Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | February 24, 2009

~Sometimes…you just have to ask~

looking-back-prayer-journalSometimes you just have to ask for help…

Today I felt a little discouraged so I grabbed a few old prayer journals and settled cross-legged on the floor and started reading.  Sometimes this helps. The journal I picked up was from years ago, when Bethany, my 27 year old was in grade school. I cringed when I read my journal entries from that time. I was always ten feet under a load of shame, guilt and anger. Every area of my life had to be perfect. My kids had to look and act just right. My house had to be immaculate. I had to be the perfect wife and mom and don’t forget the ideal Christian. The standard I set for myself was grueling and was a prescription for failure. No wonder one of my journal entries said:

“Father, one thousand voices scream for my attention. Voices that are exhaustingly familiar…failure, panic, anger…and more failure. The storm inside me rages on…”

I was doing all the right things but for all the wrong reasons. Towards the end of that journal I must have reached a boiling point, this is the prayer I prayed…

“Dear God, I hate myself, but I can’t seem to change…help me.”

I have a feeling God smiled when I uttered that desperate prayer…I couldn’t change on my own so I was asking for His help.

In the years that followed my writings reflect a woman who is being set free from the burden of perfection.  Exactly four years after that desperate prayer for help here is another prayer…

…”with all you’ve done, finally, the storm inside is quiet. I no longer react to situations as though my life depends on them…I no longer feel overwhelmingly compelled to create the perfect life. No more guilt. Such freedom.

But what have I done with this precious gift of freedom? Now that I’m free from the guilt that motivated me to stay in your Word, I don’t open my bible. Now that I’m free from the burden of having to pray, you and I don’t talk very much. Now that I’m not paralyzed by the fear of crossing my boundaries, I cross over into gray areas every chance I get…please meet me here in this strange place. Help me to make right choices. Forgive me for misusing my freedom Father; I’ve never really had any before.”

Reading this made me a little sad. (I tend to bounce off walls)But there I was again, coming to the end of what I could do on my own and asking for His help… I read on and seven months later here’s a glimpse into what God was up to…

“…so much has happened…beneath the shadow of your wing, this freezing little girl warms to her Creator’s touch. Spirit, soul, and body in unison receive the gentle radiance of your love and I submit to whatever is your good pleasure…Oh how I love you.”

God is so faithful. Perfection and misusing my freedoms aren’t my issues anymore. I have loads of issues, but not those. Just now when I sat down to look through my journals I felt discouraged by my fear of failure. I felt stuck. But He’s reminded me today that when I run out of energy to make the changes myself, I only have to ask. He’s right here ready to help me… so I’m asking.

How about you? Are you in a place of rest or do you feel a little discouraged? Sometimes breathing a prayer of surrender is all you need to do…

So much love to you today. And so many prayers…

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. Wow, Robin. Just, wow.

    I love the way you speak to Him in your journals… so eloquent and with such love and sincerity. I am so to-the-point sometimes, and I love that you gush over Him… that you cling to Him the way you do.

    I imagine He loves it too. Thanks for sharing that with us…

  2. Robin: Sort of the place I am right now. Some tough stuff going on in the church right now and personally. A little discouraged but also in a place of trust that God knows and is in control. Good post and thanks.

  3. Rob, wow, just what I needed this morning. I found myself running around yesterday asking humans at work for help, what I was really asking for was reassurance because I was afraid. After reading your blog this morning I realized I was asking the wrong person for help.
    My Creator is waiting for me to as Him. He is the only one who can give me a peace that passes all understanding.
    Thanks, love you, R

  4. Robin,
    I used to journal all the time…one day before my first child was born I destroyed all of the journals I had kept to that point because the pain and struggle was so difficult for me to read and I never wanted my children to see me that way. I haven’t journaled since then. My entries were nothing like what you have shared. I appreciate you sharing your entries today. I’ve had some things on my mind lately and your words are encouraging.

  5. Things I’m in love with about this post:

    The detailed way you’ve written the dates on the sides of the journals. This says, “This is important to me. I don’t want to forget where I’ve been.”

