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Frazzled and Faith-Tested? Let Me Introduce You to Grace

23 Jan

Frazzled and Faith-Tested-Let Me Introduce You to Grace

Do you see that?

Hear that?

Sense that?

People are watching us. They want to see how we do this whole life thing with faith in Christ.

Will we slip up? Will we yell at God? Will we forget what the cross was for?

I can’t really say. Some of us might.

Life is hard, and the fluffy moments are not really what faith is for, are they? Sure, faith is present in those moments, but faith is not tested when life is cuddly, warm, prosperous, and carefree.

Yesterday, I felt like several balls were in the air at once. I had just gotten over being bed-bound for two days, and I had just survived the Let’s-See-All-Specialists-for-Myself-and-My-Children-All-in-the-First-Two-Weeks-of-January stress that I put on myself. Yup, eye doctor, dental torture, mammography, child psychiatrist, child therapist, pediatrician, and a long line-up of other such Happy Copay Collectors. I was apparently fulfilling some kind of unrealistic New Year’s resolution to maintain the family health. It felt like penance more than anything else—although for what, I wasn’t quite sure.

I thought, finally waking well, that it could be that often-just-out-of-reach day of rest. I wrongly assumed, after a four-day weekend off from school, that my kids would be in their respective learning institutions, and me? I’d catch up on some things—although I’m not putting the Christmas decorations away yet. I’m not that ambitious, and after all, my daughter tells all her friends (and their moms) that I keep them up until Valentine’s Day, so why ruin that little rumor? That’s too hyperbolic to pass up! 🙂

But then, after completing some tasks and starting to bury myself under some nice flannel sheets for a half-hour snooze, 

the phone rang.

It was the middle school nurse. The Day of Peace and Catch-Up came crashing down. I had to pick up my sickie Little Chickie. (I knew she was really sick because she’s my best patient and one tough cookie.)

After settling down Chickie, I headed to the elementary school to help with math in my son’s class, but when I arrived, I saw that The Look That Rips My Heart in Two was on his face.

The one where he’s given up.

The one where he’s overwhelmed and tear-filled but hiding it because he has looked over his math sheet a gazillion times and doesn’t know how to start.

Dear ADHD: Some days I admire your amazingness, and I want your incredibly swift-moving mind. But today, you put that look of failure and disappointment on Little Man’s face, and I just want to bash your face in. Love, Not-Feelin-the-Love-for-You-Today-ADHD, Mom

I choked back that sick feeling and shushed that haunting voice…the one that whispered to me we were doing last year’s depressive spiraling all over again. I got a grip, pulled my big girl trousers (such an awesome, antiquated word!) on, and backed off. I helped other students in the room. I kept a distant eye on him, but I didn’t hover, and I didn’t display Mama Panic.

Awesome Teacher and I exchanged a knowing glance. She would catch me up later. It was okay. She’s got this.

Faith-tested? 

Yes, it’s very hard to understand the “whys” of the struggle and if it will ever end. I cried on the way home and had this conversation with My Very Best Friend:

“Jesus, You know how much I love him. How I want to help him.” And then I said: “You love him so much more! So much more. I know You do.”

And with that statement of faith came a peace that I cannot explain.

But I find that in these testing moments, declarations of faith in God release His work in our lives. 

He certainly doesn’t need our permission, but it’s like a big nod or “go-ahead” that we trust what He is already doing and about to do.

James 1:3, ESV, James, brother of Jesus, speaking

…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

The day didn’t end before a dog ate something she shouldn’t have and my oldest fell sick on the way home from karate. Some days just stink like a sewer. And this was my post on some social media platform (can’t even remember which one now) by the end of the day:

Daughter is sick, is vomiting, and son needs . Don’t we all some days ?

Okay, what happens when we’re frazzled?

When I’m frazzled, it usually means scrapping everything I had planned and begrudgingly accepting a rework when illness/crisis/advocacy can’t be put down. To me, not being able to do it all used to equate to feelings of failure. Ridiculous, right?

Dinner might not be made.
Deadlines may suffer.
I might not meet the needs of Children #1 and #2 as well as I would like to, since #3 needs my help right now.
The dogs may chew the couch or leave a little mess because they aren’t getting the usual dose of attention.
Dust might pitch more than a few tents on my furniture.
Permission slips might not be signed on time.
Tests might not be assisted in being studied for.
My spouse and I might be quick to quarrel.
I might rage at times about the feeling of lack of control a disorder or disease may bring.
Kids might go to bed after a cereal dinner in the clothes they wore to school.

