Thursday, March 27, 2014

Working in Your Gifts

A few months passed and my thoughts kept coming back to this article. 
I couldn't be disconnected any more. I had to plug back into who I was created to be. 

It was 3 o'clock in the morning and the house was quiet except for the faint and steady breathing from my husband who peacefully slept beside me; completely unaware that his beloved bride and best friend was drowning in a sea of tears, fears, anguish and grief next to him. 

I grieved the loss of my passions.
I grieved the loss of my dreams. 
I grieved the loss of the years where I failed to live for more than pure survival.

For years I battled and fought against depression. 
I blamed hormones, diet, lack of sleep, raising babies.

I went through seasons of sadness.
Seasons of being overwhelmed.
Seasons of being angry and unsatisfied.

The ones I loved the most, the ones I was called to be more for in this life:
They were the ones who I hurt.
They were the ones who saw me merely going through the motions of life.
They saw me tired, insecure and sad.

This was not how I wanted to live my life.

In my heart I wanted to be so much more for them. 
Please understand I wasn't "down" every day...
I was a fun, loving mother and wife.
But deep inside, I sensed something was off.

There were days where I just didn't feel like giving anything.
And those days cancelled out all the good ones.

Friends, on a side note...Hormones are real and they can debilitate greatly; 
I am certain that they heightened all of my uncontrollable feelings.
When they are not leveled, life is most definitely not balanced.
See your doctor so you can get them balanced. 
Get on a eating and exercise plan, visit a counselor, talk to a friend...don't walk this alone.

But this was more than hormones levels.
It was more than a lack of sleep and small, needy children. 
There was a void. 
An emptiness. 
It was deep...Soul deep.

I tried to fill it, but it's hard to fill something that leaks.
Its hard to fill something when you don't know what to fill it with. 

It's like putting a square peg in a round hole...
nothing works and it seems impossible to fill the gaps. 

I resigned to telling myself that maybe this was 
"my lot in life,"
the "thorn in my side,"
the "cross" I had to bear.

Religion talk.

You see, grace doesn't require me to fill anything. 
Grace empties me so I can be filled. (Psalms 107:9)

Grace doesn't say, "too bad, deal with it." 
Grace gives us "confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" Hebrews 4:16 NIV.

Grace doesn't say, "Carry your own burdens." 
Grace says to, "destroy speculations and every lofty thought raised up against the knowledge of God...take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB.
One commentary defines "speculations" as reasonings; "Whereas 'thought' expresses men's own purpose and determination of living after their own pleasure" (James-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary, 

Grace doesn't simply say, "take up your cross and bear it," grace says, 
" for by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made Holy" Hebrews 10:4.

God had already made me perfect.
He didn't need to repair me.
He didn't need to stitch me up and say "that's as good as it gets."
He made me perfect in Jesus' sacrifice for me on the cross. 

All of my "reasonings" were futile and I was trying to live 
for my own purpose
 and not His. 

I already had purpose. 
I had callings and gifts.
All I had to do was remember them and use them they way He desired me to.

In those true callings and gifts I found my purpose.
In my callings and gifts I found freedom.

"And by that will we have been made holy 
through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all" Hebrews 10:10.

In recognizing my purpose and gifts
 I could walk more securely in my calling as a wife and mother.

In recognizing my purpose and gifts
 I could freely love and live abundantly.

"God is able to bless you abundantly, 
so that in all things and at all times, having all that you need, 
you will abound in every good work" 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV.
 The New Living Translation says that 
"you will always have everything you need and 
plenty left over to share with others" (emphasis mine).

He has blessed you with gifts and talents and a calling to use those blessings and work at them,
 building them up for the purpose of advancing His kingdom.

Don't let your dreams, desires, and passions ebb away in the flow of life.

Dont let life:
the struggles, the pain, the suffering,
 steal the gifts he has given you. 

Don't allow 
the monotony, the mundane and the melancholy
rob you of His riches. 

Don't lie down 
to the weary days and the wishful thoughts,
 but work to perfect your gifts and callings.

Work out your Salvation - Philippians 2:12
Show your work as valuable - 1 Corinthians 3:13
Devote yourself to your work- Nehemiah 5:16
Establish the work of your hands - Psalms 90:17
Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord - 1 COrinthians 15:58 
Let your works bring you praise at the city gates - Proverbs 31:31

Then finally, enter into His rest. 

"Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you...Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them so that your progress will be evident to all" 1 Timothy 4: 14-15 NASB.

To read the article that undid me, click here.

You are His beloved,                     



Joanna said...

Thank you so much for sharing! This was an encouraging read for me :)

martha68 said...

andrea, thanks for your post. i'm your neighbor on fellowship friday:) b/f i read your post, i read the niequist post you linked to. it was good too.

i could identify with mrs. hybels in some ways, but even tho' i needed counseling in my 40's, i don't look back and wish we had done it all differently.

i think of us as having been on a journey and i wasn't managing well at all. the counseling helped me a lot and gave me the confidence to realize i needed to stand strong on some issues for the sake of staying healthy for my family.

all the things that led to it were part of the learning process. it helped me express my gifts of encouragement in better, more helpful ways as well.

hope you do well as you grow in your understanding of god's grace.

Andrea Portilla said...

I am so glad Joanna. Blessings to you and thanks for visiting!

Andrea said...

Martha, I'm glad this blessed you. I don't regret anything either...hindsight is a wonderful thing. In all of our suffering there is joy in the morning! And without it we wouldn't have hope or a story to tell! Thanks for visiting! Blessings!

Crystal Green said...

This is so heartwarming and wonderful.I can relate to many of the things you wrote about in this well written post. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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