In the abyss

One snide remark and I've spend the last week in the abyss, unsure of who I am in Christ. Anger fills my heart toward that owner of those rude words. Yet I know that God is using this for growth. To become more like Christ. To remember that I am secure in Christ, claiming my identity in Him. My weight doesn't define me, it might explain me but it doesn't define me. I am a child of the King. He's crazy about me. I am free.
As I've wrestled with this issue again, I've thought about being thankful. Seeing what God's given as a gift to add to my list of 1000+. In mid-vacuum swipe, I came to my senses: I need to be thankful for my weight. It was this wrestle that brought me to a deeper relationship with Him! After my last golden head was born, I began the Lord's Table. I lost weight, but more importantly, I began to understand that life is more than food, that "Man does not live by bread alone," as Jesus quoted Old Testament in the desert (Matthew 4:4). This obstacle was pivotal in my daily walk with Jesus and really began my deeper love for Him and seeking of Him. Thank you God that you used my insecurity to bring me to You.
What has brought you closer in intimacy with Christ? Have you thanked God for it? God never wastes a hurt (Rick Warren.) The issue you wrestle with the most, can turn you to God or make you run away. Even if you run away, He will stay right by your side. "If we are unfaithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny His Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13.

Trust and deepest desire

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:3-4

Nearly two-years ago, we had everything we owned packed with nowhere to go. Trust in the LORD. We knew that God had opened the door for us to move back "home" to Minnesota: it had been an on-going 4-year prayer to get closer to family, a good fit job was offered to the engineer and in a slumped housing market, our rambler sold in just eight days. Living in my parents' basement for an undetermined span of time, we searched for a home in the southern metro area. After three months, we moved into our home.
So we were dwelling in the land, and it became apparent that feeding on His faithfulness was essential to get through the grieving process that accompanies moving cross-country. We experienced both strikes and affirmations. The strikes: missing deep friendships, Montana's landscape and recreation, no connection in a local church, and realizing the different culture into which we had slid (who knew Montana and Twin Cities mentality was so different?) "But we prayed!" is what my mentor reminded me as our first affirmation. Another affirmation was glaringly obvious: little more than a month after moving in, Micah was admitted to the ICU in Rochester with failing kidneys and complications. We found ourselves to be the closest family members to the hospitals there and couldn't imagine being 13+ hours from helping my sister and her family. We don't always get the big picture, God often chooses to reveal one-piece at a time. Feeding on His faithfulness was learning to have a heart of gratitude. Being thankful for His faithful provision & blessings increases my trust in His plan for me. I began my mornings listing that which to be grateful:
  1. Having the "Sechler Seven" around my table the night prior
  2. Light on the pumpkin pumpkin bars for dessert so Micah can have one
  3. Mike & the engineer laughing at how similar Traci & I are
  4. Living in Minnesota
  5. Being with family
  6. Traci talking about the Big Big House Micah's going to
  7. All the good food Micah will soon get to eat: Mountain Dew, chocolate, pizza with lots of cheese...
  8. The engineer playing Mario Kart with his nephews
  9. The sweet sound of cousins playing
  10. Singing and praying alongside Micah before we left
  11. Kissing Micah's head
  12. "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller on the radio
  13. The engineer being girl-trapped 5 times over
  14. Cousins playing outside without shoes on
  15. A face to face visit with Lori
  16. ...
Recalling His faithfulness by listing my blessings from Him, is an act of delighting myself in the Lord, not "the good old days" living in Montana or when my children were younger and "never" disobeyed. After the Israelites lose men & stature to the soldiers of Ai, we saw Joshua turn his lament to the Lord (Joshua 7:6-9). Am I wise enough to turn my sorrows over to the Lord? And I wise enough to truly trust in Romans 8:28, "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." When I contemplate on the next verse, I see this tough stuff is used to conform me to His image. "For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..." Becoming more like Christ is the deepest desire of my heart, so even though the transition of moving (yes, even two-years later) is hard and parenting the calculating one is the most taxing thing I've done, I delight in the faithfulness of the Lord and continue to trust in Him.
Are you are trusting in the Lord to work in your current battle, working it out for good? Consider how is He using the same circumstance to make you more like Him.