Wednesday was one of the worst days I’ve had in awhile. I was feeling run down, overwhelmed, depressed, and hopeless. I woke up with a knot in the pit of my stomach and anxiety was pulling at my heart. I read my devotionals and some bible verses first thing, and still just couldn’t shake it. We were out of our routine, having come home from vacation the day before and I had an abnormal number of things on my heart and my plate.
I took Dixon to preschool. My bed called me back home. The devil tried to lure me there, so I could wallow in this depressive state and watch hours of mindless TV until responsibility knocked again. But there was a tug at my heart. A need. A desire. An urging to go where I have most often felt God’s presence the strongest and the most common place for me. “Go to church.” A still small voice was prodding at me. My normal routine in the morning is a combination of Roxanne & Chris on WDJC and whatever worship music I’m feeling that day. I hadn’t even turned on the radio. I resisted the urge to go home, had my car washed instead, and wrestled with the idea. “Go to church.” I argued in my head:
“Is that even allowed?”
“Go to church.”
“What if no one is there?”
“Go to church.”
“Should I try to call first?”
“Go to church.”
So I did. I drove there, and parked the car. Three other cars. I recognized at least two of them, and decided I had made it this far, and God hasn’t been in the business of telling me what to do and then letting me down lately. Or ever, really. I just wasn’t listening before.
So I sat there. Not even in the sanctuary, but in the comfiest chair in the building. Tucked away in a dimly lit nursing mothers room, and I cried. I just let it out. And I prayed. I couldn’t find the words to pray for myself, so I pulled out my prayer list and prayed for every single person on it. And I turned on my worship music and pulled out my laptop to try to get a little editing done…but I was too distracted. I couldn’t shake the feeling of this low. Even in this place. I wasn’t mad at God. I didn’t blame him. I know he allows things to happen for a multitude of reasons and his plan is ALWAYS better than mine. But that doesn’t make it easy.
There was a knock at the door. It was a church employee who I’ve gotten to know just a little at a time over the last few months. We don’t really know each other well, and had never had much of a conversation, but I was eager to let her in, because I know her heart is for God and of course, Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three are gathered in my name…” had rolled through my head. She wanted to check on me and had offered to pray with me. She listened, and let me get it out. It was like word vomit from Mean Girls. And tears. Probably a little snot, too. She gave the best advice, and God used her to tell me all the things he needed me to know. And then she prayed, not to God our God, but to God our father, knowing that was who I needed at that moment. And the peace washed over me. I felt it start atop my head, rolling down over my face and onto my shoulders, over my heart and all the way down to my toes. It was a surreal feeling. It happened at the very beginning of her long, thoughtful prayer, and it stayed there all day. God used her to change my whole day. And the day after. Her prayer made the devil flee. She reminded me to keep doing what I’m doing, because if I weren’t working for God, I wouldn’t be scaring the devil enough to bother with me. She introduced my to a worship song that’s been playing almost non-stop since I left.
The rest of my week could’ve gone so differently. Had I not listened to the voice…had she not listened to the voice. It’s not her job to let some girl who hasn’t showered since the day before come sit in the building and listen to her cry. But that’s just the kind of person she is. That’s the kind of spirit God has filled her with. And when I try to love on people, that’s the kind of spirit I ask God to fill me with. So today, and in the coming days and weeks, when it’s my turn to let God use me to help someone else who’s feeling that way, I pray that they listen to God enough to let me. And I pray that he gives me the boldness and the strength to listen. So I want to encourage you to do the same thing, no matter what side of the fence you’re on that day. Listen out for God. Do what he says, and when he gives you the chance to open up to someone, let it out. When he give you the chance to pray for someone or to just listen to them get it out, do it. Don’t miss the opportunity for God to use you or your pain to grow relationships. Don’t be afraid to open up. And don’t be afraid to intercede on someone else’s behalf. Be bold, be courageous! And you will be blessed.