A Rough Patch on the Path

This was a rough past couple days for me. It’s been minimal sleep, a strained and distant time with my best friend, my wife. It’s been God asking me to grow up a little in a couple areas. It’s been difficult. This is going to sound like I’m whining…because I sound like that here. I do. I’ll be honest.

I guess I need to process a little bit of it on here through writing. It started Saturday morning, where for like the 6th out of 7th night I got less than 7 hours of sleep. Our kiddos have been having a difficult time sleeping lately. Plus I have really bad allergies (I’m not trying to sound whiny here, really! So please forgive me if I sound like that), where it takes several hours to get to sleep some nights. I had to cancel beingΒ my 4th and 5th grade boys’ small group on Sunday because my wife and I really needed to get out of volunteering for a Sunday and spend time together in service with Christ. She had been struggling with some things and we needed to be together, my wife is the greatest priority in my life below Jesus. It was good. It was healing, especially for her which was good. But I’m just running on nothing these past several days. Or as Bilbo said in the Lord of the Rings, “I feel like butter scrapped over too much bread.”

Something a little silly…I’m practically phobic of elevators. Seriously. Like I hate them. But I work in a skyscraper and the elevators I usually take have really taken a turn for the worse and so I’ve been using a different elevator bank, which I’m really terrified of. They are the ones where you input the floor you want on the outside of the elevator and then once it arrives you step in and there’s like no buttons on the inside. It’s scary to me! Well, actually, I first said, forget it, I’m not going to take the other elevator bank and decided to climb the 16 stories of stairs to my office (I’m a runner and so the cardio is actually really great. I can do it in ~3 minutes and it helps me get in part of my 30 minutes a day workout). Except that part of the stairwell is next to this really gross insulation around these steel beams. And my allergies are already way too bad. I don’t think there’s asbestos in them, because of when the building was constructed, but…I just don’t get a good feeling like I should be there. I kinda feel God saying, take the elevator. So I’m being obedient and taking the elevator.

So here I am, having been a Christian man for 15 years. Solid in the faith. My heart is Jesus’. I have my chips all in for God. I know my identity in Christ. Yet…I am terrified to step into an elevator? That doesn’t fit, does it? And it’s seeming a lot like God is saying here,Β It’s time to grow up on this one, Joel.

In a way, I’m pissed about it! I had control over this little phobia for so long and now God has me in a position where I really do have to just trust him and step into the darn elevator and ride it up and down every day. UGH!!Β But, I can see his wisdom in it. I shouldn’t be afraid of really anything in this world, yet elevators terrify me. If that doesn’t say that I’m still a child in many areas of my heart and mind, I don’t know what does.

I’m tired from lack of sleep. Our son is going to sleep at 8pm and waking up at 6am. So my wife is going to sleep at 9pm with our daughters and I’m going to sleep at 10pm and doing chores for an hour. But we aren’t seeing each other. We aren’t getting any time together. It’s frustrating and sad. I know it’s just a season, and we’re going to find a way to make healthy choices for our marriage and solve our sleep problem, but right now…ugh, this just sucks. Oh, almost forgot. We’re in our front yard and my wife gets bit on the toe by a fire ant. Oh my gosh, her foot is the size of a large papaya now, with the gross puss nodule on the toe. And so she’s taking Benadryl at night to decrease the swelling and so she’s out at night, just plain asleep. I feel bad for her. I also miss the time with my best friend 😦

I’m also way behind on getting back with people. I think I have some voicemails that I need to get back on from the church leadership on small group and other stuff. I finally got to talk to one of my closest friends who lives in Kentucky, for the first time in a month, on Sunday. That was pretty sweet. But other than that, and the million other blessings that God has given me, which I don’t have enough space to write out here, especially the blessing of his Son which is the best thing in my life, that’s what I got.

Ok, I think I’m done venting. I hope to get back to the daily devotionals in the next day! Thank you for listening to me πŸ™‚ I’m ready to get back to fixing things with Jesus in his will. Please keep me in your prayers the next day or two and hopefully God will land the jet plane I’m on and bring me to solid ground, out from the turbulence of late.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a great start to your week today! God bless you!

Joel

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16 thoughts on “A Rough Patch on the Path

  1. Joel my dear friend, congratulations: you are a human being and the Lord Jesus is working in your heart. It’s a life-time journey… That you are facing your fear of elevators simply means that you are rocking the evil one’s boat! Keep rocking it… ;-). I’m praying for you and what I’m sensing the Lord whispering is “relax in your busyness”. When you serve Him in the way you do – SG etc. – the devil becomes active and will stop at nothing to break you. Relax, be still… and trust that Jesus got your back. My challenge perhaps for you is the next time you head into that dreaded elevator, ask the Lord to speak to you and then spend the time listening for His voice alone.
    May the Lord heal your cute wife smoothly and swiftly!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had to smile at that! I did exactly what you said here and as I was walking up to the elevator bank, I felt this expectation that God was going to spend some time with me in the elevator. It changed it completely. I did still get a little nervous, but it transformed the experience into one centered on Jesus and not myself. I think I learned here than anything, even dreaded, phobic things, become moments of joy when Jesus shows up for intimate communion with us in those scary things. I actually got a little excited to go in the elevator today (that’s a first!!). Satan does roar loudly when we rock his boat, he roars in ways that get to us. We just have to follow our Beloved Jesus’ guidance as he leads through the roaring, which is like a rat squeaking to him. He’s been roaring at me, I’m a little worn down but trying to be obedient.

