Confession: I have not been able to read my Bible since the beginning of this year.
I can do short verses at church on my phone. Opening my book Bible and reading through it makes me nauseous. The words swirl on the pages. But it’s not just the Bible. I walk around with this headache and blurry vision that makes reading mac and cheese boxes difficult for me.
This is a side effect of all that is going on in my physical brain. I am serotonin-negative, which is also known as clinically depressed. I also have ADHD, which can cause random episodes of dyslexia and trouble focusing the eyes.
It is not, however, a reflection of my faith. I could not stand firmer on God then I do at this moment. Let me tell you, we serve a beautiful and personal God. He is faithful to reach out to me, to captivate my attention when little else in this world does right now. He breaks through the walls caused by my physical symptoms like the kool-aid man!
When I have a difficulty seeing, I tune my ears (spiritually and physically) to listen for Him.
There was one Sunday a while ago (when we still thought we would buy a house this summer) when I was on the worship team at church, singing “Always“. The Spirit of God showed up that day and in a way I can not explain, He brought me down to my knees in a quiet sob.
I think to most people it would’ve looked like I was distraught. I wasn’t. All of me was fully overwhelmed by His love and in worship. But His Spirit was working in me to express a prayer I didn’t yet know I would need. It came from the pit of my stomach, this brokenness, this cry for comfort and strength I wasn’t originally asking for when we first started to sing.
See, I didn’t know my mom had breast cancer, and we would be denied the pre-approval for a mortgage, or that a chiropractor had sued me and was going to levy our entire bank account clean. I don’t think I could’ve mentally prepared for all this to happen in one week had I been warned anyways. But when I was standing there completely dumbstruck by all this, that feeling in the pit of my stomach came back and I realized: God in His mercy had interceded for me, calling down the comfort and strength I would need while – in His providence – not revealing to me the very immediate future.
This is just one example of how God is working in my life even though the chemical imbalances in my brain make it difficult to read the instructions on a box of mac and cheese, let alone my Bible.
But I’m not excused from my responsibility to press in to the Lord. Anxiety still starts building walls around me that suffocate me at times. My friend Lo Tanner wrote about her experience with anxiety on her blog a while back, and God brought her very post to mind when I was having a rough time with this issue just last week.
So how do I press in?
- I listen to my Bible. I listen to guided meditations based on verses. And AFTER this I listen to worship music. I listen to my kids studying their Bibles. I listen to people who are praying for me and the things God laid in their heart over me. And when I have messages from God through out the day, I try to listen to them too.
- I pray. There’s a whole lot of talking on my part through out the day. It feels a lot more conversational. I’m now “that neighbor” who stays in her car, “talking to herself” while sipping a cup of coffee at around 9am.
- I take notes. I can’t explain why writing is easier to me than reading except it must be a different process in the brain; I’m regurgitating information and not receiving it. But I have a journal where I write any thought that is worthy and I try to let go of thoughts that aren’t. I also write affirmations to declare out loud daily so my brain can hear me in charge and not the other way around. And I write this blog.
If you look around this blog, you will quickly realize that I’m not an uber-spiritual person. I’ve talked about parenting, frustrations, weight loss, and other things too. But if God impresses upon my heart to share a spiritual word, I have to be obedient. It may be that as a friend you are in a season to receive the instruction to press in and perceive what God is doing in your life right now, and that may have a higher priority than other things in your life right now too.
PS. As a disclaimer I should let you know that the links which lead away from my site are not affiliate links. I am not paid to advertise for any of these services or music, and I will not receive a dime in commission if you click on the link. I’m just an honest Christian mom, giving credit where credit is due, and sharing the resources that are helping me in this season of my life.