To be honest, I am at max capacity right now. The plate is not only full but is surrounded by stacks of plates filling a table waiting to be cleared. It is to the point that to hand off anything would cause imbalance then everything would come crashing down like Jenga blocks. I am not saying to play the ‘my life is busier than your life’ game because I we are all busy with different things and we all have different levels of stressors in our lives. But for me, right now, I am maxed out.
I am saying this because in the moments of insanity, I can pretty much predict how the devil will attack. He will start by messing with my insecurities and shortcomings of being a single adult and then spending a Friday evening alone will mess with my emotions and then inevitably a pair of jeans won’t fit or a bridesmaid dress won’t zip. So that sends me in a spiral of adding working out to my plate as well as trying to balance eating nothing but lean protein and veggies so then hating life because wanting all the carbs and ice cream. That will lead to falling behind on laundry because not being able to wear half the things in my wardrobe and then somehow that will snowball into me thinking about 10 years down the road where I fear I will be in the same season where I am now and then start fighting insecurity. Its the grown-up version of If you give a Mouse a Cookie except in this story, I can’t eat the cookie because of previously mentioned bridesmaid dress issue.
Right now the devil is attacking in an area I never saw coming. My default love language is acts of service and suddenly in this season I am becoming increasingly aware of my selfishness. I know I can be selfish because I have the opportunity right now to run my life the way I want to. I choose how to spend my time and money with little thought of others. I do use a lot of my time to invest and serve others but in moments of stress, I get selfish. This comes out in two different ways, a) I don’t serve others at all when I see the need or, b) I continue to serve others with frustration that could lead to bitterness.
It came to a head last night and after sitting in my frustration, the justification of my emotions set in. The ugliness of how my emotions played out I will keep to myself but it was a hot mess. Instead of doing what I should have done, I decided to just to go to bed and start over in the morning. I had one of the most restless nights of sleep I have had in a while.
In the middle of the night, I woke up with my mind racing of to do lists and an extremely anxious heart. It was 3am, dark, and I was stressed and tired. I knew after a few minutes I would not be going to sleep any time soon. I made myself a cup of tea and sat in bed staring at the wall. I pulled open some Bible studies I am prepping to teach this summer, which of course led me into a spiral of insecurity so after pulling myself out of that pit, I decided that if sleep wasn’t happening, I might as well be productive (even though my flesh really wanted to watch Gilmore Girls because right now Luke and Lorelei are perfect). But I knew I needed the Lord more than I needed the comfort of witty banter and Star’s Hollow.
For any of you who have known me for like, a week, you all know I have been immersing myself in Ephesians and it pretty much has been wrecking my soul and yet giving me the greatest hope. I love how timeless Scripture is. A book that was written years ago speaks straight to to the weariness of hearts and encourages believers to the cross. I do not have it all together, and am desperately in need of truth. I assume those around me feel tired and weary too. We are all fighting off individualized flaming arrows of the devil. I don’t know if I have the endurance I need but each day I am trying to take the next right step. I want to be back in a place where the devil can’t use my selfishness for His gain.
Honestly, I don’t have the answers of how to serve without frustration right now. I am just now processing what it looks like to serve when I would rather not. I would like things to be the way I like them (I am also well aware I have control issues). I am only thirteen hours removed from the Lord pursuing me and start redeeming my heart in this area. The devil is a craftsman who can take a seed of frustration and grow it into a huge weed of bitterness that kills and destroys and I am trying to fight it off.
But when I feel that way and the frustration starts creeping in, I hear a voice in my heart telling me to ‘walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us’ (Ephesians 5:2) and it reminds me to ‘serve with a sincere heart, as I would Christ…and do the will of God from the heart’ (Ephesians 6:5-6).
Every day is to actively fight the flesh, walk in love, and serve with a sincere heart.
Suit up. We are in a battle.