Every morning I hear the baby screaming on the monitor. He is stuck on his belly again. This happens around 4am daily. In the past, I struggled to get back to sleep, so I started getting up for the day. I never had a goal of what to do in mind, sometimes I would read, other days I made silly Snapchat stories. Early rising became a daily habit and I started to focus on writing. I don’t know why I haven’t made more time to write before. I always knew it helped me process and there were seasons full of writing but I never could work it into a daily habit.
I sit close to a window when I write. Every ten minutes or so, I look out the window to see what the sunrise looks like. I don’t know what I expected today, but I didn’t expect much. Yesterday’s sunrise was gorgeous and it’s rare for me to see two mind-blowing sunrises in a row. I looked out saw beautiful blues and oranges and pinks swirling together in the sky. I jumped up quick, I had to see it. I didn’t want to miss it. I scrambled to find my coat and shoes looking out the window over and over making sure I wasn't missing any of it. I ran down to the waterfall and I stood there mesmerized, overwhelmed by the colors and the loud sound of the water clearing my mind of any worries or fear. I stood there present with a sense of peace and thought, “I need you. Oh I need you.”
Most days I walk down to this spot and I pray, "Lord Help me today, fill me with your spirit, please help me get through the day." I honestly am not sure I am going to make it most days. My mind easily wanders to darkness, my kids often test my patience, and I have plenty of stuff to accomplish that I rarely even get a chance to start.
One evening at couples counseling I was in what my husband and I like to call “the hot seat”. There are usually a mess of feelings in the hot seat and the focus is all on you. I was struggling during this season of my life, always looking for other ways to comfort me, dying to feel better, to feel something anything. I could not make decisions and every day I felt more paralyzed with fear. My counselor said, ”Carrie have you ever thought to ask God to guide your day or help you through the day, right when you wake up?” I said to him, “No, I don’t even think of it honestly, I don’t think to ask God for anything ever.”
My counselor’s idea was a good one but at the time I didn’t want to hear it. I thought how do I do that, how do I remember to talk to God and what is he gonna do? When I wake up my mind jumps to what’s happening today, I am usually thrown into the deep end with the kids, I am not a happy morning person. The day moves forward and I am stuck. I forgot about that session for a long time. But the memory came back to me and I realized I took the advice and do reach out to God most mornings.
A year later, I was listening to The Brooklyn Tabernacle podcast, one of my favorites. Jim Cymbala talks about asking God for help. That it's important to ask him for help and that it's okay to. I felt comforted in a way I never felt before. I started asking God for help as it came to me. I started asking him for help often when I am overwhelmed or even on a regular day where I don’t know what is ahead. I just know I can’t do it alone. I did that for a while, but it’s easy to forget, or get pulled into the darkness feeling alone. Other issues take precedence and you forget to talk to God, you forget that feeling of comfort.
During this season of my life, I am consistently waking up early and writing. I feel a lot of walls crumbling down and pathways opening up. I feel a sense of peace over me and I started talking to God again. The other day I was listening to The Brooklyn Tabernacle podcast again. It’s actually been about a year since I listened to any podcasts. I just fell out of the habit. But the other morning I thought YES a car ride alone to the dentist.. I want to listen to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. (I know what a wild life I live.) But the one takeaway from the episode called the mild and the meek is
“Blessed are those that are poor in spirit.”
“Blessed are those that are poor in spirit”
“Blessed are those that are poor in spirit”
He says it over and over again. I’m thinking well what exactly does that mean? He explains it so well. Someone poor in spirit seeks God every day. They know they can’t get through it without him. They need his help and his guidance. I’m thinking, “Really those people are blessed?”
I never saw asking God for help and truly needing it, a blessing. I guess I felt ashamed of needing God’s help just to get through the day. Like I should be able to live life normally and handle it on my own. But no one can fix my mind. They can certainly try with therapy and medicine, but only God can heal me and speak the truth and remind me of the truth as I often forget.
I am blessed.
Am I blessed? Really?
I REALLY am blessed. Even when I feel so alone, like I am the only one struggling, battling every day. I am blessed.
And just in case I am still questioning whether or not I am blessed. After that epic sunrise I sat down to eat my breakfast and for some reason I opened the bible app. I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t opened the app in probably 6 or more months. I click Read, and there it is.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In that moment, I felt a wave of emotion come over me. I really am blessed. All this pain and hurt and darkness I battle on a daily basis is a blessing because it brings me closer to him. I need him. I need his peace. I can’t do life alone. I tried for so long, never feeling full, never feeling the light. I tried not to feel, I tried not to see, I tried to go from one thing to the next comparing myself, criticizing myself, never feeling enough. I felt like God abandoned me. He gave me so much pain, so many things one person should never have to deal with, I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t think he loved me. But he always has and always will.
I am poor in spirit, and I am blessed.