Shaun’s message yesterday wrapped up a short little series he did called “Hangover.” During the series he encouraged us to examine what troubling issues, bad habits, or unhealthy ways of being might be “hanging over” our lives.
He showed us how the very things that cure hangovers in the natural, can cure spiritual hangovers as well- water (living water), bread (the bread that is the word of God), and rest (the peaceful rest only God can give).
He also showed us that some of our issues are not short-term hangovers, but long-term, chronic issues that are more like alcoholism and will need more than a temporary fix. One way to get over alcoholism is to envision a better, more successful future for ourselves. As long as we look into our future and see nothing but despair, the motivation to get better will not exist- without a vision the people perish (Prov. 29:18).
It got me thinking about something that happened recently. I was talking with a girlfriend about some of my future goals. The conversation went something like this:
Her: I took the LSAT a while ago.
Me: I’ve always wanted to go to law school, but I’m getting old now, so it’s probably too late
As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I shuddered. I couldn’t believe I had just sold myself short like that! I’ve never been one to doubt my ability to do anything. But just like that I realized that I had stopped hoping for much regarding my future. I’ve begun to lose myself. Just like that.
One day not too long ago I was a 20-year-old college student with hopes, dreams, and plans a mile long.
Now, I’m a 28-year-old wife to a church planter (the church is our life), and mother and homeschooler to 4 children (they are all-consuming). Most days I wake up at 8, cook breakfast, teach, change diapers, iron clothes, nurse, cook lunch, prep dinner, clean, entertain kids, run errands, on and on and on. The only meal I eat sitting down is dinner. Then by 10 pm once all the kids are in bed, I may check facebook for 15 min. or I might just pass out on the couch with Shaun. I sleep terribly while tending to a teething almost 1-year-old, and then wake up the next morning to start it all over again!
As you can imagine, this schedule leaves no time for visioneering! I’m just trying to maintain from day-to-day.
I didn’t know this, though, until Thursday night when I made that comment to my girlfriend. It literally SCARED me because at that moment I didn’t recognize myself. I’m full of hope for my children’s future, full of thoughts for the future of the church. But I’m not sure I know myself anymore and the individual desire’s God has for me.
Do I want to homeschool longterm? Is that what God means for me?
Will I ever return to teaching outside of the home? It was once my passion, and I think it still might be.
Do I need/want to pursue a law degree to do the child advocacy work I’ve always dreamt of doing?
I’ve applied to and been accepted into the Master of Education program at GSU twice only to find out I was pregnant and have to postpone. Is this still what I want to do?
Will we pastor Courageous Church forever? Will we spend the next 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years of our lives leading this church? How do I feel about that, if so?
WHAT DO I HOPE FOR???
I’m hung over! I’m in a constant state of wondering, confusion, and even hopelessness (as evidenced by my comment to my girlfriend…still can’t believe I said that!) concerning my future.
I know no one knows the future, but I just need direction. I need God to give me the desire’s of my heart- meaning I want my desires to be given to me by God (that was such a revelation when Shaun broke that down). I’m willing to let go of who I thought I was and what I always thought I was going to do. I just need a fresh vision-lest I perish in the day-to-day!!
Sooo…now I know what this year will be about for me- curing my hangover! I’ll be drinking the living water (seeking the holy spirit), eating lots of bread that is the word of God, and asking God for rest-peace in my mind and spirit-knowing whatever my future holds, it’s in His hands.