Brown eyes and I have both been feeling that we needed start facing our fear of getting up earlier. Goodness, after a night of playing musical beds and getting up for bottles and teething babies and nappy changes and bad dreams and toilet runs, the LAST thing you FEEL like doing is getting up earlier than required. But the way our daily schedule runs at the moment, neither of us are capable of setting aside time somewhere else in the day to have some QUIET, alone time with the Lord. And my desire for some of that intimate quiet time has grown so much lately, that I simply HAD to make a change.
So we started getting up earlier. We set our alarms for an hour earlier, with a few extra alarms for 10 minutes later JUST in case. The following morning with the first alarm, I actually GOT UP (yay me!), made coffee, and spent the next hour just praying and letting the Word wash over me. Something in me changed, and every day just felt so much lighter, more joyful, more focused since we made this change. The wonderful thing is that we got used to this routine of ours, and we love it still! But life happens, and for an entire week our kids started getting up an hour earlier as well. I was thrown out of my routine and I suffered the consequence of not being adaptable to these type of changes.
We are going through a big life change at the moment – moving to another city (You can read about that here: The Call). And the point is that I NEEDED those early mornings. I needed them to ground me in what I KNOW the Lord is saying to us. I needed them to keep my thoughts of doubt, and my racing practical mind under control. I needed them, because they assured me of my Fathers love and security and of His voice and His call. I needed them. And suddenly I wasn’t getting them. This little routine that we weren’t even doing two weeks before, had become such a refuge for me, that not having it anymore was a big deal. And it showed.
The excitement and joyful expectation about the move shifted and in its place I felt burdened with the logistics. The scale tipped, and I felt overwhelmed. Slowly but surely the doubts and worries and concerns started manifesting physically, and by the end of the week I was just drained. I felt TIRED beyond words. My muscles were overwhelmingly sore. I started getting a rash all over my upper body that I couldn’t identify. And most of all, I just felt down and out. I lost my perspective – But God didn’t lose His. You see, He placed this angel in my life – My neighbor. We have become very close, and she KNOWS me. So one afternoon this angel walked in and asked me “When did the change come for you? Because all along you have held a good balance”. It didn’t sink in right away, but the next morning our kids slept their normal sleep hours, and Brown eyes and I made tea and sat in bed with our bibles. My eye caught Psalm 94:19, and I knew I needed consolation:
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
So I started my search. My mind went back to the discussion we had at church the day before, on Galatians 5. And so my fingers quickly found the pages I had read less than 24 hours ago, and as my eyes slowly studied the words, the realization of what I had allowed to happen became clearer and clearer with each word. It felt to me as if Paul was standing in the room, giving me a pep talk:
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.
I had fallen into a downward spiral when I started giving in to the battle between spirit and flesh. My Spirit KNOWS the Lords voice – I KNOW He called us. I KNOW He will provide. I KNOW He has prepared a place for us. I KNOW He is our comfort and security. I KNOW He has spoken. And I KNOW He is the beginning and end of all things.
My flesh KNOWS the voice of the world, and wants me to justify this decision according to the laws of the world, which I cannot do. Because we are not moving for any of the reasons that would normally justify such a big change in the eyes of the world: Bigger salary. Better job. Dream city. Family. Money. Money. Money. “4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” My role in this moment is to keep my eyes on Jesus. To keep my ear tuned to His voice. To keep my heart set on Him. To entertain only His thoughts for me. To walk this road ONLY by faith. That is the call, for me, at this moment.
Brown eyes and I prayed together, we surrendered our hearts and flesh-driven minds. Once more. And Grace responded. We got up, he got ready for work, the kids joined us, we made them breakfast, said our goodbyes and Brown eyes left. A few minutes later I noticed that my sore muscles were no longer sore. I no longer felt tired. I no longer had a headache. The burden I carried was gone. I was free. And I felt it.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
It is so easy to miss a turn, to take your eyes off the track, to fall away from grace. Today, I choose to live by the Spirit – to see what He sees, to speak His words of life, to soak my soul in this pocket of beauty