As y'all can see, I haven't written a Name of the Week for this week. And I'm not. Partly because I have no idea what name to do--and mostly because I have something even better that I want to share. I would've liked to have posted this earlier, but time did not permit. I'll try to be brief so that you can get on with your day (or night), and I'll try not to be sappy and pitiful.
But I realized something yesterday, and I wanted y'all to know.
I have never thought that I was one of those people who, well, limited God. Who assumed that He had better things to do or didn't care about them. Who stayed distant because maybe, just maybe, He wasn't really there. And I still don't think that I am. I know that I don't think that way. I know that God has preordained every situation, every moment, and every person on this earth, and that He works in miraculous ways to bring all of these things together for such a time. I know that He has orchestrated the most mundane or insane of events to bring another sheep into a fold, another soul into Heaven. I know and I believe these things.
But have I applied them to my everyday life? No. I know that God has used me in other people's lives to affect them and that every choice I make and everything that I do changes--either positively or negatively; that's up to me--another person and their life.
But I haven't put myself in the affected person's position before.
Is that because I've limited God to working in everyone else's lives and not mine? I don't know. All I know is that you can never limit God.
I had a hard time Saturday evening. I won't go into detail, because I know I'll end up sounding totally pathetic (I am, in all honesty), but suffice it to say that I cried my eyes out and had a little pity-party all by myself. We all have issues and we all have dark moments, and I was just in one of them. They usually pass by morning, and it was looking like this one would.
I whined about my issues and my self-worth and my yadda, yadda, yadda, before I capped my pen (figuratively, of course) and came to the realization that I needed to stop depending upon other people, what they (or I) think, and the idea of having that great someone (aka, a husband) who just solves all my problems. I needed to be whole not just in Christ, but with Christ.
So I dried my eyes and starting writing. I was in Daisy's point-of-view, and Daisy has problems (which is a story for another book...literally). Her problems and one particular instance that I was writing led me to Psalm 69. I'd saved this passage because it fit my character/story, but I hadn't had a chance to include it until then. I was reading over it as I copied and pasted it into the chapter, and that kind of rocked me again, even though I'd thought my "moment" was over.
“But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.”
I dwelled on the Scripture for a minute, then I finished writing and (I thought) moved on.
I just had a bad night Saturday. Didn't sleep good. Felt nauseous.
I woke up and it was Sunday. Nothing had changed. Not only did I feel sick to my stomach, but I kept replaying everything that I'd felt that night over and over in my mind. I was, to put it frankly, miserable, but I got dressed, calmed down, got over my mood, and went to church.
The sermon yesterday was titled "Check Your Attitude." The main idea was that we, as Christians, need to have an attitude that reflects Christ. It was a confirmation of what my mom had said the day before, but some of the points the pastor made about self-worth hit me square in the face. I'll be honest and say that I can hardly remember all that he said and what transpired, but sermons have rarely ever spoken to me so powerfully. Tears were streaming down my face as a church member began to sing at the end of the service. I didn't know the song and I can't even remember what it was about, but the tears just started falling harder.
That's when it hit me.
I'd pretty much resigned myself to, you know, going through my bad moods and PMS. Say a prayer. Get over it. But the preacher preached directly to me. He'd probably planned the thing a week before and been rehearsing it when I was crying my eyes out. The song yesterday touched my heart as though it was written for me in that moment, but the man singing had probably picked out the song two weeks ago, and Lord only knows who wrote it and when.
Then I came home, and, y'all, I was finishing up a Christian fiction scavenger hunt (my first one, and not coincidentally, I believe) and at Stop #26, author Hannah Currie wrote about anxiety. It had to do with her latest novel, in which the main character struggles with anxiety, but again, I felt God hand-delivering that post to me.
I can't really put into words all that was going on in my head yesterday or make it relatable to everyone else, but this was what resonated within me:
He will move mountains for you.
He will have the pastor preach directly to you. He will have a stranger sing a song that speaks to you. He will have an author you've never even read before write a post for you. He will do whatever it takes to make His glory known and His love for you evident.
It's an elementary concept, and I can't say that it's taken me this long to learn it. I think that it's just taken this long for me to see it. We all need to be reminded that, yes, the Creator of every living thing cares about you, and He is so big and so great, just like the children's song says, that He is able to make Himself known to a million people at the same time. He'll arrange sermons, songs, and blog posts for one girl on a Sunday morning and, at the same time, arrange a letter and an encounter with a stranger for a dying man across the country. He'll arrange a doctor's visit and a Bible verse for one young man, while He's working in your life. He'll bring an orphan and a childless couple together, a missionary and a whole country together, a nation and a president together, a harvest of souls into the Kingdom, and still move a molehill for the teenage girl who made it into a mountain.
He will move mountains. He's moving some right now--maybe even an entire range, just so one person can see Him. That's how powerful He is, how in control He is, and how loving He is. So maybe you know that. Or maybe you don't. Maybe you've been limiting God to COVID and the presidential election. Maybe you've forgotten that He cares about you, stressed with work or worried about bills, consumed by an emotion you can't even pinpoint, anxious about something that may never happen. Maybe you've forgotten that both our purpose and God's purpose is to make His glory a beacon of radiance across the galaxies--and if it takes moving that one annoying molehill in your otherwise wonderful life, then He'll do it.
And you know what's even better than having a mountain or a molehill moved in your life? Being the instrument He uses to move one in someone else's. If you're not struggling with anything at the moment, if your family is healthy and your bills are paid and you're happy as can be, then surrender yourself to the call of the Holy Spirit and preach that sermon, sing that song, write that post, send that letter, make that call, give that money, say those words. Don't be the one who says "no" or "maybe later" when He asks you to help move a mountain. He'll find someone else to do it--because He will move that mountain. Or that molehill. Or even that speck of dust. Whatever it takes to bring you to your knees and to this realization: He loves you.
And not because of anything. Not despite something. Love doesn't work like that. Love covers all. Love conquers all. Love doesn't hinge on because or despite or if or when or something you do or don't or how "worthy" you think you are. Love doesn't change. It doesn't move. It doesn't weaken. Love grows stronger. Love covers more. And I'm not talking about acceptance, which hinges on a because. Love isn't "because you're different," "because you're white," "because you're black, "because you're gay." Love isn't even "because you're my mama," "because you love me," "because you provide for me," "because you're my child."
God is not confine to a because. You have nothing to do with it. What you do or say or think or believe does not change that fact that He loves you. And He will do anything it takes to introduce you to His soul-changing love--the love that will make you feel worthy, even though you're not. The love that will make you become worthy, so that when you stand before Him in Heaven, you stand there as His child, a joint-heir and equal with Christ.
And I hadn't intend to get on that tangent, but it's true. It's something we all (including me) wrestle with, whether it's once in our life or every day. He loves you, and He will move the mountains in your life, even the one looming before you called Mt. Self-Worth.
I know I said I'd keep this brief, and, believe me, I tried--but maybe this is the blog post that helps move a mountain.