Once there was a time, when my mind was so overwrought with stressors that I hardly slept for weeks. A few months prior, the doctors discovered my mother’s cancer was back. Around this same time, I decided to do a year of volunteer service with a Catholic organization called the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers. As I started this volunteer service program, I kept asking myself what I was doing in Colorado when my mom was going through radiation in Indiana. On top of this, I felt like a fish out of water. I was in a service group with young adults who were much younger and more social than me. I was out of my element and an outsider. Many of my friends were married and starting to have kids. I felt as though I was almost going backward.
Swirling in my mind were these thoughts which rendered me sleepless, in turn making my days emotional and embarrassing. By embarrassing, I mean I would burst into tears at work, church, with my friends in their home, in my brother’s car, or even with the volunteer service group that I just met. To me, this was mortifying. I hate crying in front of anyone, even my best friend who I have known for over twenty years. Honestly, it still embarrasses me to think about those tearful moments! I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to see what God was doing in my life.
“Yeah, I’m a little broken right now. So what? Aren’t we all broken?”
Humility is such an interesting lesson to learn. When I was exposed and couldn’t help but show that I was a little broken, I was forced to be humble and share my hurts. Much to my surprise, I found support and love from a network of people I didn’t realize I had. Instead of facing my trouble alone, they told me of their hurts and embarrassing moments that made me feel I could get through this season of growth.
As the weeks went on, I felt immense relief at my recent vulnerability. I thought, “Yeah, I’m a little broken right now. So what? Aren’t we all broken?” It also brought me closer to the people who I was serving with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, the homeless and formerly homeless. They, too, couldn’t help but show they were going through a rough time.
The relief I experienced is hard to explain. There is so much pressure to have a put-together life and not show weakness. Upholding a perfect image of myself was quite a chore. When the curtain of fake perfection fell, it freed me to be truly myself. Sprinkled through these sleepless weeks were bursts of sunshine for my heart and I couldn’t believe how happy I was. Indeed, I could be myself and still be loved! What a relief!
“Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts.” - Proverbs 4:23 GNT
Our minds are our most valuable asset and the Enemy knows this all too well. Since the start of his reign as the Prince of Darkness, he has used dark thoughts to tempt all of humanity to turn away from our loving Father’s commands. Luckily for us, we have the armor of God and numerous munitions, one of these being His word; sacred scripture. Without this armor, my mind wouldn’t be at peace now or when I was facing this crash course in humility.
“Put on the armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil…take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” -Ephesians 6: 11, 17
Years prior to this tumultuous period, a pastor suggested I memorize scripture, one verse a week. Man, am I glad that I had my arsenal ready! I clung to the Word in between bouts of frustration and tears. When I needed an encouraging phrase, God would give me exactly what I required. I discovered that drifting off to sleep while reciting a verse that spoke to me that day cured me of my insomnia. Forget about counting sheep, the Prince of Peace had 365 “do not worry” passages ready for my use! My daily hope was waiting in one convenient book.
“A tranquil mind gives life to the body.” -Proverbs 14:30
While I am still learning how to be a godly woman, and sometimes relearning lessons, I praise God for the emotional season that taught me humility, which frees my mind and gives way to an immeasurable sense of peace. I grew closer to my family and friends as mutual vulnerability helped us to support each other through our battles. Every step of the way was the hand of God, holding my hand firmly and whispering comfort in my ear.
“Yet I am always with you, you take hold of my right hand.” -Psalm 73:23
If you are ready to fill your armory, here are some of my favorite passages:
“No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13
“What is impossible for men is possible with God.” -Luke 28: 27
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.” -Psalm 34:9
“You are my shelter; from distress you keep me; with safety you ring me round.” -Psalm 32:7
Trouble with a relationship?
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven but dwelling on it separates close friends.” -Proverbs 17:9
Need a constant in your life?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8