Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Choking

There was a time, not too awful long ago that I thought in blog posts, I thought in scripture references, I thought in application lessons. Not a day passed that I didn't think of some new blog post or some great theme for a ladies day or often even a great sermon, the outline of which I shared with my husband. Many nights, I would wake him up in the middle of the night, to tell him what "new" glimpse or perspective I'd discovered. (Usually he very sweetly asked if I could write it down and tell him in the morning) (grin). But the point is that my mind was constantly thinking about ways to encourage, uplift, inspire or challenge my fellow man with God's Word. I was a faithful blogger and wrote several magazine and newspaper articles, several devotionals and numerous ladies day speeches. I loved it!
Lately though, I feel like one of the seeds sown among the thorns that Luke 8 talks about. In the text, Jesus is talking about the word being planted, or shared, sometimes with good results, others with less than acceptable. As He was prone to do, He spoke in a parable and then explained the meaning. In the explanation, Jesus says "the seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures. . . " (Luke 8:14) While I know the parable is talking about Christian growth and the process of maturing, I truly believe that no matter how long we have been in the church and no matter how mature or immature we are, LIFE can choke us. It can rob us of our zeal, cloud our focus and weaken our spirits.
It seems that lately, I haven't been able to focus. I read my Bible but can't seem to hold on to what it says. In fact, if you would ask me an hour later what my study was about, I probably couldn't tell you. I could sit in front of my blog page for hours and be unable to think of something to blog about. I don't seem to have ideas for lessons or applications or blog posts. I sit to pray and can't think of how to do it. Oh, I always begin talking to my Father, just like I've done in the past, but after the spiritual greeting, I don't know what to say! It is so weird!
Because I am a Christian counselor, I of course, tried to analyze exactly what the problem was. Am I concerned about my sons? Do I miss my grandchildren? Is my physical health playing a role? (You see, seven weeks into my recovery, I want to be feeling 100%) Am I grieving with friends who are hurting? Am I a busy preacher's wife/social worker/counselor/etc.? Well, of course the answer to all of those things are yes, but those things are not on my mind all the time either. I think about them in passing but they are not the focus of my day. That is the problem---there seems to be no focus, no sustainable focus in my day. I can't seem to remember what I am supposed to be doing half the time! And I don't like it one little bit! I am not depressed. I am not worried. I am not sad or lonely. I am not unhappy or in pain. I am just feeling like life has a chokehold on me.
I was talking to my mom about this very thing today. She said she'd been through times like that also---times when it took every ounce of her being to stay focused and when merely thinking required monumental effort. We talked about the cares, the pleasures and worries of the world choking us. We talked about the frustration that comes with being choked and how to get out of the chokehold life has us in. I was relieved to know that I am not the only one this happens to and that this is simply a dry time in my life and a very busy one. I don't believe it will last forever and before long I will be back ---thinking in blogposts and lessons, focusing on spiritual things and praying with power. But right now, I will hang on to the Lord's hand. I will continue reading His word, trying to absorb it. I will keep right on praying those long prayers of silence, banking on the promise that He knows already and that the Spirit is saying the words in the Father's ear. I believe my roots are deep and with God's hand, it will not be long before I am no longer choking.
Have any of you ever been there? Do you know what I am talking about? Have any of you ever felt like you were in life's chokehold? What did you do to break free of life's grasp?
Blessings,
Neva

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been there, too. I know exactly what you are talking about. It is a strange and uncomfortable place to be but thankfully mine have always been short-term. Hang in there, Neva.

Pat

9:14 AM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

First of all you don't ask deep questions like this on a blog (it is a sign of a relapse) ;)

Your life is a train my friend.
You are at any given time:

[a] In the locomotive.
[b] Snoozing in sleeping car.
[c] Hanging on to a railing on the back of the caboose being dragged down the tracks.

((God is the tracks BTW))

Honestly, when I feel that way it's usually because I have placed my goals or I'm using my gauge of success on God's plans.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

We have all felt this way, I am pretty sure. And I agree with the other comments, it is short term and for me, it is because my goals are not in sync with God's.

I have said a prayer for you, Neva. Hope you are "unchoked" soon.

Carlos

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Kel said...

I thought I was the only one that happened to. ;)
I am like you, I was so frustrated that I couldn't seem to concentrate on the spiritual. But, just keep praying--this too will pass!


Love ya
Kel

3:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh, Yeah! :( Unfortunately, I know exactly what you're talking about and not just one run through that dry valley either. At least 2 major events and a few not so drastic.