    The whole perfectionism theme.

    The honesty in, “God, I hate myself, but I can’t seem to change. Help me.”

    When you finally have the freedom to color outside the lines the condemnation that hits.

    The truth and power in realizing that once we move beyond one issue, it seems another is tapping on our shoulder saying, “What about me? What about me?”

    And, “I submit to whatever Your Good Pleasure is.”

    Loved, loved, loved this post. I’m there with you.

  6. I adore your transparency. I wish I was a journaler because I love the way one can see God’s faithfulness in each step along the way of your walk with Him. How valuable to look back, and how powerful to look forward knowing that HE is your strength. One thing I HAVE learned (and you know it took a gazillion konks on the head to learn this one) is that God’s grace is not what takes over when I”ve exhausted my own resources. It is His power & fuel to live each moment with HIM……it is not at all about me.
    Good thing He is longsuffering, isn’t it?

    Suzanne

  7. Beautiful post. The message I am getting through you is that ALL things lead back to HIM. I too enjoy reading about the intimate relationship you enjoy with Him.

    You and your beautiful and heartfelt words are such a treasure! Thank you for sharing your innermost self Robin.

  8. Thank you for this post:) I’m grateful to have found your blog a few days back. I appreciate your realness. Blessings!!

  9. I almost missed your beautiful new header too! LOVE the birdcage!

  10. Thanks guys, I suppose this was a bit transparent. Maybe I wrote it pretending no one would see it…anyhoo, journaling is like that for me, transparent.
    Aubien, I have ripped out pages that I thought my children just didn’t need to see, even as adults, so I know what you mean.
    Gitz, I’m pretty gushy sometimes! (you can probably tell from the way I gush over you!!!)
    Suzanne, it’s so true about His power and boy am I thankful for it too! I run out of steam all too often!
    Vicky, you’re right! It does allways lead back to Him, and even with my bouncing off walls, which I do so oooo much 🙂
    JanMarie, Thanks so much for reading, I just went to your blog and looked at your beautiful pictures and tried to comment but I didn’t see it when I was done so I may have done something wrong!
    Jewles, I knew you’d understand about the perfection thing…
    Ruthie, I’m praying for you today…direction & peace.
    Bill, I may have written this on your blog but I’ve been praying the (what did you call it?) “dangerous” prayer for you. It’s written at the top of my daytimer (a short version on the scripture) and beside it: Pray this for Bill this year…I’ve been praying and will keep it up.

  11. That is a beautiful post and this is my first time here. I too have journalled for years and years and tremble at some of the things I’ve written. It’s encouraging to look back and see areas that God’s delivered me and grown and matured me. Journalling is great for that.

  12. I am quite blessed to get to take you on as an Aunt in a little over two months. Thank you for sharing that. You rock!

  13. I am staring into the face of two issues that have my number right now. I am trying – with little success on my own. Thank you for reaffirming what He is speaking over me right now. I need Him to do it on me…

  14. Thank you very much for the comment you left for me at Vicki’s blog! I appreciate you taking the time to care. I actually read your “sometimes you just have to ask” entry earlier this morning. So much of what you wrote really touched my heart. I felt like you were pulling those words out of my own mind. I just feel like lately I’ve lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve just been in this tunnel for so long. I guess I need to have the good sense to give it all over to our Savior and let Him be my guide on this journey. I just need to ask for His help.

  15. Valerie~ s o glad you dropped by! And you’re right about journaling, my faith always grows when I look back and see His faithfulness…
    Cookie~Hey girl! I’m going to start praying for you with your issues to see Him working BIG TIME!
    Kaleena~ I’m so glad you came over, you’ve been on my heart and in my prayers all day. Would you just give your sweet self a hug from me? I’m praying…

    Trey…now, you know I’m ALREADY your auntie R…we will not talk of waiting 2 months!!! smooch

  16. Beautiful entries. This was tremendously real to me. Thanks Robin.


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