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On the Heights

November 13, 2008

“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights…”

-Habakkuk 3

Today life was hard.

I am tired of not handling things well. I don’t want to cry in the hall when my supervisor comes to comfort me and say, “Well, the parent meeting wasn’t THAT bad…I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?”

I bite my cheek until it hurts as I stand and talk to her, determined not to cry.

I have been crying for for most of the last two weeks – crying because I am so tired, crying because I have too much to do, crying because now that I’m working Amanda and I don’t talk as much as we used to and I don’t want to lose her, crying because I wish I made time to exercise like everyone else in my life, crying because I feel ugly next to my husband, who just lost all this weight. (And I’m MAD about it. Because I am mature. Obviously.)

Cry, cry, cry.

Crying about report cards that are due, crying that a parent accused me of being passive-aggressive, crying because I have no energy, crying because I don’t feel like there is enough of me to go around. Crying because I feel insecure about my blog and my stupid twitter.

Cry, cry. cry.

This morning I read Habakkuk 3. “Look,” says the writer, “no matter WHAT is going on – even if your crops fail and all your livestock die…NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, rejoice in the Lord.” I read it and I knew that verse was for me today. I felt that familiar prick in my gut as I read the words – the feeling I get when I know I need to land on a verse.

I threw my little Bible in my purse and kept pulling it out to read the verses today. “God,” I prayed as I read the words, “help me to rejoice in you today even though I really feel like giving up.”

The truth is, I still feel like giving up today. I am dead tired, and I feel like a terrible wife, mother, and teacher. I feel lame that I wrote a post about wanting a mom. I want to just crawl in bed and watch Hannah Montana all weekend while eating expensive take-out.

But THESE are the days when the rubber meets the road for me. When my faith is tested and I have to step out, even while crying, and say: “God, I am a mess. I feel awful. But I CHOOSE to rejoice in you. Please come and show me what that looks like right now.”

So. I will pray RIGHT NOW for Him to do that – right where I sit exhausted and depressed. He can come and fill me in this moment with His Presence.

I will choose to rejoice in my God.

Lord, I love you and I love your Word. Thank you for being my strength. You make my feet like the feet of a deer and enable me to go on the heights…up, up, up to where you are. I want to be with you. In the name of your Son, Amen.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2008 5:13 pm

    Sweet Jess, you so often say what I just can’t. You are totally honest here, and that blesses me. I was having to stir myself up with His Word this morning, too. Yesterday, today…cry, cry, cry. And so I was doing what you were doing, having to confess out loud how desperately I need Him to help me press past what I FEEL. I feel like a failure as a wife and a mom. I feel like I am totally messing my kids up. I feel like I post on stuff that is going to make people think I am the worst Christian ever. Now I am going on and on and on here on your blog. 🙂

    Jess…you have a BEAUTIFUL heart for the Lord. I don’t continue to come by here just because I have nothing better to do. I come by because you BLESS me! You ENCOURAGE me! And I know you bless so many others…including Hugh and your kids!

    Me and my puffy red eyes are praying for you and your puffy red eyes, okay? Love you! Thanks for clinging to our Savior and His Word! You are a blessing!

  2. November 13, 2008 6:05 pm

    What beautiful honesty. You are not alone. I love what you said and the transparency you showed in this post. I will be back to read more! and I will pray for you right now. That is the great thing about being sisters in the Lord. I don’t have to know you well to pray that the God of all comfort would come along side you and strengthen you.

  3. November 13, 2008 6:57 pm

    Lamentations 3 is one of my favorite passages for that very reason–it describes the conscious choice of praising God in the midst of a mess. Jeremiah rages and rails about his situation, then pens the verses about God’s verses being “new every morning.” Cling to that–even though each day brings new exhaustion, new insecurities, new “yucks”, God’s mercies are also new every morning. And they meet you each day.

    (((hugs)))

  4. November 13, 2008 7:54 pm

    Please don’t watch Hannah Montana! Watch something else…like the Suite Life of Zack and Cody!

    Jess, I feel for you. Teaching is HARD! There were days that I would crawl under my desk and cry. (Seriously!) And I didn’t even have to worry about all the family stuff. (Josh was working and Alyse wasn’t here yet.) But know that when you look back at your students at the end of the year, you will be so proud of everything that they (and you) went through and learned in a year.

    And when it comes to your blog, I LOVE IT! And many other people do too.

    Anyway, go ahead and cry and pray tonight. Cast all your cares on God, and then remember that His mercies are new every morning!

  5. November 13, 2008 9:29 pm

    Jess- I recently found your blog. I love your authenticity and ability to be open and real. This is something I have been learning to do more of this year.

    I think we all too often try to keep things looking perfect for others which in turn makes us feel bad about our ‘junk’. Without evening knowing it, the other person probably feels just as bad about their ‘junk’, but doesn’t feel like there is anyone else struggling. What a vicious cycle!

    Thank you for helping break that cycle. Your faith and reliance on God is inspiring. I will continue to come back and more importantly I will be praying for you.

  6. November 14, 2008 12:01 am

    What a blessing you continue to be sweet Jess! I thank God everytime I remember you. Just think of the tears as a part of Gods way of washing away the pieces that He wants to heal you from. He has some major blessings coming your way and is going to do something beautiful in your life with that many tears coming right now. Oh how Glorious and Awesome our God is and always will be.

  7. November 14, 2008 2:23 am

    oh jess….once again you bless…your heart that loves Jesus but yet in the process of loving is open to all the rest of us what life really is about. messing up, but getting up again to do another day because “great is thy faithfulness” and “his mercies are new every morning”. and open about really what we women are all like: we have our times of feeling like poop on a stick but Glory to God, He takes all the poop away and replaces it with something better 😉 and loves us all the same. you hang in there friend and seriously….will you meet me for a real coffee someday?!?!?! you are such a blessing in bloggy world i can’t imagine what you are in real world. ps. don’t forget how beautiful you are!!! love ya.

  8. November 14, 2008 2:24 am

    ps. when satan gets you down, come to your blog and just recount how many new women are blessed every day by you!!! *HUG*

  9. Amanda McEwen permalink
    November 14, 2008 7:44 am

    Lemme tell you something!! It’s going to take a LOT more than some job to get rid of me!!

  10. Smilla permalink
    November 14, 2008 10:07 am

    Jess, don’t worry. You’re going to get the hang of teaching, report cards and so on and so forth. It takes a while, but it gets a lot better.

    Good luck,
    Smilla

  11. Michelle permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:38 pm

    I love, love this scripture that you posted. It reminds me of Psalms 22. During a very difficult time in my life, I stumbled on Psalms 22, David is writing about God forsaking him and how everyone is against him. He goes on and on about how horrible the situation is for him but then he writes, “But you are holy….”. In the middle of my crying, complaining and just plain not liking my situation, I was quickly reminded “But You are Holy”. Regardless of my situation, my circumstances, my emotions, God is Holy. My situations and my emotions changed but God has stayed the same. Holy. Faithful. Righteous. Powerful. Forgiving. Redeeming. Loving. Just.

    Thanks for sharing. Rejoice in the Lord and know that He is Holy!

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