The last few weeks have been rough.

And by rough, I mean straight up hard. Stress, very sick loved ones, depression, fear, teething baby, lack of sleep, and a few other things have added up, making for what feels like an unwell household. In days and weeks like this, it’s easy to feel down and kind of hard not to be.

Do you know the season I’m talking about? Do you ever have days that are just harder to love? Where it seems like nothing is going as well as it could or usually does.

I don’t by any means like the feeling and usually attempt to do what I can to lift myself out of the rut because I’m usually a pretty optimistic person. My natural thoughts are generally positive and I can usually stay positive regardless of my surroundings. So when I am down, I know two things:

One: I’m still feeling. And that is a good thing.

That might seem weird, strange, or even an unusual thing to “know”, but for me, it is a sign of an alive Ciara.

And an alive me is a healthy me. My old go-to means of survival was to shut down, turn off, and stop feeling. I’m sure a lot of people know that way of life. It’s a lonely, numb world and one that I do not miss. So, when I feel deeply, down or up, I take it as a moment to celebrate because I am still choosing every day to “be here”

Two: It’s time to find out Why.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:5 says:

“Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?  Why are you crying the blues?”

The NLT version asks:

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”

Sometimes the why takes some searching, but right now, in this season of my life, I’ll be the first to admit that I know why. And it’s because I haven’t been feeding myself like I should. Yeah, I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and usually dessert, but as far as my daily bread – the source of all my strength – I’ve gone too long without and it is starting to show… in every area of my life.

And for me, the first place it shows is my attitude. The longer I go without, the messier I become.

You know the feeling of hunger… everything’s fine (or so it seems) until you start to feel frazzled, and want to snap at everyone, and everything is bugging the heck out of you, and then you’re like “OMG I’m hungry – someone feed me now before I do something that I might later regret!!!” Just like the snickers commercials – being hungry can make you mean, scary, and just straight up ugly.

And today, we call that “hangry”

Hangry flock and flowers

Seriously, though! I know that that is probably a reference to the state of being physically hungry, but to me, it is just as true as a state of spiritual hunger as well. Just like our stomachs can growl to let us know it’s time to eat, I believe our hearts can and will do just the same.

This weekend, I attended the Saturday night service at my church, Champions Centre and it was one of those services that made me so thankful for my church and for my God.

The worship team sang a song that I’ve never heard called, No Longer Slaves // Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

By the title alone you can probably guess that it rocked me. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a time of worship where you can’t sing. Not because your missing your voice, but because of an ache deep in your being. It’s not an ache like a toothache or a headache, but like a soul-ache. A time where all of you comes back to the center, and the reason, and the One, and all you can do is stand there, head bowed in reverence of the One who is SO much bigger than all of the things that can add up and make us feel so small and so inadequate.  

The Music video is one I love and have on often, and I would definitely take the time to listen. Here are the words:

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God…

The message that my pastor gave was also such a timely and relevant word for the season that my husband and I are in. It is titled The Good Fight and I strongly recommend that you take the time to watch it.

God is all up in the details of our lives. He is listening to our prayers, He is bending down to hear all of our cries, and He literally sees and cares about ALL of it.

So while this season may be hard, I will take heart because He is with me. And I’ll look forward to what’s coming next. 

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you. I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭42:5-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Ciara

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