Monday, August 9, 2010

A Downer after the Smiles

I have two different posts that I'd like to write this morning but can't write either one. They are happy, and we are not. We as in, Jeremiah, Pace and me. Fortunately, Dapples is still looking at us like we're all crazy--she's still happy. We had a great weekend, a truly great one. However, the enemy hit hard in the night, and this morning we're left feeling the effects.

Have you ever felt abandoned by God?

We are claiming what we know to be the truth...that He will never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes though, in the midst of trouble, He can seem elusive. Maddeningly intangible.

What do you do? No really, I am asking. We look back at all the ways He's been faithful in the past. Other times we've felt alone or scared or overwhelmed, and the ways He delivered us each time. We acknowledge the godly counsel of dear friends. Oh the well-spring of life encouragement from a fellow believer can be! But still, even that sometimes cannot tilt our heads up enough to breathe in the full breath of God we crave.

What do you do?

23 comments:

Matt, Carrie, Lucy and Molly Allen said...

I don't really know if this is the answer you are looking for, but I always try to remember this verse in the times of unknown and the feelings you are feeling....
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

I have commented maybe a few times (we have some mutual friends)I really have enjoyed reading your blog during the move and I am sorry it is hard for you now! My sister in law is an AL girl who has been living in OR now for the past 15+ years. I sent her your blog and she said she could relate! Your writing and pictures are beautiful...and so is your family :)
Carrie

Caroline said...

Yes. I have been there. What I have done is to:
1) Go outside and find a place where you are alone but surrounded by nature.
2) Take a journal, a Bible, and write. Write out your heart and be honest with how you feel with God. He knows where you are so why try and hide what you are thinking and feeling?
Remember to look up from time to time reminding yourself of how small we are as well as our problems compared to God. That He is working to mold us into the image of His Son. Not to make us comfortable or happy, but to prepare us for something greater.

There is no solution that will make it better immediately. But try this and pray for God to heal what is broken or missing in your lives. I love you all and will continue praying against the devils schemes to make you feel abandoned.

Amy Lou Bop said...

This may not be helpful to you, but I saw this at a time when I needed it...

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and move on.

It's no fun to be in a hard place; I hope you all will soon find your way out.

Darby said...

Mornin' Abby! I've been meaning to write you and encourage you. Justin and I have been married 8 years and we have lived in 7 houses, some in the same town some in a different towns... but each one put great stress on us and I know how challenging it is to be uprooted from what is familiar and feel rather transient. When we moved to Anniston {which is certainly not Seattle by any means... at least it's in the south} I didn't want to go. I cried about 6 of the 7 hours it took us to get back to Tallahassee. My heart was so heavy and we had such precious friends in Tallahassee I was comfortable there {and 6 mos pregnant} and I didn't want to leave my friends and the comfort of knowing a town. Anyway, I went kicking and screaming {and crying} and despite my hesitant attitude the Lord met us there just as I knew He would-- even though I couldn't tell myself that. We were there 11 mos and they were some the most precious months of our marriage. Not easy, not perfect, but looking back we saw the Lord's hand in the entire thing. He will orchestrate your time there and you will look back and see His hand in all of it. I wish I could get on the next flight out to be with you. I don't exactly know what you are facing, I think Jeremiah is having challenges at work too which I'm sure intensifies the difficulties of being there. Anyway, I am praying for you...

Shannon said...

Abby, you are thinking right to look back at how faithful God is in providing in your life. Don't forget that we gain strength in Christ in our times of troubles. One of my favorite verses to cling to in tough times is:
'So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strenthen you and help you; I will up hold you with my righteous right hand' Isaiah 41: 10. It is so comforting to me, but the though of being in the palm of His hand is so very comforting.
I'll be praying for all of you today!
In Chirst.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that these problems kep coming up. It's hard enough being in such a new environment and then to add problems on top of that...sheesh. I don't know exactly what you're going through, but I can offer my perspective on times in my own life when I have felt so discouraged.

The first thing I try to do when crisis hits is to keep in mind that my emotions don't indicate the truth--they are a product of the way that I think. So just because I feel lost, abandoned, or afraid does not mean that those emotions indicate the truth of the situation. You've already said that you are holding on to the truth that He will never forsake you, so you're already headed in the right direction.

I've also found that when I feel like God is being elusive, in retrospect, I actually feel that way because I am too tired mentally and physically to look at the probelm in the way that I should: as an opprtunity. For the believer, every problem is just another opportunity for God to again show his faithfulness and and love, so I try to set about changing the way that I think about the problem--erm, I mean, opportunity. :) I focus on the fact that He knew this situation would arise before I did, and He also knows how I'm going to get out of it.

1Samuel 30:6 says that David encouraged himself in the Lord, so I talk to myself. I remind myself of the truth of my covenant with God and that I am more than a conqueror through Him. Then I start speaking to that mountain and telling it to be removed and cast into the sea (Mark 11:23). Yes, sometimes I do feel like a crazy person, speaking to emotions and, at times, inanimate objects--"Fear, in Jesus name, be thou removed and cast into the sea!"--but I'm only doing what Jesus told me to do.

I came across this article on encouragment at a time when I truly needed it, and I think it offers a lot of wisdom (http://www.walkingbarefoot.com/writings/Encouragement.htm). Know that your friends in the blog world love you and are praying for you.

Anonymous said...

I am remembering a favorite hymn...God Will Take Care Of You.
I will share my favorite verse...

No matter what may be the test
God will take care of you.
Lean weary one upon his breast
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you through everday O're all the way
God will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

jj said...

