I have been putting this entry off because it is so personal but after various times of prayer and different sermons and devotionals I have been reading I have felt led to post it now. So here it goes:
A few weeks ago my husband and I took an 8-day cruise to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. It was a wonderful time. I have to be honest that prior to leaving I went through a very hard time. The two months before our trip I went through a tremendous amount of guilt that weighed heavy on my heart. I was feeling guilty for leaving my kids for that long and for asking someone else to look after them for an entire week. After all it is my job as their mom at this point in their lives to take care of their every need.
I was feeling guilty about being away, relaxing and “having a good time” when someone else was taking care of my two little ones. I allowed Satan to reign in my thoughts and I let him feed my guilt so that it became all consuming. At one point we even discussed canceling our trip.
I mean at this point in our family’s life we are living with my in-laws while we are in search of purchasing a house. The thought of asking them to do even more than what they already have been doing became unthinkable. And, asking my parents to stop what they are doing to take off work and watch my kids was crazy. All of this so that I can go relax, sleep in, eat dinner without interruptions, read a book, spend quiet time with the Lord and enjoy so many moments with my husband was beyond what I could handle. Honestly…it kept me up at night!
The big problem was that I allowed Satan to reign. The week before we left I was getting various lists together and writing down schedules for the kids, I stopped and broke down. I actually had a few breakdowns, including one in front of my dear friends. During those times I expressed my feelings and as my friends and husband tried to reassure me that “it was OK” and that “we needed this”…it still didn’t help.
Three days before leaving, I got down on my knees alone in the bathroom and cried out to God. I should have done this the first time these feelings started to set in. I asked God to meet me, to take away these feelings and to help me to embrace this time with my husband. I asked Him to help me see the special moments my parents were going to have with them and to help me understand that my in laws were only going to have them for a short while and that I needed to let go and ban Satan from my thoughts. And you know what...He met me. He met me!!!
Yes the feeling was overwhelming and He answered. He always does. I felt a fullness that all was going to be fine and that it was OK to relax. My mother told me that the kids were going to be fine and that she was nervous but excited to spend this time with them. Suddenly I realized that someone else wanted to take care of my kids with a willing heart and love on them just like I try to do daily.
God is always with me and He never forsakes me. He takes care of my every need. Sometimes I just need to ask. He is so patient, gracious, merciful and He knows my every move. He is for me, and He will never forsake me in my weaknesses.
Satan is the master of deception and he loves to find the openings to slip through so that he can spread the doubt, guilt, sadness and undeserving feelings. He feeds on that and when we let the cracks appear he loves it. We need to be free of those cracks and filled with the Holy Spirit so that we are living for Christ, dwelling in Christ and filling up with His word.
In retrospect, this trip was absolutely amazing. I definitely missed my kids, but I knew that they were fine, that all would go well and that they would quickly forget how long we were gone.
This experience has confirmed one important thing for me. That God is so much bigger than I sometimes think He is and that He cares for us more than we could ever imagine. Even in the small things. We need to avoid filling our minds and hearts with things that lead us away from Him and instead, commune with Him. In our weakness we allow negative feelings to overtake what is important and it keeps our focus away from Christ and what fulfillment He has for us.
I am so far from perfect and I make mistakes all the time. And yet He loves me. He works on me and He challenges me to be what I am created to be for Him…to worship Him, seek Him and live for Him! I don't always get this right but the moments that I do I am reminded of this truth and I continue to strive for what makes life worth living.
The cruise was time for renewal, refreshment and quality time with my husband. We love spending time together and during the trip we spent very little time apart. I am so blessed to be with a man that sees me for all that I am and continues to love me. I see glimpses of Christ through him! And yet, Christ loves even more and wants even more of me (and for me).
So yes, the trip was important and much needed. Taking that time to be away and invest in your marriage (and yourself, in my opinon) is crucial for your relationship and I strongly recommend it. If not for a week, take two days to find that renewed strength to keep going for yourself, your husband and your children. You will be a better wife, mom, friend, daughter, woman. I’m sure of it.
Above all, find moments to be with Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you so that you, me, all of us may experience the richness and fullness of Christ because Christ can break any barrier!
Romans 8:2, 5-6
"2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace."
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