I've been at a loss. A loss of thoughts, a loss of words, a loss of direction, a loss for prayer. In a fog. I've been here before. Many times over the years. When the fog clears it is as though time has passed and I need to try to remember where I was, what I did, what created the fog. Not that I wasn't present. Not that I don't have any recollection. It's a phase where I feel disconnected to anything I feel passionate about. When the fog clears, I feel an urgent need to make up for the time wasted. I should have done this, I wish I'd done that. It's not depression, it's not laziness, it's just a kind of void where I feel neither happy or sad, neither empty or full, just kind of blank. And eventually it passes and my excitement for things I love to do returns.
God always does amazing things. To God be the glory! God did not create my fog, but gave me the wisdom to know what it is.
I was in the check out lane at Hobby Lobby when I spotted a book that peaked my interest. Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. On the cover of the book it has a post-it note that reads "A Woman's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer". I was hooked. I chat with God, but I don't have a deep, strong prayer life. It has always been something I wanted to learn more about. So I bought the book.
My friend, Barb, and I talked in December about wanting to get together for a Bible study during the day. A study that would be easy and comfortable for women who desired a relaxed get-together after all this Covid-19 time. What would we study? I shared with Barb that I really wanted to study this thing called prayer and I have this book that I wanted to share with others. I hadn't even read it yet. We agreed we could do this and she also had a book that she liked. The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian. I was intrigued. So off I go with these books to prepare for a study to begin in March.
I took Fervent with me on vacation. One should always have a book to read in case there are times you need to wait, like at the airport, or at the beach. I took my book to Hawaii. I started it on our last day while sitting at the beach enjoying our last day of the beautiful warm weather. (I posted a picture in my February blog post.) I never made it past the introduction.
I like to multi-task. I downloaded the narrated version of The Power of a Praying Woman from Audible, and began listening to Barbs book while I was sewing. I can get quite a lot of sewing done when I'm listening to a book, however, this book had me stopping to take notes! Whaaat? There was so much I was hearing in just the intro! I hadn't even gotten to the first chapter. Let me share the first note I wrote.
"We have to put our expectations in the Lord and not in other things or people."
Not only does Stormie Omartian give us insight, she backs it up with powerful scripture AND prayer. I was simply awestruck. It hit me so hard.
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him." Psalm 62:5
Lord, I look to you for everything I need in my life. Help me to put all my expectations in you.
"....I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly." John 10:10
We want to abound in God's love and blessings. We want it all. But, we can never achieve the quality of life outside the power of God. And then only as we pray.
There is only one power in the world great enough to help us rise above ourselves and the difficult things we face, that is the power of God.
So here I am in mid March. I can tell you that everything that Priscilla Shirer warns you about in her book, Fervent, happens. It happened to me. My confidence to lead this study waivered. I wasn't feeling the passion for it. It was going to be bigger than I was ready for. I had a plan on how to process this study, but didn't share it, and things got mentioned ahead of time. I was feeling such a disconnect. Not up or down, just disconnected.
My passion to read and learn disappeared. I wasn't blogging, crafting, sewing, anything but the usual daily things I do. I wasn't inspired to share the love of Christ through our little business. I wasn't even chatting with God like I usually do during my day. I wasn't wanting to talk to my friends about anything, or walk with my friend Karmen, or babysit the sweetest little baby named Jade. I was just feeling void. I just couldn't see the fog until it was too late. The weird thing is that I am so familiar with the fog that I know when I'm in it. I just couldn't figure out how to conquer it. Until now....
In her book, Priscilla Shirer warns me that I have an enemy. An enemy that is dead set on destroying all I hold dear. The enemy does it strategically, specifically, and is aimed at personally targeting my heart, my home, my mind, my life. The enemy wants to keep me away from my walk with Christ, and most especially, my prayer life with Him. Last night, I read her first chapter YOUR PASSION, GETTING IT BACK WHEN IT'S GONE. Powerful stuff. It's something I'll need to reread again and again. I need to recognize the enemy for what he is. Priscilla opens the chapter with this..
If I were your enemy, I'd seek to dim your passion, dull your interest in spiritual things, dampen your belief in God's ability and His personal concern for you, and convince you that the hope you've lost is never coming back - and was probably just a lie to begin with.
Fog. My fog. And in just a day I am learning how to pray strategically.
Until we meet again, next week!