I'm so sorry Abby. Sometimes (and we are experiencing some of this now) it helps me to just listen to praise music. It just helps me get the focus off the actual circumstance. And as hard as it is, I try to stay in the word even if it is just for a few minutes. Praying.

The Rigoloso's said...

Abby-
You are so right to claim the truths of Scripture & to stand firm on them despite feeling like you are alone. I love the verse Carrie left...Is 42v16. How true. Another bit of guidance my Mom once gave me was: Nothing is a surprise to God.

During times like you described I claim this truth- nothing is a surprise to God- because it is quite tempting & so easy to believe the lie that we have been forsaken. I say it until my heart remembers to believe. Such a simple statement, but profound. Often we feel so shocked & surprised by our present circumstance that it brings comfort to know that the Lord was not caught off guard. He knows. He will not leave you to figure it out alone. I will say a prayer for you & yours today.
Grace & peace.
molly

Anonymous said...

today i finished reading the last part of Dr. Charles Stanley's article titled "the empowering emotion of joy". it can be found at InTouch.org.

i needed it. i underlined "if we lose sight of Him and begin to focus on our feelings or circumstances, our spirits will plummet."

another underline: "Begin living in His promises instead of under you circumstances."

May God bless you

Gail said...

The answer, Sweet Abby, Is---- YES...We have all felt this way. I have know idea of your problem, but...I can promise you...God is near and will, and does answers prayers. I am in prayer for your family as I type. May HIS WILL come to you and soon. I hurt that your mind is hurting. Trust in our God, Abby...HOLD tight! God Bless each of you. Love, G

Gail said...

Abby....Gods grace is our LIGHT! You will know and do what he wants through the "light" Never forget HIS GRACE!!! It only appears to be dark...IT IS NOT!!!! Grace, grace and more grace...sweet child...

Anonymous said...

God understands your hearts, fears, desires & concerns. He is with all of you. Y'all are a part of HIS family! Y'all are out of your comfort zone. I've been in your shoes with a move with a family. There were lots of times I felt God was not with us. He was & it turned out to be the best expeience! I ask Him to forgive me for not giving Him enough credit when I feel He is ignoring me/us. I wish I could always feel this confident in what I am saying to you. He understands your humaness! Confess all your feelings, lift your prayer through His Son Jesus Christ for true intercession, ask for forgiveness for your weak faith in Him @ this time & thank Him for who He is. It will be ok & how blessed you all are to have each other. It is ok with how you all are feeling. God sent His Son because we can't always do, think or feel what we are supppose to as Christians. Blessings to you & your family. God is carrying all of you @ this time.

melissa richie said...

what do I do?

rage, yell, scream, even cuss a bit, cry, run really hard and tell every single thing i am feeling to God. i tell him i feel like he's abandoned me...like he's drop kicked me far out of his protection and it makes me mad.

i think it's okay to be brutally honest with your Lord. isn't that what the psalmists did?

you know the truth. you know he hasn't forsaken you, but for me it's easy to hide behind what my head knows is true and not deal with the pain and anger that my heart feels. soon they'll get on the same page, but it may take a while.

girl. i'm terrified to hear what's going on. i hope you guys are safe.

i love you.

Lauren said...

I was just trying to tell myself today that His mercies are new every morning.

Praying for yall and that you will be able to fix your eyes on the author and perfector. (sp?)

Angie J. said...

May I chime in? Begin to praise Him! Turn on K-Love or your favorite praise and worship cd and sing loud, when the enemy sends another thought, praise God LOUDER! There's victory on the other side...

hannah said...

one thing is for sure this month... there is "new"ness everywhere but it is not at all what we thought it would be like! fortunately, we are never far from HIM, regardless of where we are...

by the way... your daughters are adorable.

Anonymous said...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your little family! He leads us to the most unknown places for a reason and I know you will find your 'reason' soon...very soon. It's ok to feel angry, sad, hurt, and abandoned; it is His way of allowing us to recognize the happy times. Hold on tight, let your hair down, put on your favorite sundress,and make the most of the ride! :-) You are a precious lady, mom, and wife! Praying for you. A blog reader living in NC.

Michelle said...

7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Nicole said...

I so enjoy reading your blog Abby! I can't even remember where I found this quote, but it has really been a comfort to me lately. I'm praying for you and your family.

"Today's enough to bear; and when tomorrow comes, his grace shall far exceed its care. What need to worry then, or fret? The God who gave his Son holds all my moments in his hand and gives them one by one."

Melissa said...

I do a lot of praying and a lot of crying! However, I also try to draw on scriptures that have encouraged me in the past. Someone has already mentioned Jeremiah 29:11, but go and read verses 12-14as well. That passage has been a great encouragement to me in the past.

Also, I find a lot of comfort in songs. Last summer, when my husband was laid off from his job unexpectedly, I clung to an old Southern gospel song that some of my family members have sung my entire life. "I've never said a prayer He could not answer. I've never shed a tear that He could not dry. And when the waves of life, they are so high you can't mount them, I know He'll roll you over the tide."

I'm not much on sayings or cliches, but I do like this one: If God brings you TO it, He'll bring you THROUGH it! Will be praying for you! Yours was the first blog I started reading a couple of years ago.

Sarah said...

out of self....into others. Go do some mission work abby. Take the girls and find a soup kitchen and feed those in need. Or visit a nursing home. A lot of nursing home residents prob feel the same way and don't have a husband or children to go home to anymore. I'll make sure my prayer group adds you and your precious family to our prayer list.