These sound like silly standards, right? And yet, how many of us get derailed by not meeting them?

But I can’t do everything. And neither can you.

So, I ask God to help me do my best, but I try to keep in mind that:

The only one interested in me beating myself up is the liar to my soul.

It certainly isn’t God, even on the days I’m wondering why I fail to trust, why I slip into measuring myself by ridiculous standards, why I forget I’m only human and need His amazing grace to cover where I fall short.

Maybe you’re going through something significantly tougher than what I describe here in my own personal anguish about my son. Jesus’s hand is warm whenever we remember to grab it. I’m squeezing it tightly. You can too.

He never leaves us. And He holds up what we cannot carry when we ask Him.

Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV, Moses writing

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

More anecdotal stories about an everyday relationship with God can be found in Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day (includes Book Club Discussion Questions).
 

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18 responses to “Frazzled and Faith-Tested? Let Me Introduce You to Grace

  1. kcgroves

    January 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I can so relate to this post today! Something I certainly needed to be reminded of, thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Bonnie Lyn Smith

    January 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks, kcgroves! I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂 This one has been swirling around in my head for a while. It evolved quite a bit before I posted the final draft.

    Like

     
  3. Jennifer Hohnstine Balsan

    January 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for this post, Bonnie! I can really relate this week. It was a good word for me to read.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      January 24, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Oh, Jennifer! Lovely to see you on here! I’m glad something we are walking through can speak to someone else. God uses everything when we let Him! So awesome!

      Like

       
  4. Amy Lynne

    January 25, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Well Bonnie, you nailed it again!:) Thanks for letting God use you.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. missmollielyon

    January 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Putting the children in God’s hand does fill a mother with that peace that passes all understanding. I wish I had really believed that about ten years ago. But I am here, now, and it is good.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. Devonne aka ADHD mom

    January 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    love love love this. I have to say especially the way you talk to ADHD. Totally relate to you and your article! Keep up the great work!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. Bonnie Lyn Smith

    January 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Thanks, Miss Mollie: Nice to see you here. 🙂 It’s a process. I feel like I’m still learning how to do that every second. No matter how awesome peace is, I have a ridiculously short memory. And thanks, Devonne: So great to have you stop by! Thanks for weighing in. ADHD and I exchange many words. I tend to share a lot of them. Haha. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Means a lot to hear that!

    Like

     
  8. Tina M Wright

    February 21, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Visiting via Grace & Truth 🙂
    I am blessed by your reminder to step back and give things to God. I giggled to myself as I read your comments to/about ADHD. I can definitely relate! Thank you for sharing so openly with us today (such a beautiful testimony of God’s grace)!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      February 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by to share words of encouragement, Tina! I really appreciate that. I find such strength in talking to God straight about things, when I remember to get out of my own way, that is. Thank you for letting me know you can relate to the ADHD stuff. It’s always good to know we’re not alone and that other people “get it.” Blessings on your day!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  9. Winter

    May 19, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I looovee this gem!!:”The only one interested in me beating myself up is the liar to my soul.” Glad I stopped by your neighbor at She Lives Free.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      May 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Hi, Winter! Thanks so much for coming by “Espressos of Faith”! So true, isn’t it, why we give ourselves such a hard time? Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  10. Confessions1rst

    May 23, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    This was such a good post! To be honest, I probably live “frazzled” 99% of the time. My goodness. But sometimes that’s life, the needs of the present, and there’s always grace for the areas that fall short. It’s the devil that accuses! Thanks for sharing. Glad I stopped by from the Women With Intention link up.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  11. Bonnie Lyn Smith

    June 9, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks, Confessions1rst! I really appreciate you relating to this! I live in a frazzled state during certain seasons. Thanks so much for coming by #EspressosofFaith!

    Like

     
  12. Beagle Babe

    June 23, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I don’t remember reading this the first time around. It really spoke to me this morning. I’m pretty frazzled most of the time, sorry to say. I need to learn how to hand things over to God & ask for His help. I can not do it all on my own. Sad to say in 60 some years I still haven’t learned how. But, I’m working on it! Praying!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 23, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Hey, Beagle Babe! LOVE the name! Haha! I am actually writing my next column on how to achieve that kind of freedom in Christ. It’s a learning process. I’m always frustrated with myself when I don’t make immediate progress. This year sure has been a baptism by fire for me in how to cope. Thanks for blessing me with your comment!

      Like

       

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