      Thank you, I hope she is better soon! It got a little worse last night. My poor baby! She’ll be better in the next couple days.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hang in there! It may be time to prayerfully reassess priorities, or it may just be a season where you need to hold fast to the Lord and see Him do what you cannot. Only He knows, but He promises wisdom if we ask and believe. πŸ™‚

    Sorry to hear of your wife’s foot! Has she seen a doctor? I know fire ants can be unpleasant, but the swelling concerns me. We’ve all been bit by them at one time or another (my husband had about a dozen bites on one foot after rescuing our littlest from the mound years ago), but none of us had any swelling — just the pustules.

    May the Lord show you what He wants for you and your family in this, and may you have the perfect peace that comes from a mind steadfast on Him.

    Remember, He is your rest and your firm foundation. In times like this, I always think of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water. He did it until he looked away from Jesus and looked at the wind and the waves. Keep your eyes on Him and don’t be distracted by the storm!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement sister. I feel that, for now, it’s a season where I hang on to Jesus and do the work and see him succeed where I could never myself. Oh he is such a great resting place, just like you said. Amen! He’s an oasis in the desert. I just love what you said here about Peter, so true. I have a tendency to avert my gaze to the roaring storm away from Jesus’ face…it’s usually about that time I fall flat into the water! I think I did that yesterday, and day before!

      Oh man, a dozen bites! I’d taken the hits for one of my little ones too, but ouch!! The dr said if the swelling goes past the ankle, come in and they will give her steroids to get the swelling down. Last I heard, it was still as if Gandalf was standing at the ankle saying, “You shall not pass!” I don’t think I’ve ever had that kind of a reaction to an ant bite, including pustules, but I haven’t been bitten in a long time. I missed saving my bride from the ant, but I did get to it after it bit her and tried to hide in between her toes. I avenged her honor upon the barbarian ant after I caught the scoundrel!!

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      1. Lol, I’m glad she was avenged! No fun at all for her, though. 😦 Fire ants are nasty little biters and they leave those horrible blisters. I guess some people have a greater reaction to them than others, though. Ugh!

        Yes, it’s true for me, too — every time I find myself stressed, anxious, angry, or whatever, it is because I’ve taken my eyes off Jesus. Every single time. We all do from time to time, and I often find myself thanking Him for His incredible patience with me! I am apparently a slow learner. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad he’s patient with me too πŸ™‚

        That’s true isn’t it? I find that I’ve hit that point in life or maturity in God where I really have the tools necessary to deal with most any situation, it’s just me choosing whether to keep my eyes on Jesus and use his wisdom to interact and deal with stressful or difficult situations, or if I just want to collapse inwardly on the storm around me.

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      3. That’s pretty much where I am in a nutshell. Sometimes, especially when pain gets the upper hand with me, I find it hard to make the right choice. Still… I need to learn how anyway! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry it’s been a rough few days. Learning to fully trust him is something I think we are growing in until we finally arrive home. God is with you. God is gracious. He is your help and refuge. He knows your weaknesses and he is your strength.
    Hope your wife’s foot is getting better….that sounds like it hurt!! I hate fire ants!
    I hope the next few days you are getting rest, quality time with your wife and family and most importantly resting in Him. Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! So true, if I look at my actions and beliefs on paper, they just don’t line up sometimes. I should fully trust God when stepping into any situation, let alone an elevator lol. I need his strength in my weaknesses! Even though I don’t think we always feel a rush of strength when he is strong in our weakness, just knowing that fact that he is present in all his power is enough, we just have to trust him.

      Thank you! I hope it’s better soon too. I hate rose little boogers too! I feel bad for her, she couldn’t her foot into her shoe last night! We’re gonna try to get some time soon too and the rest is coming slowly but surely. Blessings to you too!

      How are things with teaching and performance season?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes learning to trust him more and more is an every day event. So glad he’s patient with me. πŸ™‚
        Well I have a big performance, Ive been preparing for several months…I’m playing Beethoven’s Pathetique 1st movement. Plus my students recital is in Dec. We are preparing for that. Prayers are appreciated. It’s a lot of pressure coming up.
        Thanks for the prayers and support.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad he’s patient with me too πŸ™‚

        Sounds like you have a lot on your plate coming up! I will keep praying for his guidance and wisdom on preparing. And rest too in the midst of lots of work! I’m sure you’re going to do awesome though. Regardless of what happens though, I am sure that our Father will be very delighted to hear you play and to hear your students recital πŸ™‚ hope you’re having a good week!

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