“Okay, YHWH. I’m listening. I surrender. Let’s do this…”
That’s the voice in my head as I sit here pondering the last few days. Some of the toughest days I’ve been dealt in a long time. It feels like we’ve been physically and spiritually attacked from multiple angles. Or at least like I have been…
It’s kind of a blur, since I spent much of the time sleeping, walking around in a daze, and trying to recover from what I’m sure must be bronchitis or some sort of viral lung infection. But, to summarize:
Blow #1: said lung infection
Blow #2: a broken TV that costs $150 to fix
Blow #3: a car maintenance bill that went from $1200 to $1700+ in less than 12 hours
Blow #4: oops … “ma’am, I’m sorry you misunderstood. Your broken TV is actually going to cost $500 to fix. I know you already paid $150. That was for us to haul it out of your apartment and to our shop and has already been applied to your total balance. You can hire someone else to fix it, but you still won’t get your $150 back.”
I know, these probably seem small in comparison to what many others are experiencing. But anybody who knows me knows that I get really stressed out over finances. I can’t stand debt, and even though we went from $50K+ down to less than $4K after selling our house and paying off student loans, that less-than-$4K still haunts me every. single. month. And with the above financial blows hitting me shortly after the development of this extremely persistent infection, my stress levels are sky-high, and, not surprisingly, I’m having more trouble overcoming the illness than I probably would otherwise.
I feel like my toddler holding his breath underwater…
Today, I was really nasty to my family. Like, really nasty. I honestly don’t even know what words came out of my mouth, but I know my tone was ugly and that YHWH most certainly would not approve. I was quick to lash out in anger over my frustration with my body’s seeming inability to heal from this horrible sickness and thinking all kinds of things like:
“Why is it that people who strive to be healthy and live life the way Yah intends and desires seem to get hit the hardest at the most inopportune times?”
And of course that spiraled downward into statements like:
“Maybe, I should just start eating bacon and shrimp again. Doesn’t seem to make a difference anyway.”
And questions like:
“If we’re supposed to be a set-apart people, then why can’t He spare us from the illnesses that 90% of the rest of humanity is experiencing? We actually want to walk in obedience to His Torah. That’s more than most Christians can say. Shouldn’t that come with blessing? Shouldn’t us avoiding all of the poisons pushed on the populace by pharmaceutical companies count for something? The least He can do is give us our health.”
(Proverbs 31 woman, where were you when this stereotypical whiny Israelite needed you most?)
Oh, and because I’ve been sick for 3 days (basically bedridden for 2), I hadn’t so much as even checked my email. As a business owner, that pretty much guarantees walking into an avalanche on Monday morning when you open your inbox, and yep—that’s what happened. Not to mention, all of the other tasks I needed to get done today, many of which still need my attention even as I’m writing this.
So, why am I writing this, you might ask?
Well, I’ve been battling with Yah for several months about sharing my heart on this blog, and for some strange reason, He just doesn’t want to let it go. Ever since Jereme and I came into the truth of how His Torah was never abolished, we have acquired a wealth of information to the point of overload. Rather than “taking imperfect action” (as we like to say in our business) and sharing said information publicly, we decided to hold back and keep quiet for a while so that we could gain a little more wisdom instead of abruptly beating people over the head with the first three-quarters of the Bible. Not necessarily a bad thing. But some time into it, I felt His Spirit leading me to start sharing. Nothing major. Little things here and there. Whatever He put on my heart.
And as I tend to do with most things, I began to overthink it and make excuses.
“But I don’t really know what I’m talking about.”
“I don’t have a bunch of theology degrees.”
“People will accuse me of being ‘legalistic.'”
“I’ll just click the ‘share’ button on this other person’s Facebook post. That counts, right?”
“I don’t want to push my family away … I want them to understand and see how beautiful and life-changing this is! If we push our beliefs too hard, they might run.”
Or, the excuse I made tonight and probably make most often…
Can I just get really real here with y’all for a second?
I’m embarrassed to say it…
…(Yah, please don’t strike me with a lightening bolt)…
Okay here it is:
“I don’t have time. I have too much work to do. Gotta catch up after three days of being ill. Maybe if you had just healed me like I asked, then I’d be blogging instead of working.”
Yes. It really was that bad. I almost can’t believe these thoughts even entered my head. But this is the spiritual battle I’ve been fighting on top of my physical ailment, and it. ain’t. pretty.
Tonight, as I was sitting down to work after finally getting both kids in bed around 9 p.m., Kale woke up and began screaming his head off. And once again, I lashed out at my husband. (Poor guy was just trying to get some rest so at least one of us could function tomorrow.) That eventually morphed into me mumbling about our unstable finances and sobbing incoherently about how my faith was weak and how I probably wouldn’t make it through a real tribulation if this is how I respond to my silly #firstworldproblems.
Kale eventually calmed down and fell back asleep. I walked out of our bedroom, opened my laptop, and knew right away what I needed to do. I wasn’t sure what to write. But I heard the Spirit whisper, “are you ready?”
And here I am. 977 words later, I’ve got one of 40 daily posts I’m committing to write over the next 40 days on the subject of repentance.
Millions of people gathered today to witness a rare total solar eclipse spanning the entire United States. Prior to this event, many articles were published on the Internet about the peculiar details surrounding it that makes it truly unique from a historical perspective. I won’t go into all of those here, as you’ve probably seen them, but if not, here’s one article for reference.
One of the most significant details, for me, was the fact that today marks the first of Elul, or the beginning of the month of repentance, and 40 days from the eclipse is the Day of Atonement. Some scholars believe that an eclipse happened over Ninevah before Jonah entered the city to tell them to repent. Though we have no sources to confirm it, it’s interesting to note and to consider what that could mean for America if it is true. Could it be a call to repentance for our nation, and could this be the “sign of Jonah” mentioned by Yahshuah (Jesus) in Matthew 12?
I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that as a follower of Messiah, I have been called to repent of my transgression, and in my desire to heed that call, I am making a conscious decision to act.
To listen and obey. To trust Him for everything. To stop making excuses. To walk as He walked, in the present, and stop chasing end-times signs. To put down my phone. To play with my children. To silence that negative voice inside my head. To write. To sing. To work my business with gratitude every day, because I don’t have to sit in a cubicle and be away from the ones I love. To quit worrying about things I can’t control. To share what’s on my heart without fear of what others think. To love my family. To love my neighbor. To love my enemies and to pray for them. To battle illness and strife with full confidence that He loves me, and I. AM. HIS.
And to record what He’s teaching me in the process.
I’m not sure why, but He’s made it pretty clear that this whole blogging thing is inked into the deal, whether I like it or not, and I already signed the dotted line.
So begins my 40-day blogging journey. Some days, I may write 1600 words (like today, and if you’ve made it this far, I thank you). Other days, I may write a few sentences or post a passage of Scripture—with or without commentary. My plan is to sit down without a plan and just wait for His words to pour out of me and onto this computer screen. But I know things don’t always go according to our plans. 😉
(Those last two sentences made way more sense in my head.)
To put it simply, I’m following His lead. Will you join me? No, you don’t have to be a writer. Maybe video is your thing. Or maybe you prefer conversations over coffee. Whatever the case, let’s embrace our gifts and start doing what He’s called us to do!
I bet if we’re faithful to heed His calling, we’ll start to truly experience His Kingdom. On earth as it is in Heaven.