My Messy, I’m-a-Work-in-Progress Life

I just did something I haven’t done in over a year.

I’m not exactly happy about it.

So, it’s confession time.

Especially because I’ve made it known that I’m attempting to live my life fully dependent upon my Lord for my every need and not on some temporary, feel-good-for-the-moment fix when tough days come.

But today, a tidal wave of dark, despairing thoughts overtook any type of human resolve I possessed.

My courage and determination washed away. Condemning, accusatory, hurtful thoughts caused my aching heart to waver. I was overcome:

You don’t matter.

You are not significant.

You are easily overlooked.

You aren’t important enough to be considered.

Your needs have no value.

You aren’t worth it.

You aren’t even remembered.

Oh, my heart hurt today.

Big time.

I reached down into the bottom drawer of our freezer and took hold of a handful of chocolate chips (20 or so) and I consumed them. Every single one. The chocolatey delight of these little chips soothed me. They did. I don’t know what it is about chocolate but it has some kind of anaesthetizing power over my heart-crushing pain.

It’s the first time in a very, very, very long time that I have sought out chocolate to help me feel better. I’m not proud of it. However, I write this admission because I don’t want anyone who is close to me or who reads my blog to think that I don’t have moments like the one I’ve been having today.

I was overwhelmed with a whammy of yuck.

Have you ever had one of those days?

A day when you realize you’ve allowed yourself to let a lot of junk into your mind – that you normally wouldn’t let in – because you’re tired, you’re weak, and you’re vulnerable?

I’d love to say that I went to my God first today.

I didn’t.

And I’m a missionary, for Pete’s sake.

I succumbed to  feel-good, chocolately appeasement.

Honestly, I believe these ‘you’re not so great’ feelings have been building up over the year. They took root with a doctor dissing my homeschooling efforts with my autistic children in early January. Then some things happened in which I was totally ignored and forgotten. Recently, our family experienced a horrendous border crossing in which we were treated with disrespect, disregard, and disdain and I saw the depravity of man in terrible, I-don’t-want-to-believe-it’s-true color. And it’s all left some bruising marks on my tender, open heart.

I’m in a state of distress.

How grateful I am to be able to go to my God and just let Him know that I’m a bit of a wreck.

He understands. Thank goodness.

Here’s what His grace-filled Word says to me:

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress, may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

May He send you help from the sanctuary, and grant you support from Zion.

May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.

May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

New International Version, Psalm 20: 1-4

So, here I am.

I am recounting my distress.

I am seeking my God’s care and protection.

I’m asking for His help.

I’m appealing for His support.

I’m requesting that He remember me and to please acknowledge my prayers.

As far as the desires of my heart, and my plans – honestly, I think I just need some time to rest, recover, and begin again with this life I have on earth. I don’t have big plans right now. As I shared with a friend recently, this has been an others-focused type of year – in a big, significant, all-consuming way.

It helps writing about it all. That’s why I blog sometimes – just to go blaaaaaaaaaaaaaah about my messy, I’m-a-work-in-progress life.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for caring!

Thanks for letting me confess to you about caving into the luring appeal of chocolate as I dealt with some not-so-great feelings.

And thanks for letting me begin again…

Because I will.

8 thoughts on “My Messy, I’m-a-Work-in-Progress Life

  1. Beloved Heather, thank you for your honesty. You are such a giver of encouragement as well as a conscientious teacher and mom from what I have heard. We all have our bad days, weary days, unmotivated days and days when chocolate really seems like a valid solution to the low feeling. Maybe because it actually ups our endorphins. My hubby eats half a chocolate bar a day to ward off melancholy. Maybe not so great considering the sugar, but interestingly, the Lord did provide food for the weary worn Elijah. May you find time for you, to rest, reflect, and enjoy simple pleasures – maybe even chocolate! Love you and praying you up! XX

    1. Dear Friend,

      Thank you very much, Renee! I really appreciate you for taking the time in your very full day to send me a note of love, hope, and support. I am doing better today – a know I have been very tired with all of the hosting we have been doing for the past couple of months. I do love to host – it’s a joy. It’s just in the midst of this season there have been a series of discouraging words that have come as well and that’s been just plain hard for me for some reason. Thanks so much for caring! I love you, heather

  2. Heather, you always have and always will be loved by our amazing God. Your weak moment only shows you are human, but he still loves you. And so do I. Your raw and open way of telling your story keeps me aware of all my shortcomings. Keep being you because you are okay. And have a little chocolate – maybe once a year!

    1. Dear Shara,

      Thanks so much for your care and your affirmation. I love you and your “I’m with you all the way” station in my life. Thank you for cheering me. It means a lot! With love, heather

  3. Shirley Hethorn May 31, 2018 — 9:12 am

    Okay, so you have proved your humanity. You caved. You confessed and have been given unconditional forgiveness from the Father above, You don’t need it from us, but you have it anyway! Now move on. Don’t let the enemy flood you with guilt. (That is usually the next step in the “plan” of the evil one.) Cuddle up to your Daddy, cry on His shoulder if you need to, as He pats your back and croons love and forgiveness to your hurting heart. Take a deep breath and give Him the Thanksgiving of your heart, take His hand and move into His sonshine, with joy in your heart and on you lips. I am not being flippant, I am speaking from in depth experience of the guilt that the enemy can heap on you when you “mess up” . I can empathize! You are one of the most giving, wise, encouraging women I have ever know. Keep up the GOOD WORK!!

    Love you.

    1. I love you, Shirley!

      Thanks so much for stepping into this messy life of mine and encouraging me to keep moving forward! That’s my intent. I just know that I have a lot of people who put me on some kind of pedestal – this happens to us missionary folk – and I want people to know that I have tough days too. Thanks for sharing your experience and for shining the light of Jesus’ love in such a consistent and affirming way. With love, heather

  4. You ate only one handful?? I use a calculator to figure how many Saturdays I have in a month….I could never successfully home school my children! You struggled with a hard boarder crossing……I would be too terrified to board the plane for Africa! Your resume reads: You were raised in suburbia Pacific NW, and choose to be a Christian missionary in Africa where you also raise your two autistc boys. End of qualifications!!!
    I am surprised the devil even looks in your direction! If we have jobs in heaven based on our service here, I will be a pot banger (sitting on the floor playing with lids from the cupboard) while you are conducting the choir in the most holy temple! I begin reading your blog knowing who you are, and what you are doing, and almost everything else is just gravy. You started out already winning the race. Anywhere God calls you, people will be blessed. Thank you for sharing your life with me. It calls me to a higher place every time I see your name, read your words. I do serioisly know that who ever we are, what ever our station in life, and no matter how faithful we are, we still stumble under the same old temptations and sins of this world. Thank God our walk isn’t our salvation, but the amazing work of the cross which moves us to live in the shelter of Gods Grace. Your blog calls me to try harder, do better, and not stay in that safe place satisfied that I have the “get out of jail free pass”. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    1. Dear Nancy, Wow! Thank you for taking the time to encourage me and care for me. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I don’t really put any of us in categories as followers of Christ – we’re each called to lives of obedience. My call took me to southern Africa. I’m living out this life as best I can and as I shared – it can be messy. Thank you for letting me know that I encourage you. This is my purpose in life – to encourage others to know Jesus more and grow in their relationship with Him. I hope you have a lovely day. You’ve blessed me. Thank you. With love, heather

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