Imperfect Progress

In an effort to make some friends around here who aren't 5 years old or pregnant (with no offense to Amanda or Cadence), I reluctantly joined a women's Bible study. Unfortunately, it is not at all what I expected.  But then again, what else is new?

I read the list of the studies being offered, selected the one that interested me most, and hopped in the minivan ready for my next adventure...only to discover the church was no longer offering the study I had selected.  Instead, I was thrown into a completely different study with a bunch of women who all seemed to be at completely different life stages than myself.  Hey Lord?  I came here to make FRIENDS remember?  What's the big idea?  You and I both know I don't "need" this study.  I'm never going to be able to connect with these women!

Or so I thought...
As it turns out, I was more in need of some "imperfect progress" (a major theme in this study) than I realized.

Remember in this post when I wrote about how I felt like the Lord was dragging me into the desert to force me into stillness before Him?  Well lately, I've been in a real funk.  The kind where I spend as much of my day as possible alone.  In my room.  Wallowing.

But then last night, I noticed something changing.  You see, normally at night I let my mind wander.  And since I've been in the aforementioned funk, this "wandering" has led to some pretty atrociously bitter and resentful thoughts.  Which have then turned into nasty nightmares.  Which then lead me to wake up unrested and angry at certain people in my life who have absolutely no clue just how pissed off I really am.

I've been so busy re-grieving past hurts, I've hardly allowed any time for new healing.

But last night, I was snuggled under the covers and beginning that familiar process when, instead, I heard this:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)

And suddenly, it made sense.  This verse I've heard a thousand times before finally clicked.  How are these sad/angry/bitter thoughts at all pleasing to Him (or to anyone, really)?  Sure, I can - and should - be honest with myself and with the Lord that I am deeply broken. But I can do that without rehashing old heartbreaks over and over again, harboring bitterness in my heart over things of the past that can never be changed.

Instead, I once again prayed God would help me to LET GO.  If you've been following my blog for the past year, you'd know this is a painfully recurring theme.  Apparently I have some control issues.

I won't lie and say it was an automatic release.  Truth be told, I didn't even make it a full 24 hours without those familiar thoughts returning.  But when they did, I didn't wallow.  I chose not to dwell.  Instead, I submitted my heartbreak to Jesus, asked Him to take over, and then just repeated that verse over and over and over and over again.

And that, my friends, is what I like to call imperfect progress.


Amanda said…
Funks suck. I'm sorry you are stuck in one. Especially with all your usual wonderful encouragers around. I wish Schuyler, Joelle and Kaitlynn could come give you a night on the town. Heck, I wish I could go for a night on the town with you! I'm proud of you for sticking with the study even though it wasn't what you planned. I've been a fan of Lysa TerKeurst for years. She speaks to my soul. So I was thrilled when this study came out. And feel blessed to be able to do it with a friend at home, even if I can't be with my Small Group on Thursday mornings. Apparently " learning to let go" is a theme for the inhabitants of this home. I thought I had learned a lot about "my plans" and "His plans" and trusting Him in the past 5 years when life took a dramatically unexpected turn with Cadence's birth. I guess God obviously thought I needed a refresher course and offered me another major life change opportunity for growth and working towards my own "imperfect progress."

I'm so proud of you. You are such an incredible woman of faith. Your dedication to seek His will daily with your actions and commitment to study His word is so inpsiring. I'm glad we can both do this study as we learn about "imperfect progress."

I love you!
Vanessa's Dad said…
God brings out the best in us.

I'm familiar with pain, and hard efforts to reduce and eliminate painful thoughts and memories.

Substitution and prayer, or, more accurately, substituting my painful thoughts with prayer, was the only thing that worked. Not instantly, but eventually, and always in the right direction.