his eyes.

Live

Abundantly!

Philippians 4:11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.