Renewed, Day 19, Moving Forward

I am so glad that I’ve had these past few weeks of Christmas and all of the busy-ness that goes with the December seasonal activities. I had made it half-way through this day’s devotional and just wasn’t at the place to be able to process and write about it until now. We had been presented with fresh offenses and had to take the time to work through the initial dismay, pain, and frustration. It was a current lesson that I was struggling to get through.

My perfectionistic nature that frequently comes out to play, is often conflicted with wanting to be an expert on things and yet still very much learning the ropes. Do I have anything to teach anyone? Maybe or maybe-not, but I do have a voice. I know a silent majority of people who refuse to talk about how they feel or what they think about the tough things they go through. They withdraw and only portray the positive. In my depressed or anxious states, that leaves me feeling guilty, ashamed, and so ‘less-than-enough’. Either they have layered up enough that those negative feelings/thoughts are not going to ever get out, or they haveĀ  learned a secret that I am forever chasing. I wish that I could catch up to that secret and swallow it deep inside my soul. Would it fill the cavern for happiness and contentment? I have too many voices that drown out my own. Too many that talk all at once. Where is the truth?

I fall back on what God spoke to my tender, 18 year old heart, “…commit your ways to Me and I will lead you to unknown joy and love.” Stay close to God, obey Him, follow Him, and He will fill my heart with the soul-filling love and joy that I so desperately long for. He will be enough for my less-than-enough. On Him I can depend.

In these days with struggling to forgive those who deliberately betray, hurt, attempt to punish and drive us away, I trust that He has called us to be here, and He will daily sustain us.

Where did the Angel of the Lord go when travelling with the Israelites? When they stopped to make camp, did the Angel disappear or did he stay alert on the edges of camp to protect them? Did they ever get used to seeing the cloud of smoke, hovering over the tabernacle? Did they become so familiar with the Holy among them, that they took His presence for granted? Do I?

Angel of the Lord

Leah Powers encourages us to to ask God for the wisdom we need in navigating the rough waters of forgiveness, reconciliation, brokenness and boundaries. “The best thing for us to do in these situations is to ask, “Lord, what does this relationship need to look like now? What do my boundaries need to be with this person? How much access can I safely grant this person in my life?”

As we work through these difficult questions, remember that love and honor are free. Trust and respect are earned. There may be people in our lives whom we grant love and forgiveness and honor as God’s creation but can’t trust with our lives and hearts because they have demonstrated they cannot handle that responsibility.” (Renewed, pg 77)

My responsibility is to live at peace with all men, as best I can. Forging out a path through the deceit, darkness of heart and actions of those who struggle against me requires that I look to the Light. He will guide my way through this wilderness. He will protect me when I need to rest. He will deliver me. His holiness is both my shield and sustenance. May I not take His presence for granted.

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