One was set off by having a morning prayer interrupted by the killer quakes several years ago in Mexico City. It took more than a year to work through that one. A dear friend helped telling me I needed to finish that interrupted prayer. It helped, but still had a loooonnng time go by before it was lifted completely.

This last one, I recognized what was happening and found that running through my mind every conscious minute was an ongoing stroll-like conversation with God. There have been moments of exultant joy in which I've felt as though I were looking Him right in the face. But almost immediately would come the dry spell, but still underneath there was this ongoing stroll with His presence, even though I couldn't really think anything in particular, nor form any ideas out of that time with Him.

I've found I can't force my way out of this spiritual funk, but can hold tightly to the hand of the One strolling with me. Sooner or later, He walks me back out into the Light of His love, grace and mercy. PTL! \o/ IOW - dear Neva, it will be over. Sooner, I hope than later! Praying with you through this time.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are lifted up in my prayers too.

Jean

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Yes, I am there right now. At times I feel disconnected during worship and it takes all I have to focus on what is happening and to engage. I know that God is there beside me, patiently waiting, wanting to help me and so I sit and pray to be patient and strong until the day I am not choking either.

This is a really great post. I think most people if not all go through this. Some are just too proud to admit it. Unfortunate--don't you think?

Hanging on

Dean

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva dear,
I hope I am not insulting you, but could you be going through menopause? The foggy,choked feeling is a symptom. Maybe you need your hormone levels checked.
If you are way too young for this, please disregard this comment. :)

Jeneane

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Kathy Z said...

What a wonderfully honest post! I must say I am there now, too. I have attributed it to being a new mom and "running in new tennis shoes" so to speak. I'm a little distracted by trying to learn and grow in a new area of life that I don't have much to offer other besides a pot of soup here and an encouraging hug there. I'm busy trying to apply everything I have ever learned about life by teaching a little one to be a Godly young man and nurture myself through another pregnancy. I guess I have figured it is just a season of a different type of relationship with God. I certainly have not lost faith, as I doubt you have from the sound of your post, and I find much peace in my relationship with my Father. Our relationship is just different now than it has been. Maybe we are just spending more time working on our "root system" right now instead of the flowers!:)
Many blessings as you brave this difficult time!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

I too have been there, and like the first Kathy I find that you can't will your way out of it. You do have to wait...and keep doing the things that you know God wants you to do.

But I don't like it...not one little bit!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could be hormone related but men feel it too. We have the same sensation that the world is choking us and just like you women, we don't like it either. Everytime it happens, I find I must be patient and wait it out. God is no far away from us even when we feel removed from him.

Dan

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

I just kept hanging on--just like you are doing! I know it will get better--have faith, my sister.

Georgia

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there--done that--didn't like it either.

Rachel

10:14 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Neva,

You are not alone! I have been experiencing the same sort of feelings, lately. I don't think that it is menopause in my case. :-)
It's not just the world that seems to be choking me, but also the church work. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, it's just that I sometimes forget who is in charge, and think that I have to handle everything myself.
My prayers are with you, and I know that you will improve with His love.

Keith

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva, I agree with you and the other posters as I too have had these times and quite frankly I never found an answer that satisfied my questioning these moods of the mind not being able to focus.

I do think that you have just had surgery and any surgery is trauma to the body and time is needed to get over the invasion of ones body. Surgery is not a normal function for we humans and not a pleasant ordeal to go through even the most minor of surgery and yours was not minor by any standard.

I will pray for your return to a comfortable state of mind and body and I know that Christ hears and answers our prayers. Take it easy and feel the love from so many people that care about you and bask in the love of Christ our most loved savior.

blessings madalyn

12:58 AM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

Neva - First thanks for coming by and encouraging me. And for your prayers.

And I do know how it feels to seem like you are smothered with the cares of the world,worries about family andthat this can choke off the flow of the spirit into your life.

It ebbs & flows -- and I sense you are handling it in the only way I know to do so -- just keep on keeping on and let God do his work in you and through you.

It is not within us to evaluate our performance and effectiveness -- we are His and that is all that matters.

God Bless
Charlie

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about this same thing in my own life. I know that many of my duties are really not "duties" but rather activities I have chosen to add into my already busy schedule. When I get too many, it seems God has a way of slowing me down. Then I have to spend some time and energy just simply focusing on hanging on to Him. Then I am better. Life goes on without me and all the "duties" seem less important.

Gina

12:23 PM  
Anonymous NB said...

You've had a lot of changes lately. You moved, changed jobs, and dealt with health issues.

I think your feelings are pretty normal considering all of the changes. Although you don't think about these issues constantly, you have to have time to reorient.

You'll get back on track. Just take care of yourself!

7:50 AM  

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