Monday, June 11, 2007

100% Money-Back Guaranteed Funk Repellent

I haven't blogged in a week because I've been in a serious funk. I had no idea what was wrong with me or why, but I just lost my motivation. I stopped sleeping at night, had bad dreams, developed a twitch in my left eye, and my diet went out the window. I just couldn't summon the energy to care about eating right anymore. For those of you who know me, you recognize that this is serious. I was cranky and irritable. Poor Justin didn't know what to do with me. I didn't know where it was coming from or why, but I figured it would eventually pass and I just had to be strong and wait it out. But duh, Joni. You carry around in your purse a 100% money-back guaranteed funk repellent. If this can't banish the funk you've been in, nothing can. But this can. It's the Word of God.

Today, after talking about it with some friends, I realized the source of the problem. It's stress, and the root of that stress is fear. We are about to make a big change in our lives, and I have been telling the truth when I say I'm excited about it and looking forward to it. I am. I believe this is exactly what God has for us, and I believe He has great things in store for us through this adventure. However, I'm scared to death. When I went to Africa, I failed miserably at what I went to do because I could never completely let go of my inhibitions to embrace the people and the culture. I learned the language quickly and easily, but as far as suspending my judgments and being humble enough to really express love to the people in the way THEY could understand, I had zip, zilch, nada. Language hero, missionary zero. So this bad experience on my record is really affecting the way I'm looking at this upcoming trip. I recognize the mistakes I made in Africa, and I feel like I'll be able to learn from them to do a whole lot better in Moldova. Having a husband there who understands the culture better and can help keep me accountable will help a lot too. So I know it'll be good and fine and wonderful.

However, the enemy doesn't want me to enjoy this or to trust God to make this a wonderful experience and bring good from the bad experience in Africa. He wants me to be afraid and stressed out. I realized today that I've been letting the enemy have his way with me - I've been succumbing to his whims without even a fight. Well, I'm on to you, O wily one. From now on, you won't get me without a fight.

On my lunchbreak today (which is when I usually have my quiet times and read the Bible), I just laid all this before the Lord, confessing that it never even occured to me in the past week of suffering to just turn to Him with it. I think maybe that's one way the devil gets us with his attacks - he makes us think we should just handle it on our own instead of going to God with it. But I can't handle it on my own, and the twitch in my eye proves that trying is more than I can take. As I prayed and the Holy Spirit brought all these truths to my attention, it was seriously like an 18-wheeler was lifted from my chest. I just wanted to sing!!! I'm not a lunatic or bipolar... It was the devil attacking me with fear and throwing my past failures back at me. Well, Mr. Crafty, the Lord has redeemed my past mistakes and promises nothing but good things and hope in my future. (See Jeremiah 29:11 & Romans 8:28 if you want proof.)

To top it all off, the Lord just confirmed all this in the passage I read today in my normal reading through the Bible: Isaiah 12.
1You will say in that day:"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.

2"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."

3With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.

5"Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. 6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."
As I read those words out loud to the Lord, I could barely continue speaking for my tears of joy. He Himself is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. He has turned His anger away from me to give me comfort. I will shout and sing for joy, for great is the Holy One of Israel and He is here in our midst!


John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

I am so happy that you and Justin are going to the field again. It is a chance for both of you to fulfill your calling. I've always thought that you were meant to be missionaries!!

Nicki W. said...

wow. thank you for being so vulnerable. it is cleat that you are completely in tune with the Lord! i am excited for you! give the devil a run for his money!